Billions are being invested in the metaverse. Creators are rightly looking at social, Internet and gaming platforms for inspiration.
What is the right blueprint?
Some say it doesn’t exist.
We think it’s already here, hidden in the secret history of electronic music…
The story starts in 1960s NYC, with a teenage runaway, obsessed with throwing the ultimate party. This story tells us:
- How to build open spaces
- How to grow and sustain them
- Letting others expand on them can change the world
- How we are using this ethos to build Broadside
1. A clear vision for an open space:
1962: David Mancuso arrives in NYC. He hangs out with Timothy Leary, dropping and selling LSD. He uses the money to throw parties. He knows just what his parties should be like. It’s an idea he pictures clearly, as if he’s seen it before.
1970: David throws his first rent party in his loft, called Loves Saves the Day (an acronym for LSD). He sees the parties as a social experiment – a way to connect people: It’s the first time black, white, gay, straight, rich, and poor people come together on one dance floor.
He plays a strange mix of rock, world music and R&B that will come to be known as disco. He has balloons on the ceiling. Free food and LSD-laced punch for everyone. The way he designs the sound system at The Loft is still the way club sound systems are designed today.
Growing the party:
David is obsessed with creating ‘social progress through music’. He creates an open space where anyone and everyone can feel safe and connected. The only rule is no booze, to keep the mafia out. The parties go on for days at a time.
The city is desperate to regulate and shut down The Loft. It is raided. David is constantly in the papers. But David finds a regulatory loophole and beats the city. 200 more discos open in NYC as a result. No party before or since has been as important to the history of partying.
The Loft was an open platform.
David’s protege Frankie Knuckles opens the Warehouse club in Chicago (as in house music). David’s bf Larry Levan opens the Paradise Garage (garage music). Disco goes uptown and becomes hip hop. The Loft’s cultural impact is hard to overstate.
Lessons from The Loft:
- It’s hard to change people, but the spaces we create can change the space we’re in.David created a place for disparate groups to party as one. This idea has been amplified through every form of music since, influencing everything, and all of us.
- Open beats closed.As Punk 6529 says “It’s Time To Build An Open Metaverse”The metaverse only scales if it becomes the new center of culture. That won’t happen in a closed loop. It won’t happen with a 47.5% creators fee. It won’t happen without DeFi.
The past is prologue:
At the height of the Loft’s fame, David had a flashback: the party he’d spent his life creating wasn’t his idea.
He lived at a children’s home upstate until he was 5, run by a nun who threw a non-stop children’s party for the diverse group of children in her care, so they would feel safe.
The room she created looked exactly the same as The Loft, down to the balloons, the food and the punchbowl. She was the DJ, playing new records every week, hands in the air, shouting ‘dance!’
All hail Sister Alicia: the patron saint of disco, dance music, and the open metaverse.
David Mancuso threw parties globally until his passing in 2016. He was a friend and mentor to the Broadside team.
The non-stop metaverse party we are throwing, and the community we are growing is all done to push the ideas of openness and equality David lived for.
This is the year the metaverse happens. It’s important that we are deliberate about the spaces we create and frequent in the metaverse, and that we understand the motivations behind them.
What we do on these new dance floors today will impact the dance floors yet to come.