Valentine’s Day 2017 is the 47th anniversary of dance culture pioneer, David Mancuso‘s very first Loft party, before it was even called the Loft, it was just his own home.

Mancuso’s forward thinking vision manifested into the “first underground dance party” in New York, championing a different kind of 70s’ club scene. Unlike the commercial clubs that existed to make a profit, Mancuso and particularly his event Love Saves the Day, offered a safe space for a primarily LGBTQ audience, who were often harassed at other clubs.

Mancuso was able to avoid police interference and skirt NYC’s oppressive cabaret laws by not selling food or drink at the Loft, eventually winning a lengthy administrative trial against the City that paved the way for future clubs including Larry Levan’s Paradise Garage.

On Tuesday (Feb. 14) the thriving dance music community gathered for a public memorial for David entitled “The Celebration of Life,” at the Ethical Culture Society in New York City. Mark Riley, Collen Murphy, Roy B., John Jellybean Benitez, and PRO MOTION founder Brad LeBeau, among others, were in attendance to celebrate David’s life and a near half-century of his magical creation, the Loft.

Check out the event’s official program as well as a rare 7-hour mix recorded at the Loft in 2005 below.

David-Mancuso

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