Two years isn't forever. But in clubland, it might as well be a lifetime.
Most weekly nightlife ventures are lucky to last six months. A full 24 means that you've built something special.
Miami's Slap & Tickle is the Tuesday party with a reputation for wild nights and unique sets. For residents Santiago Caballero, Pirate Stereo, and Panic Bomber, what started as a chance to play what they wanted has turned into a homegrown, well-known brand.
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"I'm shocked every week that people are still coming to this party," says Pirate Stereo, otherwise known as Eyal Agai.
"The three of us usually sit in the corner of the DJ booth while someone else is playing, just looking at each other like, 'Who are these people?'" Caballero echoes. "We don't necessarily know them, but they're dancing, and they're having such a good time."
Originally, S&T made its home at the Electric Pickle, choosing to take over Tuesday nights because, well, there was nothing else happening. Back in 2012, Agai and co-founder Troy Kurtz wanted a place away from the beach where they could let loose and not worry about catering to a bottle-service atmopshere.
Caballero joined right away, and Panic Bomber's Richard Haig came in about a year later. They all have real love for the party. They've put blood, sweat, and tears into keeping it alive, despite changing venues, evolving styles, and the ever-fickle reality of Miami's music scene.
"Slap is very personal for me, because if it wasn't for this party, I probably wouldn't be DJing right now," Caballero says. He was tired of the scene and "weeks away from giving it up for good" until S&T's play-for-you policy reinvigorated his love of the craft.
"We do it for the music. We're not in this for any other reason," Haig points out. But S&T isn't only a platform for residents. The party also prides itself on being a home for up-and-coming DJs.
"There's new generations coming up that are into different music from us, and we're OK with that. Our entire thing is to just give voice to those people who are trying to play different music that still grooves."
As Slap & Tickle celebrates the two-year mark at new home Bardot, the homies continue to push themselves and the scene. The steady S&T crowd proves that audiences are happy to follow their lead. And for a group of locals just doing what they love, that's a pretty remarkable feeling. So best believe they're not ready to give it up.
"I still want to come here every single Tuesday," Caballero says. "I still don't want to leave until somebody tells me to stop playing, and that's not going to change anytime soon."
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Slap & Tickle. With residents Panic Bomber, Pirate Stereo, and Santiago Caballero. Tuesday, May 27. Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 10 p.m. and there's no cover. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-576-7750 or visit bardotmiami.com.