The familiar smell of sweat and PBR lingers in the Fort Lauderdale air.
A food truck is serving hot dogs to the tipsy attendees at the Black Locust Society warehouse. Projected onto the wall outside is an enormous skull-faced locust toting a can of beer; sort of like an X on a treasure map, it leads the curious here. In the main room, a crowd of 20- and 30-somethings — all races, cultural backgrounds, and social groups — stand shoulder to shoulder, watching local rock band Lavola. The temperature inside the graffiti-covered building is intense, but nobody seems to mind.
In June 2010, the elusive BLS collective first made its presence known to Fort Lauderdale with an event called Swarm. Quickly, the quarterly celebration of creativity became a staple of the local scene. Now two years later (and with seven Swarm events under its belt), the Society is ready for the next step — a monthly party.
The Swarm events have proved, if nothing else, that Fort Lauderdale is full of creative, forward-thinking people. The scene is here, just not especially well-organized. But BLS954 may be the answer. It is a place for Fort Lauderdale creatives to congregate on a monthly basis. A place to party your ass off on a Friday night. A place for the 954 to call home. "Spring break forever," says a representative from the Black Locust Society.
On May 25, the inaugural edition of BLS954 will go down at the newly opened Five Points Lounge. Keeping things in the family for the first go-around, the Society's usual roster of performers will take the stage, including Bleubird, Protoman, Astrea Corporation, Jabrjaw, and Gaps. Between sets, DJs Sensitive Side and Chair Weiner will spin records. However, the Black Locust Society has a knack for keeping a few tricks up its sleeve, so there's no telling what might go down.
"Come one, come all," says the Black Locust Society rep. "It's just about bringing people together. That's what we do."