From Dive Bar to Dance Hub: My VJ Journey at Belvedere’s
The very first time I showcased my VJ skills in public was at a place close to my heart – Belvedere’s in Pittsburgh, PA. Over time, our bond deepened, paving the way for an array of innovative projects; from the intricacies of projection mapping to the mesmerizing allure of infinity mirrors. Truly, Belvedere’s has been more than just a bar; it’s been a canvas of creativity for VJs like me, a haven of visual artistry and experimentation.
In its fledgling days, “Belvies” bore the rustic charm of a quintessential smoke-filled dive bar, celebrated for its pocket-friendly drinks and the legendary 80s night that drew patrons like moths to a flame. But as the saying goes, change is the only constant. A major kitchen fire resulted in the doors of Belvedere’s closing for more than a year. This hiatus, albeit unintended, heralded a paradigm shift. Gone were the days of the iconic 80s night, making way for a fresh wave of dance music, DJs, and a more eclectic mix of patrons.
The metamorphosis wasn’t just internal. The very aura of the neighborhood transformed. Property values soared, entrepreneurial ventures sprouted, and before we knew it, Belvedere’s was crowned the #1 dance club in Pittsburgh. Weekends saw queues snaking around blocks, testament to its exponential growth and newfound popularity.
Yet, amidst this whirlwind of change, some things remained steadfast. The heart and soul of Belvedere’s – its staff and the indomitable DIY spirit – persisted. A testament to this spirit? Our projection mapped staging designs, largely crafted from repurposed materials and signs, resonating the ethos of sustainability and innovation.