Occupy The Disco is a collective of friends that DJ, throw parties, and curate events in New York with a mission to recognize and celebrate disco and house music’s rich cultural history and connection to the gay community.
It was through music and nightlife that gay people in New York City helped re-shape mainstream culture, push boundaries, unite the gay community, and pave the way for today’s dance music. Decades passed, and somewhere along the way, the dance movement that the LGBT community helped ignite lost its way amongst its own people.
Frustrated by the ubiquity of pop music on gay dance floors in New York City, three friends, Josh Appelbaum, Ru Bhatt, and Tad Haes started an experiment by bringing a few dozen of their gay friends to disco and house nights at traditionally non-queer venues.
Shortly thereafter, they agreed on a mission: to reunite the gay community through disco and house music. To dance. To feel free. To create rich and fun experiences. To move beyond what’s familiar and reclaim our role as tastemakers. To bring the gay community back to the forefront of the disco and house scene in New York and reclaim our rightful place on the dance floor. A movement was born, and they called themselves Occupy The Disco.
Occupy The Disco strives to expose the gay community to music-based events that appeal to a shared collective taste, and celebrate the music that our community helped cultivate. They create a link to a rich musical past with an eye towards the future.
OXD hosts and DJs their own events, including a daytime tea dance at Le Bain, Paradisco, and a monthly Saturday night residency at the303, Night Fever. OXD continues to provide support to other impactful gay nightlife, having DJed at LadyFag’s 11:11 and at Fire Island Pines Pavilion.
Every Thursday, Occupy The Disco shares their favorite picks on the gay news site Towleroad on our weekly column, The OXD Mirror. We are constantly looking out for what is new and exciting in dance music, while also digging up gems from the past. Make sure to read our column for the latest and hottest tracks and artists.
We love to hear from other music fans and make new connections. Want to join us at a particular event? Have event suggestions? New music you would like to share with others? Send us a shout over email and we’ll be in touch.