The Fair Event Vendors Alliance (FEVA) may have come together to make sure LGBTQ folks in Louisville have access to wedding vendors and services that won’t discriminate against them, but it’s also come to be known for its fundraisers, which have become some of the best parties in Louisville.
On Friday, FEVA is throwing “Set Me Free/The Get Down” at Louisville dance club Play. It’s the organization’s second Baz Luhrmann-inspired fundraiser, this one dedicated to the sound and culture Luhrmann examined in the Netflix series “The Get Down.”
The theme allows FEVA to not only raise funds that support its mission, but also to incorporate a little social justice by bringing together performers from a wide variety of races, ethnicities and genders.
Insider reached out to Heather Yenawine, FEVA’s founder, as well as some of the performers and DJs who are going to make sure Friday’s party is kicking.
“’Set Me Free, The Get Down’ is a celebration of diversity, love and inclusion, and it provides a historical example, made current, of the intersectionality of diverse communities during divisive times, much like we find ourselves in now,” says Yenawine.
She describes how these ideas of diversity supported the heart of FEVA’s work. “It demonstrates how communities can use art, music and collaboration as a vehicle of solidarity and resistance. It also speaks to the power of voice when we speak together … this event is our mission brought to life.”
The party will feature a variety of artists, including The Play Playmates; The B Boys Antics & Rhese; rapper Dom B of the Dundiff Crew; Gary “Edukated Rebel” Brice; and a host of other performers — along with the promise of a 12-foot subway car created just for this event.
Insider wanted to shed a little extra light on some of the artists FEVA is featuring, so we talked to DJ duo Yared Sound and DJ Scz. They spoke about what they plan to spin, how music makes people come together, and the way beats have spoken to marginalized folks throughout the ages.
“As you can imagine, there wasn’t a lot of scene for it (in Bardstown) — or interest,” he says. “We originally met when we both came up to Louisville for university and I kept DJing throughout that whole time.”
Scz got interested in DJing by creating narrative mix tapes, or making stories from the way one song flowed into the next. Scz got together with Zarantonello in college, both as collaborators and romantically, and the duo hasn’t stopped spinning since.
While the twosome can get a dance floor moving, there also is a strong social justice ethic behind their work. They link their beats back to their work examining forced migrations, which they both studied at the University of East London.
If the term “forced migration” is unfamiliar, think of the trans-oceanic slave trade, which brought Africans to America, unwittingly shaping the face of American music in a myriad of ways.
“People have been using rhythmic music to combat situations of displacement since the beginning, when we think about everything from Afro-Caribbean drumming all the way down to all of the genres we have today,” explains Zarantonello. “People just using rhythm and dance to get free and overcoming these shitty alienating situations.”
It’s an idea that ties into the action of “The Get Down,” but also speaks to other marginalized communities today.
The DJ duo often begins and finishes each other’s sentences, as they did when describing Friday’s playlist.
“Our set is really specific for this one because it is ‘Get Down’-themed,” says Zarantonello. “We’re gonna be mixing a lot of those classic —”
“1970s disco, Latin flavors, pulling in early hip-hop,” adds Scz. “An event like this is about sonic curation for the theme.”
That sonic curation involves some deep thought.
“It’s such a dense archive of meaning even when you mix together just two tracks — what two tracks you put together, what their content is, and how it’s juxtaposed with each other,” says Zarantonello.
“And how bodies respond to those songs in space,” says Scz.
But guests won’t have to worry too much about those deep meanings. They can just get on the floor and move, as Yared Sound takes the crowd to a bygone era.
“We wanna be able to transport people to that place and time,” says Scz.
Check out the performers and artists, as well as a “social justice lounge,” on Friday, June 2, at Play, 1101 E. Washington St. Tickets are $10 in advance and $18 at the door. Costumes are highly encouraged. Doors open at 7 p.m.