The Return of John Blair Saturdays to Stage 48
Every once in a while I get to work on a really exciting project. It’s moments like this that remind me why I love my job. That was the case the past few weeks when I got to bang heads together with nightlife legends John Blair, Beto Sutter and Alan Picus to bring back a legendary party and brand to Saturdays in New York City.
Depending on how long you’ve been around, you may remember John Blair Saturdays. It was a staple of Manhattan – a massive Saturday night dance party that has had more homes than most New York residents. It dominated Saturday nights at Splash, XL and the long-gone Roxy nightclub.
JB Saturdays, as it was also referred to, was all about the music. At two in the morning, guests would find a packed dance floor with barely any free room for its occupants to move. Yet, despite the massive crowd, everyone was in it to win it. Dance, boys, dance. This was where everyone came from their homes all around the tri-state to celebrate the weekend, forget the week that came before and blow off steam in preparation for the week to come.
And now it’s back and better than ever at Stage 48.
Bringing back this legend wasn’t easy, but the work paid off when we opened the doors three weeks ago and found a line wrapped clear around the block on 48th Street. The line, thankfully, moved quickly, and the boys and men were able to fully take in the JB Saturdays experience.
Guests of the new JB Saturdays discovered:
New sound (thanks to massive speaker stacks that are at least eight feet tall).
New lights (courtesy of lighting legend Darren Kawa).
Eye-catching décor (strung from the rafters by interiors artiste Mitch Amtrak).
New go-go dancers who danced on the blocks and stage for hours on end.
And an updated DJ roster featuring mega talents from around the globe.
Standing on the second floor of Stage 48 and looking down on the near-capacity crowd, I recalled the clubs I ventured to when I first began partying over a decade ago. That magic was still right there on the dance floor; we just had to do a little digging.
On week two of JB Saturdays we tipped our hat to another legend – Saturday nights at The Roxy, which I was fortunate enough to catch the tail end of when I turned 18 and ventured to the city for the first time on my own. DJ Brett Henrichsen, who has been adding his creativity and energy to the new party, pumped the dance floor with today’s hits as well as classics that brought me right back to when I was 18 and wide-eyed and had no idea what nightlife was.
The response has been incredible, and encouraging: JB Saturdays is back and here to stay.
While the party may already be running, the work is nowhere near done. We are auditioning new dancers and performers, brainstorming costumes and themes, searching far and wide for up-and-coming DJs with fresh sound to man the decks and keep the party popping until six in the morning.
The best is yet to come, as the saying goes. Hold onto your hats (but feel free to ditch your shirts), and we’ll see you Saturday night at Stage 48.
XO Justin Luke
Justin Luke is one of New York’s premiere gay party producers and promoters and the co-owner of the nightlife company BoiParty. He is also a six-time published author and entrepreneur.