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Echostage: The D.C. music venue enthralling Gonzaga seniors

Echostage concert from 2022 Photo Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Since opening its doors in 2012, Echostage has established itself as a premier nightlife and music venue in DC. Tiësto, Avicii, Calvin Harris and Steve Aioki are all examples of world famous DJs and music producers who have performed at the venue.

Located on Queens Chapel Rd in northeast DC, the 30,000 square foot venue boasts an impressive capacity of 3,000 guests. This makes it the second largest nightlife venue in D.C., only behind Anthem (6,000 guests). However, a notable downside is the venue’s relatively far distance from the closest Metro station, Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood. The 1.5 mile walk would take an estimated 31 minutes according to Google Maps. Combine this distance with the fact that you would be walking through one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in D.C., Brentwood and most concert goers gladly prefer to drive or just spend the money on an Uber.

Echostage is most well known for hosting EDM (electronic dance music) concerts. EDM is a genre of music that first became popular with the rise of raving in the 1980s and 1990s. Its emphasis on the instrumental side of music and lesser utilization of lyrics creates an environment much more geared towards dancing than singing. Echostage provides the classic rave experience: an open, dark room, vibrant flashing lights and head pounding music. With the official hours being Friday to Sunday from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., concert goers are in for a long night. 

Echostage concert from 2019
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

As for the price, general admission tickets to Echostage’s St. Patrick’s Day concert featuring Noizu and Matroda cost a total of $40 after taxes and fees. This is a fairly reasonable price given the length of the concert and average prices of shows similar to those of Echostage.

Another notable feature of Echostage is its age restriction. While certain shows require that you must be 21+ to attend, Echostage rarely holds concerts open to people under 18. 

Despite this perhaps disappointing news for Gonzaga students under 18, Echostage’s age restriction and close proximity to the school have caused it to become a staple of the Gonzaga experience for seniors once they turn 18. 

“I’m usually there once or twice a month depending on what performers are there,” said Chase Norman, senior. “I’m really into house music, so I usually look for those kinds of performers.”

House music is a subgenre of EDM, popular at Echostage.

“You’re in there, and you are immediately filled with lights, action and lots of loud noises,” said Bryce West, senior.

Another aspect Norman touched on is Echostage’s ability to allow seniors to get a taste of night life before they go off to college.

“I feel like it is a good place for Gonzaga guys to go because once you turn 18; it’s a safe spot to go and have fun instead of going to other places and having to risk getting in trouble,” Norman said. “Everyone is usually there to just have fun and enjoy the music. It’s just a really solid, positive vibe.” 

Looking ahead, Echostage is preparing to host its continually largest event each year, Project GLOW. Taking place April 29-30 on the RFK Festival Grounds, this event is not held in the traditional indoor venue of Echostage. Instead, Project GLOW offers the traditional outdoor festival experience. Featuring more than 40 performers, the festival continues throughout the day and late into the night. For those interested in a taste of the EDM world, Project GLOW would be a great place to start.

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