A regular attendee of Hanging Garden events brushes their hair to the side while dancing, exhibiting a classic Goth style. Photo by Leah Frink

Hanging Garden hosts monthly Goth/New-wave dance party

By Shane Frink

People are unusually friendly at Hanging Garden. Many of the black-clad patrons exhibited vibes of camaraderie and acceptance.

“The music is different than what I usually listen to, but I enjoyed it,” said Laney student Jessica Prado. “I had random people say hi and start talking to me. It felt like a really welcoming environment.”

Hanging Garden is a Goth/New-wave/Synth-Pop dance club event that happens on the first Saturday of every month at The Uptown nightclub in Oakland’s downtown.

At these dance parties, club-goers embrace a tradition of Goth music and fashion that dates back to the early ’80s in England.

At this time, Bauhaus’ first single stayed on the UK radio charts for two years after its release in Aug. 1979. Fans copied their vampire-like style, influenced by German expressionist films of the 1920’s and silent films from the same time.

Jareth Nebula’s favorite thing about the dance night was “not feeling out of place.”

Oakland’s Goth scene consistently packs The Uptown for Hanging Garden night, much to the pleasure of the event’s creator, Davey Bones.

“The success has largely been because it started at the right place, at the right time,” he said. He believes fans of this kind of music were ready and waiting for Hanging Garden.

Bones had wanted to start a classic Goth and New-wave dance party for Oakland for a while. He named it Hanging Garden after a The Cure song from 1982.

“It’s from the era of that band that’s considered both Goth and New-wave,” he said. Bones doesn’t want to be adhere to one genre. He said he tries “to play a wide variety of classic music that appeals to more than just a single subculture.”

For Jareth Nebula, Bones’ efforts make the place a very positive atmosphere. Nebula said his favorite thing about the dance night was “not feeling out of place.”

The event was first hosted at the Night Light bar on Broadway, but moved to The Uptown last January. Come January 2018, Hanging Garden will celebrate four years of dancing with Oakland’s weird and wonderful.

Shane Frink is a Tower staff writer. Email him at theboyexplodes(at)yahoo.com.