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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    New weekend, new Hotel Congress


    Courtesy of Hotel Congress

    Every Saturday night, the Hotel Congress in Downtown Tucson puts on an event called Saturdaze, a free party hosting over 1,500 people that involves an eclectic mix of music, several DJs, copious amounts of liquor and sometimes snow machines.
    David Slutes, entertainment director for Hotel Congress, describes the weekly events as “just awesome.” He and his three DJs plan each Saturdaze with care. They set up one indoor stage and one outdoor stage and often have another small party going on in conjunction with the main event. 

    “You get this really cool, sweaty night-club dance inside, and then an open air space where you can dance or do whatever,” Slutes said. Each stage has its own DJ and its own atmosphere.
    Slutes said that his central DJs, Sid the Kid and Bob Felix, are the anchors of the event. When selecting DJs, Slutes looked for the perfect blend. 

    “They’re very different,” Slutes said. “Bob [Felix] was always just an indie guy and sort of a little more underground with a traditional old vibe. Sid was, I thought, the best DJ in town. He can play anything and everything.”

    Felix just knows what people want and can play just about anything, including some “very rare cool stuff,” Slutes said.“They’re on top of their game to say the least,” said Matthew Baquet, booking liaison and DJ for Congress.

    Slutes said he holds a deep appreciation for his artists. He and Baquet collaborated together to create Saturdaze. 

    “I was DJing originally but fired myself because Matt was so much better,” Slutes said.

    In addition, Saturdaze integrates smaller themed parties into each event. Just this month, it had an underwear theme, “retro days” and an Alpine Lodge Party, which featured snow machines, a bonfire and a dress code of ski gear. On St. Patrick’s Day, the event will be hosted by local muralist Joe Pagac and features leprechauns, bag pipes and green beer. 

    “We insist on always having these other parties within the main event, just to keep things weird,” Slutes said.
    The dynamic nature of the event is what makes it so unique, Baquet said. The wide variety of Hotel Congress lies not only in its physical structure, but also in the music selection for each evening. 

    “There’s improved visuals and all the new fresh music, because we’re always trying to be better,” Baquet said. “But [we also play] stuff from the past that you may have forgotten about, that will make you just die when you hear the DJ spin it.”

    Hotel Congress’ multi-faceted nature reflects the town in which it resides, Baquet said. 

    “A special thing about the Tucson music scene is that there’s a lot of deep-rooted things that are just starting to blossom,” Baquet said. “It’s very organic.”

    Baquet said that what makes Saturdaze stand out is its non-stop fun atmosphere, no matter what the day. 

    “[Saturdaze] can be a retro party, crazy club fest, you never know,” Baquet said. “That’s the kind of shit that really sticks out in my mind. There’s nothing I can complain about. I DJed in the rain this week and it was still awesome. And hell yeah, people still came. It’s free and it’s crazy. I feel very lucky to be in the position that I am in.”

    Hotel Congress prides itself on being a space that anyone can enjoy, Slutes said.

    “We don’t want to be like other douchebag bars; it’s not our sensibility,” Slutes said. “We want people to love music and love the art of it and love the culture. It seems to be a good strategy for us.”


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