By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
[Ed.: In consideration of the risks of the spread of COVID-19, Stroke, scheduled for March 21, 2020, has been postponed until further notice. Please check IG @nsaworldwide or @hzlikehell for further updates]
Cameron Allen moved to Atlanta in 2010 and dove right into its nightlife, which eventually culminated with him creating the warehouse party, Stroke. Now, Stroke is ready for its third installment, and Peach caught up with Cameron to talk origins, talent, and sound advice for partygoers.
How did you get involved in Atlanta’s nightlife?
Nightlife has always consumed me – or maybe I consumed nightlife. I used to be in a band and play all around when I was 19. It’s always been music and art. While my art was put on the back burner, I found dance music, which completely took over. I became obsessed with Paradise Garage and finding tracks. Eventually, I found Vicki Powell, Danny Fernandez, and people like Kai Alce that laid so much groundwork for what we enjoy today. The rest is history.
First off, tell us a little about the background of the Stroke party.
This all started in my own apartment/roof patio. I’d throw spontaneous parties, sometimes with a day’s notice, booking some of the best DJs in Atlanta’s and other cities nearby. The parties popped off. They had this really special feeling that I’ll never forget – like you were in on a secret but at the same time felt completely familiar, like home. The house was full of love and intersection. I met so many amazing people. From that, it grew, eventually even feeling cramped. We’d invite 20 people, and 100 would show up with no promotion, just word of mouth. We had been looking for a new space to expand just weeks before being approached by the Mammal Gallery to curate a new party. The venue was perfect. And they’ve been such an amazing help from the start. We’re very happy to call them our new home.
How does a party like Stroke fit into the Atlanta scene?
I’ve been trying to figure out where exactly Stroke fits in for a while now, and it recently dawned on me that I don’t know because it’s somewhere in the middle, and that’s the best thing I could have hoped for. It’s underground, it’s queer yet not exclusive, yes, house music but it stretches beyond that as we do. We hope to learn from those who came before us and pass that along to everyone.
Tell us about the lineup of DJs for this third edition of Stroke?
We have some crazy talent. Jeffrey Sfire will be headlining. Sfire just got back from Berlin recording new material with Sophie, while closing out the last Cocktail D’amore party. He’s played Berghain plus plenty other big ones, and he throws the infamous Club Toilet in Detroit. He’s also a total BABE. His sound is that perfect blend of queer 80s/90s house and techno. Opening for him is local hero TWINS (Matt Weiner) with a rare DJ set. His sound is dark and sexy. I’m hoping for some magic to happen between the two of them.
You always strive to create a well-rounded concept for the space with Stroke? What’s in store for this party?
While the music speaks for itself, we always have something exciting to add. But for this particular night, we are concerned about the health and safety of our friends and family. During this strange period, we still want to create a space of escape, yet we need to address reality and take proper measures to ensure our well-being. If you feel unwell, stay home, there will be many parties to come. And remember: always wash ya ass…
What else do you have planned for the summer? More Stroke parties? New concepts?
Stroke just started, and we still have a lot ahead of ourselves. There’s a new warehouse space in the future we’re really excited about. I definitely like the idea of some surprise parties this summer… We’ll see what happens. Best way to stay in the loop is my Instagram @nsaworldwide or @hzlikehell.
[POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE]
STROKE | March 21 | Mammal Gallery (Food Court) | 11 pm – late | Tickets are $10 – available at the door for $10 (cash or card)