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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Early 2000s dance party at The Wooly pays homage to ‘it’ era

Throwback night in downtown Gainesville had people reliving the 2000s

Attendees enjoy the Von Dutch & Velour party at The Wooly on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.
Attendees enjoy the Von Dutch & Velour party at The Wooly on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.

Nostalgia surrounded the stage as audience members were dressed in their favorite Y2K fashion. 

The Wooly, located at 20 N Main St., held a 2000s-inspired Von Dutch & Velour dance party Friday, where locals danced to their favorite early 21st century icons like Usher, Britney Spears and Kesha. 

DJ Drew Love, a 45-year-old local DJ and Gainesville resident, hosted the dance party. 

Love found a passion for playing throwback nights when he DJed for acts between a show that LFO, a boy band from the '90s, played. 

"It was like one of the funnest nights I'd had," Love said. "So after that, I was like, ‘I really want to do something like this a little more consistently. I'd love to see a monthly party for this.’" 

He found himself hosting more throwback nights at The Atlantic in downtown Gainesville. However, when The Atlantic temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Wooly picked up on hosting these events. 

Friday was the second time the Von Dutch & Velour event played at The Wooly, and Love said the pandemic shutdown hit hard. 

"A lot of what I do feeds off the crowd,” he said. “And if I can't see people dancing, I can't see people enjoying it, I'm not having fun," 

Despite the cold, rainy weather Friday night, Love said the turnout was great. 

Erica Hetrick, 21-year-old UF digital arts senior , said she had to attend when she heard the event was 2000s themed.  

Hetrick dressed up for the event in a schoolgirl outfit, replicating Britney Spears in the “...Baby One More Time” music video. 

Hetrick said she is "super ‘free Britney!’," so it was really important for her to dress up even though she isn't the biggest fan of 2000s fashion. 

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"Nothing screams ‘90s and 2000s more than Britney, and I do think her story needs to be shared," she said. 

One of the memorable traits about the 2000s is, undeniably, the music. Hetrick said the era's hits are incomparable. 

The music played at Von Dutch & Velour included a wide variety of genres and artists. Hip hop artists like Puff Daddy and Nelly, boy bands like the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, pop icons like Britney Spears and Lady Gaga and pop-punk/rock bands such as The Killers and Fall Out Boy were all on the night’s playlist.   

Giovanni Banuchi, a 31-year-old Gainesville resident, said the 2000s was a really iconic time for his generation, so he and his partner thought it would be fun to attend the event. 

Banuchi describes the 2000s as "nostalgia down to its core.”

“There are just a lot of good memories from being much younger, so I guess why not try and revisit those for fun with music," he said. 

The atmosphere at the event embodied people of a like-mindedness who wanted to enjoy nostalgia, dance and have a good time, Banuchi said. 

The next date for the Von Dutch & Velour dance party has not yet been announced, but they are expected to occur once a month at The Wooly.

Contact Alexis at acarson@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @Alexis_Carson99.

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Alexis Carson

Alexis Carson is a third-year journalism major and staff writer with the Avenue. In her free time, she loves watching horror movies and going to concerts.


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