What is the Blue Light District?

It is a funny name for a website, and I have often considered changing it. However, there is a great deal of history behind the name. Sometime in the mid 1990’s I took a road trip to Detroit with good friends for a party. We had a very difficult time finding the venue and spent a lot of time driving around suburban Detroit. In the process we discovered a warehouse district where all of the buildings had a unique blue light. Not long after we stumbled upon the party, in one of these warehouses. On the long drive home we decided to start throwing our own events in Toronto, and the events would be called “The Blue Light District”.

Blue Light District events were organized by a close group of friends in the late 1990’s. We wanted to throw events which featured diverse musical styles supporting local artists. These events, held primarily in Toronto, were met with moderate success and brought together a wide array of people to listen to ‘strange’ music. 

Did we know exactly what we were doing? No, but we sure learned a lot as we went along. Each of us pooled our creativity and resources in order to design flyers, promote the event, decorate and set up the venue, and run the event. It was the modern version of the Lemon Aid stand, and I think we all developed some important skills that we could use later in life.

Blue Light District V.01

bld-front bld-back

Flyer Design: Parasight
DATE: March 20, 1999
WHERE: Tropical Nights Bar and Lounge – Mississauga
CONCEPT: A small intimate gathering of roughly 200 people. Entertainment consists mainly of music and underage drinking.
ARTISTS: Syntax, Kurtis Strange, Maze, Strika, Live Sax by Orson Adjei

Blue Light District V.02 – Focus

bld-01-front bld-01-back
Flyer Design: Parasight
DATE: July 7, 1999
WHERE: The Weave Bar and Lounge – Toronto
CONCEPT: The Blue Light District’s first appearance in Toronto is a success. Capacity reached in club. Sponsored in part by Speed Recordings and A/S Systems.
ARTISTS: Aris. Induced – Live, Adam Marshall, Maze

Blue Light District V.03 – Deep In the House

bld-kerr-front bld-kerr-back

Flyer Design: Pj
DATE: October 2, 1999
WHERE: The Weave Bar and Lounge – Toronto
CONCEPT: Two roomed event with dramatically different styles and atmosphere in each room. Thrown in conjunction with the Deaf-Con Crew Turntabilists. Performance bartending and fire wielding performance courtesy of Martin Zikmund. Donations collected to benefit the less fortunate.
ARTISTS: Kurtis Strange, Induced – Live, Tyler Kerr, Maze, Sumz, Deaf-Con Crew, Strika, The Stranger

Blue Light District V.04 -Elements

bld-abacus-front bld-abacus-back

Flyer Design: Pj
DATE: December 11, 1999
WHERE: The Weave Bar and Lounge – Toronto
CONCEPT: A two roomed event. Attendance was low, but those in attendance were well entertained.
ARTISTS: Kurtis Strange, Abacus, Maze, Pash, Aris

Tone Generation V.01

tone-g

Flyer Design: Aris
DATE: Every Friday (Dec 1999 – May 2000)
WHERE: The Space- Toronto
CONCEPT: After hours event in conjunction with Costine the Latvian Terrorist. Every Friday the Tone Generation would gather for a night of debauchery.
ARTISTS: Kurtis Strange, Syntax, Coded, Maze, Aris, Pash

Technology With Soul V.01 – Quality Through Collaboration

tone-as-front tone-as-back

Flyer Design: MediaWhore
DATE: February 5, 2000
WHERE: Element bar- Toronto
CONCEPT: An interactive experience complete with audio and visual installations in support of local artists. Proceeds to benefit T.R.I.P. and Casey House
ARTISTS: Audio: Kurt Lewis, Daniel Lui, Induced – Live Feat Martina Cahill, Greg Gow, Dave Cooper …Visual: Vora Design (Video) Dorian Fitzgerald, Shendra O’Conner, Maze, Katie Mathieu, Lisa Habib

Tone Generation V.02 – Tone 003

tone-003-front tone-003-back

Flyer Design: Blue Light District
DATE: Monthly Fridays (Feb 2000 – August 2000)
WHERE: The Weave Bar and Lounge – Toronto
CONCEPT: A monthly attack of experimental music..
ARTISTS: Kurtis Strange, Aris, Coded, Maze, Aris, Pash

Tone Generation V.03 – Tone 003

tone-gii

Flyer Design: Blue Light District
DATE: April 28, 2000
WHERE: The Weave Bar and Lounge – Toronto
CONCEPT: A monthly attack of experimental music to expand our horizons.
ARTISTS: Greg Gow, Vukan, Aris, Pash

Tone Generation V.04 – Tone 003

two-on-four-front two-on-four-back

Flyer Design: Blue Light District
DATE: May 26, 2000
WHERE: The Weave Bar and Lounge – Toronto
CONCEPT: Two disc jockeys at once, on four turntables. In conjunction with Polaris Recordings.
ARTISTS: Maze + Coded, Kurt Lewis + Syntax, Glitch + Vila Straylight

Technology With Soul V.01 – Quality Through Collaboration II

bld-as-ii-front bld-as-ii-back

Flyer Design: MediaWhore
DATE: June 6, 2000
WHERE: Kajmere – Toronto
CONCEPT: An interactive experience complete with audio and visual installations in support of local artists. In conjunction with A/S Systems, Format Recordings, Roundtable Distribution, Technologix
ARTISTS: Audio: Sine Language, Adam Winick, Vortex. Naw, Dave Cooper, Joel Richond, Induced -Live, Maze, Kurt Lewis, Aris, Pash …Video:Vora …Visual: Ocular Nutrition – Pope, James hewitt, Andries Boekelman, Jeffrey Nesker

Tone Generation V.05 – Tone 003

algo-tone-front algo-tone-back

Flyer Design: Parasight
DATE: June 30, 2000
WHERE: The Weave Bar and Lounge – Toronto
CONCEPT: Experimental music, combined with intense decor. Two rooms of vastly different styles. Flair bartending performance with free drink giveaways.
ARTISTS: Algorithm,. Zuzanna Grimm, Aris, Pash, Maze, Kurt Lewis, Paul E.

Tone Generation V.05 – Tone 004

tone-04-front tone-04-back

Flyer Design: Blue Light District
DATE: August 26, 2000
WHERE: Runyx – Toronto
CONCEPT: A small intimate gathering of friends and family. The final Tone Generation event.
ARTISTS: Adam Marshall, Kurt Lewis, Aris, Pash