Saturday 17 February 2024
5pm to 1am
Rose Lipman Building
43 De Beauvoir Road
London N1 5SF
If you want to come and dance with us you must first join our invite list.
Once you have joined our invite list you'll be able to reserve a place on our dance floor!
We will also be holding back a substantial proportion of the allocation for sale on the door on the evening of the party. Please arrive nice and early!
Lucky Cloud Sound System hosts parties three times a year (in September, February and June) at the Rose Lipman Building. Our mentor and ongoing inspiration is David Mancuso, who started to host Loft parties in February 1970. We are committed to embracing, supporting and spreading David’s lifelong approach to partying, which imagined the dance floor as a utopian space organised around friendship, community, comfort, intimacy, inclusivity, equality, open-ended music selections and optimal stereo sound. This is what we are about, nothing more, nothing less.
Lucky Cloud Sound System is a three-layered birthday cake that is delicious all the way through! Our core organising team is comprised of people who worked, socialised and partied with David ever since we started to co-host Loft-inspired parties at the Light in London in June 2003. We also have a much larger team that congregates on the day of each party as well as at meetings where we share ideas (and food). After that there’s the infinitely larger community of Lucky Cloud dancers who travel from near and afar, and without whom we would be… a two-layered cake without any flavour or meaning.
PS David loved cake.
We started to co-host parties with David soon after David invited Colleen Murphy and Tim Lawrence to co-host Loft-style parties with him in London. Nameless for our first two years, we called ourselves Lucky Cloud Sound System after we took out a loan to complete the purchase of our sound system, because David was very specific about the equipment he wanted to work with.
“Lucky Cloud” name-checks Arthur Russell’s eponymous song, which captures the sweet, optimistic, engaging quality of the Klipschorn loudspeakers we were about to purchase. “Sound System” reflects our belief that at heart we are a collective, because without the goodwill of the team that was already helping us set up and take down we could never have survived. Because David’s party was called the Loft, people also started to refer to our party as the Loft (even if David was never keen for anyone else to use the name of his New York party, including the numerous groups he worked with internationally).
We partied lovingly and ecstatically with David until a doctor advised him to stop traveling. At the end of a period of uncertainty, during which time we held out hope that David would return, it was decided that Colleen would take charge of the musical hosting and the sound system. After a while Guillaume Chottin and Simon Halpin were invited to offer once-yearly support behind the turntables. Life after David was never going to be straightforward but we put our hearts and our backs into making it work :)
Some ten years later, in the run-up to hosting our 20th anniversary party, Lucky Cloud Sound System/the London Loft held its first big team meeting in a while. Ideas flew around the room, including suggestions about the musical hosting (David’s preferred term for a DJ who also takes on the role of party host), the sound system, when to hold the parties, all sorts.
In the end, we took the decision to evolve peacefully and lovingly into two parties, Lucky Cloud Sound System (led by an organising team) and the London Loft (led by Colleen).
“The party is a childlike experience. You can have your cake and eat it, too. The Loft has never been a business. I've reached out a bit during the last few years and now visit London and Japan, but I'm among friends there. London and Japan are not very far off in that they're places for communities to start and grow, to develop and expand.” (David Mancuso interview with Tim Lawrence, 2007)
Over the course of the last 20 years we’ve helped embed a form of partying that simply didn’t exist in London before 2003. Honestly, when we started out working alongside David many people thought we were weird. We carried on, regardless, and have helped give birth to a network of parties that have taken David’s approach to partying to heart, each adding their own flavour.
We believe that Lucky Cloud Sound System/the London Loft’s 20-year run was a major achievement. We also feel that after working together for this long it's OK to move on and explore new ways of devoting ourselves to a culture that has shaped the lives of so many of us.
We don’t see the world in terms of hierarchies. Lucky Cloud Sound System and the London Loft are siblings who share the same parentage and history. We believe that humanity flourishes when it embraces horizontal relationships because ultimately we are all equal if different.
We actively encourage other partygoers to take inspiration from David and the New York party as well as our own humble attempt to put David’s principles into practice, whether they live across the road or in Outer Mongolia. That’s because we want this culture to spread and the world to become a better place.
Asked what he thought about the party organisers who were starting to open Loft-inspired venues during the 1970s, David commented: “I told them, ‘Please, go right ahead!’ I gave them all the help I could. It was like a good joint. You passed it. I said we were like bees and could pollinate.” (Love Saves the Day, 75)
The world is full of wonder and we love nothing more than embracing its diversity, so we’d like to encourage everybody to dance at the London Loft as well as Lucky Cloud Sound System!
Some people still ask, “But how are you different from the London Loft?” Here are some of distinguishing features:
1. We will continue to host parties in our beloved home, the Rose Lipman Building, located in the De Beauvoir Estate, where we have been partying together since 2014. We feel very comfortable in Rose Lipman’s iconic 1970s infrastructure and are excited to be introducing changes to the decor (while making sure we still have plenty of balloons!) as well as rethinking the organisation of the space. Come and check it out!
2. We will be switching our parties from Sunday afternoon/evening to Saturday 5pm to 1am. As far as we know Joy was the first to start hosting dance events early evening on Saturdays. So now you have a choice!
3. We are reducing the price of entry to £20. David always believed that economic equality was as important as any other form of equality. The price includes a vegan buffet (prepared by Wendy)!
4. We will sell reservations in advance and we will also hold back a substantial number of places so that people can also pay on the door on the night of the party, with 10:00pm the cut-off point for entry. Our new system will allow everyone to join in. We just suggest people who want to pay on the door arrive nice and early!
5. Our sound system will continue to be organised around Klipschorn loudspeakers, the only ever-present component in David’s set-up. We are reintroducing Mark Levinson power amplification, another key element in David’s set-up, because his amps support the Klipschorns as well as any other. We will introduce additional speakers (initially two handcrafted custom Klipsch hybrid speakers, built and loaned by Kolago Kult, thank you!) and supporting amplification to enhance the stability of the system. Come and listen!
6. Arguably more important to the quality of the musical experience than any individual component, we will also dampen the room’s acoustics in various ways. Come and contribute to the dampening!
7. Our DJs, or musical hosts, have learnt about the art of selecting music in the presence of David Mancuso. They will follow David’s basic approach, introducing a wide range of sounds, combining Loft classics with records that are fresher to a Loft-inspired setting, and entering into a conversation with dancers that, if all goes well, will reach the point where a bell will ring. Needless to say, records will not be mixed. Conscious that David stepped back from musical hosting around 2010/11, our musical hosts will aim to provide dancers with a transformative, Loft-inspired musical offering that resonates in 2023. The organising team will decide upon musical hosting combinations and over time will seek to introduce new faces while maintaining continuity. It will also reestablish our historic conversation with the Loft (NYC).
“This was never about me, it’s about us. When you go some place and people are looking for the DJ that’s a very uncomfortable situation for me. I’m not there for that. Other people can play that role and it's good because I can give them space. It's not that I'm anti-DJ it's just that I'm not here for fame and fortune. And when something turns into that I start to lose interest because I'd rather be in a private, more intimate setting."
(David Mancuso interview with Tim Lawrence, 2007)
Payment on the door is by card only.
Kids are welcome to come with carers for the first two hours of the party. Kids can come in for free, carers for £10. Carers are asked to leave with the kids under their care by 7:00pm at the latest.
We provide a no-charge cloakroom and request that dancers place all outdoor clothing as well as bags there.
We provide a vegan buffet organised by Wendy that is available from 5:00-8:00pm. The food is available on the stage.
Cold water is available on the stage throughout the duration of the party.
The venue organises a bar, which is also located on the stage and is card only.
We are introducing a chill out area on the stage.
Smoking can take place in front of the building. We suggest moving to a nearby street and keeping voices at a moderate level to reduce disturbing our neighbours.
When you leave the venue at the end of the night please keep voices low and don’t disturb our neighbours.
Please refrain from using phones (for photography, texting, streaming, shazaming, etc) on the dance floor. If you urgently need to use your phone please leave the dance floor in order to use this. We request this in order to maximise dance floor interaction and comfort.
We request that dancers refrain from bringing bags of any description onto the dance floor, and also don’t wear coats and other heavy items of clothing onto the dance floor. Our lovely cloakroom team will be happy to keep all of these items safe for you :)
Please don’t wear or carry illuminated or fluorescent lighting on the floor.
We insist that dancers are considerate towards others on the dance floor. We don’t tolerate any form of harassment.
We encourage dancers to help us make sure that everyone around them feels safe. We also encourage polite behaviour.
If you are bringing a guest with you please make sure that they are aware of these simple requests.
David started to host regular parties in his home at 647 Broadway on Valentine’s Day 1970. His earlier move into a downtown loft space provided him with an expansive party space that also mirrored his underground, countercultural way of living. His decision to introduce an invite-only system drew on his love of socialising in the rent party scene. His practice of welcoming friends and friends of friends from all walks of life and minimising the cost of entry reflected his deep commitment to egalitarianism. His devotion to building the most accurate sound system possible grew out of his belief that the life energy of music could have a transformative impact on his community of friends.
David reluctantly took on the role of musical hosting because he felt he might have a better feel for the taste of his friends than the DJ who had helped him out at parties he hosted in late 1969. During the course of the Valentine’s Day party David revealed an original and exceptional talent for selecting music, entering into an intuitive call-and-response dialogue with his dancers as the gathering travelled the sonic trail. David also integrated a broader range of musical sounds than had been heard in any other setting. The party, which came to be known as the Love Saves the Day party, also confirmed David’s devotion to the ethos of universal love as well as his willingness for dancers to consume LSD if they so chose.
David shaped his weekly Saturday night dance gatherings as an intentionally utopian party, apparently the first of its kind. Along the way the Loft became the first location to fully embody and express New York City's longstanding reputation for being a melting pot metropolis. Within a short space of time, the party also established itself as far and away the most progressive, innovative and captivating dance gathering to have unfolded in a city that understood itself to occupy the apex of western culture.
Initially nameless, because David wasn’t interested in entering the commercial sphere, his parties came to be known as the Loft after dancers gave it that name. Early regulars included Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan, who would go on to become the most influential torch carriers of 1980s dance culture. Both of them cited David and the Loft as their primary influence. Meanwhile the venues where Larry and Frankie made their names, the Paradise Garage and the Warehouse, were opened by owners who sought to reproduce David’s model (even if there were ultimately significant departures). The Loft also inspired the mushrooming of an entire network of private parties located in downtown New York as well as Newark, including the Tenth Floor, the Gallery, the Soho Place, Le Jock, Flamingo, Reade Street, 12 West and the Saint.
Closed by New York authorities in June 1974, David re-opened the Loft on Prince Street in 1975. When that building was sold in 1984 he moved to Third Street in Alphabet City. Attempting to survive in an environment where housing began to revolve around investment rather than social need, and drug trafficking ran out of control, David subsequently moved to Avenue A followed by Avenue B. The latter spot turned out to be the last home that was large enough for him to be able to invite his friends over to party.
The misfortune led David to break the habit of a lifetime and accept offers to select music outside of his home in order to try to raise money to move back to Avenue B. David’s first adventure took him to Japan, and although the trip didn’t go well, during it he met Satoru Ogawa, the owner of Precious Hall in Sapporo, who proceeded to arrange for David to visit every year. David quickly came to understand that if he could strike up a deep relationship with the right kind of party host or hosts he could replicate important elements of the Loft while earning enough money to eat—and also buy the occasional piece of stereo equipment.
In 2001 David accepted invitations to work as the musical host at parties held in Glasgow and Italy. Around the same time he found a community hall located on Second Avenue where he started to once again host Loft parties, initially three times a year. If the Loft’s latest incarnation lacked the open-ended intensity and homely intimacy of Broadway, Prince Street and Third Street in particular, David and his friends were ecstatic that he was able to restart the party. David also loved being able to base himself in the community environment of the East Village.
At the same time David began to see the world and the world began to spend time with David.
Jeremy Gilbert, “Goodbye David Mancuso—we love you,”15 November 2016, https://jeremygilbertwriting.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/goodby-david-mancuso-we-loved-you/
Aaron Gonsher, “Love Saves the Day Turns 50: Hear 12 of the Loft’s Essential Songs”, New York Times, 13 February 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/13/arts/music/love-saves-the-day-loft-playlist.html
Tim Lawrence, Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-79, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2004.
Tim Lawrence website: numerous additional articles about David and the Loft are available at https://www.timlawrence.info/articles-loft-parties
Peter Orlov, "Still Saving The Day: The Most Influential Dance Party In History”, NPR, February 19, 2020, https://www.npr.org/2020/02/19/807333757/still-saving-the-day-the-most-influential-dance-party-in-history-turns-50
Alexis Petridis, “The legacy of David Mancuso: ‘His dance floor was a kind of egalitarian utopia”, Guardian, 15 November 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/nov/15/david-mancuso-the-loft-egalitarian-utopia