The Washington Post

Echostage EDM club to open in D.C.

Stock up on glow sticks. Echostage is coming.

Panorama Productions — a Washington-based music promotion company whose weekly Club Glow parties have helped popularize electronic dance music in the District — has leased the hulking nightclub on Queens Chapel Road NE known as D.C. Star. With a new sound system and a new name, Echostage will open Sept. 22 with performances from Sander Van Doorn and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano.

“The idea is to create the biggest concert venue in the tri-state area,” Panorama co-owner Antonis Karagounis said. “Something that will be used for amazing electronic music shows, but will be able to accommodate hip-hop, R&B and rock, as well.”

When the doors first open, look for cosmetic tweaks, better sound, a new stage and a large LED screen casting its lumens on an expanded dance floor. But the big facelift comes in January, when the owners plan to close Echostage for a few months to build a mezzanine area, an outdoor patio and other amenities. In the end, they hope Echostage will be able to host 5,000 fans.

The opening of Echostage also feels like brick-and-mortar evidence of the recent fascination with electronic dance music, or EDM. Over the past two years, the music has boomed in popularity — so much so that earlier this summer, concert promotion colossus Live Nation Entertainment acquired Hard Events, a California-based company that promotes EDM performances and festivals across the country.

Locally, Panorama has helped EDM’s growth, hosting regular Glow events at Fur Nightclub, Lima Lounge and Josephine, and bringing big-name DJs, including Tiesto and Avicii, to the D.C. Armory.

“Dance music is so freaking huge right now, just holding a weekly party isn’t sustainable,” said Panorama’s marketing and media director, Ravi Bayanker. “We want to have a mega-lineup every week.”

That means EDM fans can expect big bills at Echostage almost every weekend in a developing neighborhood where other plus-size clubs, including Stadium and the Scene, are already thriving.

“We saw this room, and we fell in love with it,” Panorama co-owner Pete Kalamoutsos said. “And you can’t do anything of this size in Northwest.”

Chris Richards is The Washington Post's pop music critic. He has recently written about the best recordings and lyrics of 2015.
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