Monday, March 23, 2009

Charlotte goes vintage

It was throwback weekend in Charlotte with Retrofest at the Grady Cole Center and a vintage fashion show at Alley Cat on Saturday.

This year marked the first Retrofest for Charlotte, a '70s disco dance party inspired by a similar event in Spartanburg. Saturday's party raised money for Girls on the Run and The eWomen Foundation, two great organizations that help local women and children.

A few suggestions for next year:
  • It would have been nice if the band played more songs from the '70s. I don't think anyone who frequented Studio 54 ever boogied to "Don't Stop Believin' " or "Tainted Love."
  • The sparse turnout may have been attributed to the steep ticket prices ($40 for general admission and $75 for VIP, which included food and drinks). No one wants to pay that much right now, especially if it's not an established event where people know what to expect.
  • What's a disco party without a disco ball to liven up the dance floor? The lights were so low it looked like the place was closed to passersby.
With that said, those who came dressed to dance looked like they were having a great time despite the low turnout and organizers were optimistic for next year as word spreads about the event.

Over at Alley Cat, I heard more retro tunes than I heard at Retrofest, thanks to cheesy cover band Hot Sauce (the members all dressed like LL Cool J circa 1989, then later changed into full on nerd attire reminiscent of Pee-Wee Herman). The band played hits from the '70s, '80s and '90s -- and threw in guaranteed hip-shakers like Flo Rida's "Low."

The crowd was a mix of the usual uptown players along with Plaza Midwood regulars thanks to the fashion show by PM's own Hong King Vintage and Bang Bang Salon. (And speaking of Plaza Midwood, the neighborhood is hosting a gallery crawl Saturday. Check out details here.)

Hong Kong provided disco-era duds (I saw quite a few jumpsuits, which also seem to be making a comeback) and even a Charlotte Hornets retro T-shirt.

All in all, a fun time at a cheap price (it was an Economic Stimulus party hosted by LazyDay) -- but next time I could do without the ringing ears from the loud band and stuffy nose from all the cigarette smoke.


Anonymous said...

how DARE they charge money for a fundraiser!!! how DARE THEY

Anonymous said...

I don't think the issue was they charged money for a charity, but that the price was a little too high for a lot of people. Maybe more people would be willing to buy a $15 or $20 ticket than a $40 ticket.

Anonymous said...


one of my main complaints on your blog is that you seem to just nitpick and whine about events. I just wish your event reviews were more positive. The little tidbit about your ears were ringing from a band (that is always there on saturdays) and smoke (also always there) is just unnecessary. How about instead talk about how the models looked, and how well the entire production was put on. The place was pretty busy when I was there.