The Lunatarium aka DUMBOluna

a 20000 s.f. loft (figure varies depending on source)
called "the biggest loft in the city" by the Village Voice

located at 10 Jay St.
in scenic DUMBO
(Brooklyn's answer to
the Meatpacking district),

close to
the York St. subway stop (F train)
and less close to
the High St. subway stop (A and C trains)

or by car...
east of the Manhattan Bridge
or further east than the Brooklyn Bridge
right by the East River
with a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline

The Lunatarium used to be the coolest venue you never heard of. The parties were:

DJ Spooky has performed here.
Run DMC was supposed to perform here, but the show was cancelled when the Lunatarium shut down.
A morose David Cross of Mr. Show fame has attended Blackkat parties.
Most of NY's top underground DJs have spun here.

The Lunatarium was the archetypical warehouse of warehouse party lore.

The Lunatarium was the ivory tower of the New York underground party scene. It felt like an underground venue, had street cred, and attracted only serious party-goers (as opposed to club kids, would-be thrill-seekers, NARCs, and the like) even though it had the benefits of a large, commercial space (large size, security, being relatively well known). And this was the key to the strange energy that swelled through the loft: Everyone knew that we were lucky to be there and that it was too good to be true.
There was an ineffable rush in enjoying it while it lasted.

The Lunatarium was busted on and shut down from Friday, January 11, 2002, for reasons that shall remain (to protect the privacy of the owners) unprinted, and re-opened, with little fanfare, on Sunday, March 17, 2002.

Now, in what seems to be an effort to shrug off the stigma associated with raves (especially among law enforcement types), the parties are very different. Notable changes include:

  • The parties are thrown during the day, whereas they used to be usually at night.
  • Exhibitions of experimental art abound and provide the justification for the parties. (i.e. This isn't a rave, it's the celebration of an art opening! Right...)
  • The crowd is older and more post-hippie.
  • The music varies more wildly across genres, is more fringe, is less danceable, and is generally less palatable.
  • The security now ardently seeks out and tosses recreational drug users.
  • The vibe is gone. No longer is everyone your friend, sharing an experience with you. A sanctuary from all the hassles persectuing party-goers was descrated. Now, it's just another venue.

<rant> The magic of the Lunatarium is dead. Or, to call a spade a spade, unjust New York City cabaret laws killed the Lunatarium. Dancing is not a crime! </rant>


    For the official website and a schedule of upcoming events:

"...the kind of peak that never comes again.

San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of.
Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run...
but no explanation of, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing
that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world.
Whatever it meant...

We had all the momentum;
we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave."
-Hunter S. Thompson, in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas