SWITCH it Up

SWITCH. Photo by James Griesedieck.

SWITCH is the newest 18+ queer dance party in the city. A monthly Saturday night pop-up, the party happens at the Livery (6728 South Broadway) in deep south city. To say it’s a comfortable and a low-key contrast to the scenier spots in the Grove is the understatement of the year.  

SWITCH provides underground vibes with a house-party feel. It’s affordable, relaxed and a place to just be with supportive, fun-loving people in the community who share the same passions and a love of music. 

Jill Firns, also known as DJ Jillian, and her partner Amber Shelton launched SWITCH in May, with the goal of focusing on the party, not profits. They noticed a lack of queer-centered parties that catered to a crowd outside the mainstream. They sought to build a safe place for under-21 adults to be themselves and not face the pressure of some of the larger scenes here in the Lou.

While DJ Jillian spins  a mix of current well-loved tracks and old-school underground in the “living room,” Shelton can often be found out back at the bonfire, chatting with those who need a break from the dance floor or are just looking for that backyard feel. It’s both raw and empowering, as friendly conversation  trades places wth hedonistic dance moves from all ages and backgrounds. 

Much like Divas of the Grove, SWITCH has humble beginnings. In contrast, though, it seeks to stay that way. Its creators say they’re committed to keeping the party in a queer-owned venue, even if that means limiting the size. The result is an intimate, welcoming event where all are encouraged to relax and engage in whatever makes them happy, even accommodating those celebrating sobriety. 

“As the Grove becomes increasingly less queer-centered, we want to ensure that LGBTQ+ folks can find safe places to party outside of the Manchester strip,” Firns says.

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