Currently, The Bunker happens about six times a year at various venues around Brooklyn, including but not limited to Good Room, Market Hotel, and H0L0. In the quest to entertain ourselves and meet the artists we admire who no one else would bring to New York, we've hosted over six hundred guest DJs and live acts over the past nineteen years. In our mission to discover new talent, we've presented countless New York City and even North American debuts. Newcomers to the party often wonder how the events got to this point. There really is no quick answer, as The Bunker is an ongoing night of musical exploration, constantly evolving since it started in 2003. The Bunker is a party for music obsessed people who want to dance to interesting sounds in a room full of likeminded folks, thrown by people who live to do just that, and strive to perfect the experience.
For over a decade, The Bunker has been a storied night of musical exploration in New York City. The adventurous electronic music lineups—which bring together fringe artists who also know how to move a dancefloor—made the party legendary amongst NYC cognescenti. Starting a record label was the next natural step in The Bunker’s evolution, featuring contributions from artists who frequent the shadows of the party and established guests.
The Bunker Podcast was launched in 2008, when there really weren't many techno podcasts, to share recordings of live and DJ sets recorded at the party with the world. The deep archive of amazing sets speaks for itself.
Beyond Booking is The Bunker's in-house booking agency. We represent our resident DJs, frequent guests, and label artists, helping them book solid tours of the best parties in North America.
Electronic music has its roots in Black and Latinx communities. From Chicago in the early 1980s to the Berlin club scene during German reunification, the beats and dance floors of the electronic music scene have been since their inception a space for liberatory connections, movement, joy, and subversive sound for members of communities subject to marginalization and violence. Frankie Knuckles, a founding father of house music, called the club a “church for people who have fallen from grace,” and Ron Trent called it a refuge, “a place where people could go to stay alive, to find family on the dance floor.”
As the years have passed, electronic music has blossomed into the universal dance floor that it is today, but it remains imperative to honor its origins and preserve the tradition of the club as a refuge for the marginalized. Over the last eighteen years, The Bunker has been a foundational part of what the electronic music scene in New York is today, and that’s as much because of the community as it is because of the music.
The Bunker dance floor has family all over the world. We came together because of the music, and we stayed because for the first time, we felt welcome somewhere. Nobody is standing at The Bunker door deciding who’s cool enough to party with us. If the music pulls you in, you’re in the right place.
The goals of the Bunker’s events include:
· Embodying the liberatory principles embedded in the founding of techno music by providing accessible and free services to Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists and supporting their careers and creation · Building the diverse, supportive, and healthy musical community around us in which we want to exist · Enabling community support through accessible and effective reporting and response mechanisms for safety concerns, as well as conflict resolution and accountability mechanisms for our affiliates and community · Striving to create safe musical communities where marginalized community members feel empowered and supported to speak out about violence, discrimination, and oppression in the community
Code of Conduct
Our community has some shared values about how we treat each other on and off the dance floor. If these values resonate for you, come party with us! This dance floor is for all of us. We don’t tolerate the kinds of behaviors that tell already marginalized people that they aren’t welcome or that their bodies aren’t safe. Consensual touch, respect for personal space, and being gentle with others’ mental states are all ways that members of The Bunker express that collective care and safety are necessary for a good party! We don’t permit leering, commenting about others’ bodies, following people, taking photos or videos without consent, or other types of disrespectful or dehumanizing behavior – and we won’t hesitate to toss you out if you’re intoxicated enough that you can’t engage with these agreements.
We keep us safe. Party staff is here to help and protect you, but we can’t be everywhere at once! Making sure that these community norms get communicated and enforced is a shared responsibility, so if you see someone acting inappropriately towards one of your fellow community members, step up and step in! When people come into our spaces and mistreat our people, we want to know – and we want you to be empowered to protect your fellow community members too!
Find family on the dance floor. Like Ron Trent says, the Bunker is a refuge. If you need a refuge, then The Bunker is for you. Every person who comes to dance with us is a part of making it a refuge – it’s the place that it is because we are the people that we are. If anyone fails to treat you like family, please tell us. The Bunker welcomes everyone who loves electronic music, regardless of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, race, age, religion, ethnicity or national origin, or ability
At the Bunker, we seek to build community on a foundation of mutual trust and care. We use a wide variety of tools, including those expressed in our code of conduct, to prevent abuse, coercion, assault, and other types of harm that can occur in community spaces. As we do this work, we recognize that no amount of care and prevention work can completely remove the risk of members of our community having harmful or traumatic experiences in or around our space.
If someone hurts you at a Bunker event or in The Bunker community, we are here to help.
We are committed to your safety. If your safety has been harmed while under our care, we will take responsibility and do what we can to make it right.
We are committed to listening to you and believing what you tell us. We have a broad understanding of what constitutes a reportable incident and we trust you to know what you need. Our Ethics and Accountability Advisor will work with you to create an outcome that helps you feel safe and supported.
We are committed to working through the complexity of being in community with you. We recognize that a wide range of conflict and harm can happen in community, and that the intent of the person responsible and the impact on the person affected are not the same. In our response to incidents, we gather information about both, with our highest priority being the safety and healing of the person affected.
We are committed to prioritizing healing over punishment. We are working against the idea that “you’ve hurt someone” means the same thing as “you are a bad person.” We work against disposability by giving people who have caused harm opportunities to grow. While we have the power to exclude people from our spaces if they render them less physically, emotionally, or psychologically safe, we reject the idea that exclusion is the only way, or is always the right way, of responding to harm.
We are committed to the long haul. There is no time limit for you to use these avenues of communication. We encourage you to reach out to us through the method and at the time that best suits your safety and comfort needs, and we will prioritize your agency and confidentiality in everything we do.
Because these situations are each unique, complex, and multifaceted, we cannot guarantee any one-size-fits-all solution. We have the capacity to take various meaningful steps, including facilitating conversations and justice or healing processes, referring a person to ongoing education or other resources, and placing conditions on or restricting participation in future Bunker events. We know that every person who attends one of our events is placing enormous trust in us. We are grateful for that trust and we strive to be worthy of it.
We collect, store, and evaluate all reports that we receive through a professional neutral mediator and community ethics advocate, who is a New York State licensed attorney. We encourage you to reach out for support, or with any questions, to our advocate Andy Izenson, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-762-5385.
The Bunker New York is presented by Beyond Booking, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in New York City.
BEYOND BOOKING, INC. STAFF & BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Bryan Kasenic, Executive Director/Board Chair
Kate Lesta, Finance & Administration Manager/Board Treasurer
Michelle Erfer, Program Director, Artist Representation/Board Secretary
Beyond Booking's programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.