Pool party season is around the corner, and we keep getting the same question over and over: “What’s going on with the Capitol Skyline?” The Southwest hotel’s enormous pool and deck has become a favorite hangout for D.C.’s hipster crowd over the last two summers, thanks to wildly popular pool parties run by local party enthusiasts Brightest Young Things.
This year, though, things will be different. The team behind Eighteenth Street Lounge Music and Marvin is taking control of the programming, explains Marvin general manager Sheldon Scott, which will mean less of a focus on zany poolside activities -- no more nacho-eating contests or jump rope competitions -- and a greater focus on music, drinks and lounging. And yes, of course, a performance by Thievery Corporation later in the summer. “We’re going to be presenting some of the things that we already do, but taking it to a new environment and putting it poolside,” Scott says.
Starting Memorial Day, the parties -- called “Dubsplash” -- will take over the pool every Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. DJs will include many regulars from Marvin and Eighteenth Street Lounge, including Jahsonic, Adrian Loving and Thomas Blondet, with guest appearances by ESL Music artists, including Ursula 1000, and Scott says that there will be regular afternoon performances by local bands, such as the Arkives, a reggae band that packs Patty Boom Boom, and disco-soul singer Frank Mitchell Jr.
Later in the summer, Dubsplash will host larger bands -- including Thievery Corporation -- in the hotel parking lot adjacent to the pool, but details about those events are still being worked out.
The opening weekend will be DJ-focused. Saturday the 28th finds D.C. funk fixtures Thunderball joining Marvin’s DJ Keenan. Sunday’s pool party features Volta Bureau -- a new DJ team featuring Will Eastman, Micah Vellian and Outputmessage -- with electro-spinner Chris Nitti opening.
Scott is working on the logistics of the poolside drink menu, which will include rum punches, margaritas and spiked lemonade as well as canned beers. In the indoor bar, which is located steps from the pool, Scott says they’re “bumping up the level of service,” and while he jokes that it won’t quite be the Gibson. “we’ll have really nice cocktails for people who don’t want to just sit outside in the sun all day.” Food trucks will provide meals.
Though gates will open before noon the organizers don’t want the pool to be the only reason people come out, and they’re hoping to capture a kind of “Miami South Beach” vibe. “We’ll be keeping the programming going later into the evening,” Scott says. “The people who want to come early and enjoy the pool and the sun can do that, but we’ll go later for people who are interested in coming in, listening to the DJ and having a drink.”
Before the jokes begin, there will be no dress code and no reservations required. Admission will be $15 for the full day -- the same price that Brightest Young Things charged for entry last year.