Queer LA Rave HEAV3N Makes Its NYC Debut

Queer LA Rave HEAV3N Makes Its NYC Debut

Los Angeles’ party HEAV3N has become a staple for queer nightlife along the West Coast, helping foster the careers of SOPHIE, Kim Petras, Dorian Electra and more. Over the weekend, founder Lulo brought their party across the country for its official New York debut at Three Dollar Bill in Brooklyn. True to HEAV3N’s DNA, the lineup featured a mix of beloved icons like Amanda Lepore alongside the next generation of party kids, from DJ Fashion to Umru.

“I’m so grateful to everyone that was involved,” Lulo said after the event. “There were so many NYC legends I look up to and I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out.” Considering they hadn’t previously done a HEAV3N outside of LA, Lulo admits they were nervous, “But once I saw angels arriving in all of their looks I was instantly relieved. There was definitely a New York feel to it that I loved, but there was still that HEAV3N energy that we have in LA — a perfect mix.”

Among the night’s highlights was pop breakout Miss Madeline, who performed fan favorites like “Platinum,” while teasing some brand new material. Backed by two dancers in matching neon green bikinis, she dropped a rework of “Pretty Rave Girl” and her next dance single, “Lovesick,” dropping later this month. “Me and my dancers tore,” Miss Madeline said. “The energy was so amazing, especially when I played ‘Lovesick.’ This debut NYC HEAV3N show will go down in history.”

Sateen also made a rare appearance, previewing their next era of music as both an independent band and married couple. “We took our dance hats off and we are rocker chicks now,” they said. “Everyone thought we were covering Cocteau Twins and we were like, ‘No babes... that’s our music.” Having “admired HEAV3N from afar for years,” Sateen ultimately “had an absolute ball performing” and thought the crowd’s “energy was beautiful.” They ended their set topless — a sign of any successful evening.

THELIMITDOESNOTEXIST, the DJ whose hyperpop night sksksks has become a Brooklyn staple, said HEAV3N was one of the few times he remembers DJing and feeling “really understood by the crowd.” He said, “It feels kinda rare in New York outside of sksksks, everyone getting the vibe, which I was really grateful for.” His favorite memory was playing a club mix of Danny L Harle’s Carly Rae Jepsen collab, “Super Natural,” and “seeing literally every single person on the dance floor jumping up and down.”

For Lulo, Lepore singing her cult hits and delivering her classic strip tease, complete with pulling a lipstick tube from inside her lady parts, was the biggest HEAV3N highlight. “I originally asked her five years ago about being a part of our first NYC HEAV3N, but clearly it took me a while [to get here],” Lulo said, fresh off a 2022 WOWIE nomination. “To finally see it happen and come together was a dream. I can’t wait to do more here very, very soon.”

Photography: Geo Mantilla