On Saturday, The Wooly will hold the 11-year anniversary of Neon Liger.
Starting in 2008 and continuing for seven consecutive years, the event was a weekly occurrence filled with electronic music, laser lights and dancing all night long. Now, the event is annual and serves as a reunion for UF alumni that called the party home.
Although the event has been happening for more than a decade, this year’s host, Kat Bein, 31, said the energy has stayed the same. As a UF journalism student in 2008, she attended the then-weekly party over 100 times over the years. As host, Bein said she plans to be the energetic inspiration for everyone else.
“It’s just a really over-the-top sort of energy, but not because it's trying too hard,” she said. “It’s totally wild.”
She has seen different waves of people discover the party, but the music and good vibes have kept people coming back year after year. Bein describes the event’s cult-like following as her sorority.
The event holds sentimental value for those who have attended since its inception. It serves as a time to let loose, reconnect with old friends and to party like it is the last night on earth, Gianmarco Pow-Sang said.
Pow-Sang will be deejaying under his stage name, “GPS,” on Saturday night, feeling the energy of the audience and playing whatever resonates with the crowd’s energy.
The 27-year-old music production school studio coordinator first attended the event in 2009 as a UF telecommunication freshman. Since then, the Los Angeles native estimates he has attended Neon Liger at least 150 times.
Both Bein and Pow-Sang shared that they would not be where they are today without Neon Liger, making it seem like there's more to the event than just being a rager.
Christopher Wallack, 20-year-old psychology major, is new to the party. He is performing under his DJ name, Allwack.
“I’ve been hearing about it for as long as I’ve been on the scene in Gainesville,” he said.
The DJ hopes to play into the event’s history and make some noise as someone who has never played the party before.
Wallack will perform alongside 15 other electronic music artists. He plans to take what he has heard about Neon Liger’s old-school vibes and mix a fresh spin on it.
The only thing to be expected about Neon Liger is that tickets at the door will be $15 and the event is 18 and older except for the outside patio. The rest is something only those who have attended know about, with Neon Liger’s true description hard to pinpoint for even the most seasoned attendees.
But do not fret, there is a certain joy that can be found with not knowing what you are getting yourself into, Pow-Sang said.
If you have never heard or gone to Liger, know to leave your expensive clothes, inhibitions and pretension at home.
If you go by yourself or feel lost in all the commotion, the host will probably be crawling around encouraging people to break out of their shell and roar.