Bad Boy Club Montréal (BBCM) is revamping Black & Blue by moving the festival to the cutting-edge Arsenal space, in Montreal’s historic Griffintown neighbourhood, for the circuit party’s 23rd edition this October.
Some 5,000 people danced the night away on three dancefloors in Montreal’s Palais des Congrès last year. Attendance at the all-night party peaked in 1999 when 17,000 people packed B&B’s dancefloor in the outfield of Olympic Stadium.
“We are excited to begin a new era of events with the selection of Arsenal as a major innovative space,” says Robert Vezina, Black & Blue’s president and co-founder. “[It’s] a great way for BBCM to increase the success of the foundation and the generated proceeds in order to help community groups.”
BBCM has announced two major partnerships: with the Priape group, as a principal title sponsor, and New York’s Saint at Large.
“Our new partnerships with Priape and The Saint will help us reach our goals,” Vezina says, noting that the event will be re-geared toward gay jet setters from all over the world, with a focus on the United States.
Vezina says the Arsenal venue was chosen to bring “freshness” to the main Black & Blue event. During the mid-19th century, this industrial space served as a shipyard, where commercial seagoing vessels were constructed and serviced.
While the building’s interior and exterior architectural features have been preserved, the 41,000-square-foot venue is now home to art galleries, an artist studio, a multimedia room and two enormous halls that can be subdivided and transformed to fit any type and size of event. Black & Blue organizers want to capture a cool “warehouse” feel and plan to convert the space into a big underground club for thousands of people.
After drawing 800 revellers to their first party in 1991 — raising $3,500 for AIDS Community Care Montreal — Black & Blue has become one of the most successful all-night dance parties on the planet. Over the past two decades, Vezina says, Black & Blue has generated more than $320 million in local economic spinoffs and has donated $1.8 million to various AIDS and queer organizations.
This year’s edition will take place Oct 9 to 15, during the Canadian Thanksgiving and American Columbus Day weekends.
For more information, visit bbcm.org.