Digging Deep: Exploring Seattle’s 12 Hour Rave Spot

DMNW Takes On Monkey Loft's Marathon Rave Event; Did We Go The Distance?

Picture yourself in a small, dark nightclub. Pulsating bass shakes your bones; your heart races with each euphoric drop. Sweat everywhere. Fatigue sets in. You try to find a spot to take a breather; unfortunately, all the relax areas are filled by other bodies. “Feed Me!”. Oh great, your stomach is talking to you as hunger knocks. There’s no food, and most local fast food joints have shut down for the night. The challenge? Rave for 12 continuous hours in this setting: late night to mid-morning. Could you do it? Have you done it? Being the adventurous ravers that are we, we decided to give it a try!

For the last seven years, the Monkey Loft, located in Seattle’s SoDo district, has been running an event called Digging Deep. Digging Deep lasts for 12 hours and features DJs from the Pacific Northwest and beyond, dishing out the latest in deep and tech house music. Digging Deep September ’16 was the last of the year, and also marked the seven year anniversary of the event’s first installment. The lineup featured 12 DJs, including two from as far as San Francisco, split between two stages; one indoor and one outdoor.

For those unfamiliar with the Monkey Loft, here’s one word that best describes the place: laid-back. The dress code is as relaxed as can be. LED shoes, light up gloves, fitted caps, Uggs, leggings and pajama pants, are some outfit pieces we noticed- all, or most of it, banned at some of the various mainstream Seattle night clubs. The vibe from fellow attendees was just as relaxed. There was enough space for people to hang out, talk and dance; heck, even the DJs would join the crowd from time-to-time and groove before their scheduled set time.

Monkey Loft Indoor Stage

The environment never felt too overwhelming, as smiling faces were aplenty; there was no sign of despair or unwanted advances from what we saw. The only time it got noticeably crowded was around 1 AM, an hour before the outdoor stage opened. As packed as it was though, there was always somewhere to dance inside- you just had to snake through a few bodies. The lines for the one (and only) bar and the two single-occupancy restrooms were lengthy, but always moving. On this night, it felt like everyone wanted to get away and enjoy music and friendship. Respect was a common theme, as the Loft featured some of the friendliest people we’ve met. Even the bouncer and ticketing agent were present to converse with. The term PLUR is often thrown around when it comes to electronic dance; on this night, PLUR was very much on display.

As soon as 2 AM hit, doors to the outdoor stage (a beautiful, massive rooftop patio) opened to all. If you haven’t been to a rooftop rave, the Loft might be worth a look! To dance below the stars, with the beautiful Seattle skyline in the background, was quite the treat. The cool breeze was a welcomed bonus, as all the dancing had us working up a sweat! Almost everyone went outside, where tech house was prevalent, compared to the indoor stage, where deep house reigned supreme. The energy continued to increase outside hour-after-hour, as the countdown to sunrise had begun. Around 4:30 AM, people were bouncing up and down, chanting and shuffling left and right. It was the most energy we’ve seen all night! Fatigue? Clearly overrated!

Monkey Loft Patio 2

As soon as the clock struck 6 AM, the Loft seemingly transformed. The lighting went from darker hues, to neon ones and the bar resumed alcohol sales, even adding mimosas and bloody marys to the menu. Yum! Almost everyone rushed the bar to get a liquid treat; it was quite the sight. By 7, the sun had risen and the party was still going strong. We ended up departing at this time, as our legs were feeling like noodles and hunger was singing loudly. We fell three hours short of going the distance, but partying for 9 hours in a mellow environment, complete with bone shaking underground house music, was so worth it.

Marathon events, like Digging Deep, are common at the Loft. The next one is tomorrow, which starts at noon and ends at 10 PM. What’s the longest, marathon rave you’ve ever been to? Drop a comment below and let us know!

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