13 December 2021

Lonsdale Street becomes the new stage for disco and house producers

| Ben Arnedo
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DJ at a turntable

Loosen Up is a free street party that’s been running every Friday night since mid-November at Lonsdale Street Cafe. Photo: Benjamin ‘Buda’ Arnedo.

As we prepare to close out another year, the Soul Defender is preparing to again transform Lonsdale Street (part of it, at least) into a free listening party for hot new house music and disco beats, bubbles included.

Canberra DJ Loky Watt curates a series of free outdoor music events aptly named Loosen Up at Lonsdale Street Cafe, beside Messina and Pizza Gusto.

He features three DJs each week with their latest productions and cool new influences.

This Friday (17 December), pedestrians can sit down for a beer from Bentspoke, loosen up and enjoy the selection of tunes from Watt’s own label, Hot Foot.

The idea for Loosen Up came to Watt while Canberra was in lockdown. He took advantage of the idle period to experiment with some fresh material.

DJ Loky Watt

Canberra DJ Loky Watt DJs at Loosen Up. Photo. Gupi de Zavalia.

“Coming out of lockdown, we needed something to rekindle our enthusiasm. It’s a chance for emerging DJs to play alongside talented producers who maybe don’t play as often these days. Lonsdale Street is not easy – there is always a lot going on, but lucky for us, it wasn’t too hard to stand out,” said Watt.

READ ALSO RiotACT Gig Guide (8 – 14 December)

Indeed, if your stage is a 10-metre pink ex-military truck, complete with a sound system and stage lighting, you’re sure to be noticed. Canberrans would have seen it driving around the city decorated with a real Christmas tree while playing soulful Christmas music in recent weeks.

“What brought us together is the passion for music. Every Friday, we showcase a DJ from our own label,” Watt said.

When asked about the genre of house disco, Watt explains that “it’s a genre of music that everyone can enjoy”.

“It’s difficult not to want to dance to it. Also, it’s an outdoor event for all ages on a Friday night and it’s free. Can’t think of a better way to end the week!”

Partygoers in Lonsdale Street

Loosen Up is a free opportunity for Canberran’s dance and party after lockdown. Photo. Gupi de Zavalia.

For local talent, it is an excellent opportunity to perform in front of a live audience in the heart of Braddon. Not even a brief sprinkle of rain dampened local spirits during the first session.

READ ALSO New grants are music to Canberra artists’ ears

“It may take some time for people to come out of their shell, but everyone seems super appreciative and grateful to be out and about again,” commented Watt.

Loosen Up is a free event at Lonsdale Street Cafe, starting at 5 pm on Friday (17 December) and wrapping up at 11:30 pm. For the latest information on the label, follow Hot Foot on Facebook or Bandcamp, and keep an ear out for a brand new EP, Lyneham Groove, being released in February 2022.

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