It seems that life can take place almost anywhere these days. From medical exams in your kitchen to college lectures in your bed, remote meetings are often used as a substitute for personal life. A Newark business goes one step further – a weekly nightclub with live DJing right in your living room!
QXT’s is an alternative dance club on the corner of Mulberry and Elm, just three blocks from the Prudential Center in Newark, and its name has a rich history of urban entertainment. Based on the Don Quijote restaurant about 30 years ago, it acted as a mix of a lounge and a mosh pit for music seekers of various genres such as EDM, Gothic, Punk and Rock, and has drawn a niche crowd of partygoers from around the world to the area for decades. Recently, QXT’s, along with many other companies and employees in the entertainment industry, has closed its doors to customers. In Newark, Mayor Ras Baraka has introduced a series of rules and curfews on non-essential businesses. But that doesn’t mean the party has stopped altogether.
Current QXT nightclub owner Rolando Manna and his team of innovative DJs have taken the virtual stage since last summer, streaming their usually unusual mix of alto jams on their Twitch streaming channel ClubQxTs.
“The idea for streaming came from … our resident DJs,” said Manna. “Some of them had already done it [begun] In order to stream from home, we of course all agreed on the concept of reaching and connecting with our QXT’s fan base. ”
Twitch is a widely used live video streaming service that has developed its large fan base in the video game industry. Since then, it has grown into a medium that supports all kinds of creative streams that any user can offer for free, with ads and options for fans to subscribe to the channel to keep the business going.
However, the folks at QXT’s – although still on the verge of economic collapse due to a lack of clientele – have embraced this new age approach to let their fans know that they are still on their toes. And also for free!
“[I]In the midst of a very difficult economic time for so many … we didn’t make up our minds [to] Make people pay. We are blessed to have an amazing group of followers who have been loyal and so supportive over the past 30 years, ”said Manna. “Streaming was not meant to increase sales, it was intended to bring a little joy to the thousands of followers.”
For the QXT family, caring for their fan base is a top priority. Anyone can tune in to the club’s Twitch channel every Saturday from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. to see a live video feed of the club’s DJs who continue to spin tracks with colorful flashing lights and smoke machines on the QXT stage. And every night, the stream’s live chat is full of excited party-goers at home who want to relax and talk to their fellow viewers. It seems that although the physical aspect of the club has been omitted, the team seems to have brought together all the right elements: good sound, good vibes and good company.
The stream reaches a peak value of 150 to 175 viewers and receives an average of 80 to 90 people per night. The club’s last stream upload got a total of almost 1200 views, which isn’t too shabby for a relatively new Twitch channel that launched in May 2020.
“[Live streaming] would never replace the energy level of a dance floor … Nor can it offer the synergy of an audience with a live DJ. Even so, we’re glad to have it and will continue to use it in the future. ”
Despite destroying the streaming game, Manna and his team along with so many others plan to reopen sooner rather than later. QXT’s expects customers to hopefully get a small lounge this year to listen to their unique music collection, accompanied by tapas-style food and drink. They are currently awaiting official city approval to install a kitchen. Unfortunately, the pandemic has slowed the entire government along with business. Despite all this, Manna hopes to be able to open the doors of the dance floors “The Crypt” and “Area 51” by QXT in the coming year – with reduced capacity, of course.
Until then, however, QXT will continue to rely on their fans’ charity to help them stay afloat until they return to normal business operations. The club’s primary sponsor Damian Hrunka and several other resident DJs opened a GoFundMe campaign on behalf of Mannas Club last May entitled “QXTs 2021 Home Away From Home Relief,” and have since then had nearly $ 36,000 of their $ 50,000 goal collected.
The instructions are, “Please donate and share words of encouragement” so that the club has received an outpouring of love from every corner of the alt-scene. Sermons about love and worship flood the donation box, along with gifts between $ 20 and $ 600. Every donor calls QXT home, and in an ironic twist, the current situation immediately brought the essence of the club to fans’ homes, at the top of their thoughts and prayers.
“[W]We can honestly say that the generosity of our patrons is the main reason we haven’t given up … if our plan [to reopen as a Lounge with a kitchen] We are determined to have QXT as our venue … for many more years to come. ”
Although the current state of affairs is pretty bleak, the future looks better every day or darker in QXT’s Gothic-themed halls. Community staples and culture like this nightclub struggle, but with the continued support of their loyal patrons, they will fully recover in due course. And the wonderful thing is that these days the best thing to do to show support is to sit back, relax and listen to a punk industrial darkwave song streamed from your laptop. This is metal.