In the late 60s and early 70s discotheques emerged as safe haven for marginalized groups such as blacks, latinos and lgbtq+ folks to connect and express themselves without fear of persecution. These spaces began as private members-only clubs, but over time this counterculture made it’s way out of the underground, influencing the mainstream sound of the 70s and paving the way for the development of house, techno and other forms of modern dance music in the 80s, 90s and 2000s. The foundation of DJ culture that we know today came out of a struggle for space and acceptance. While dance music has surely evolved, it's important to remember where it came from.
We aim to honour this colourful history by creating a space that celebrates queer identity, encourages vibrant self-expression, showcases a diverse array of artists and provides low barrier opportunities for the public to enjoy music and dancing side by side. While the format of our events is different from the discotheques of yesterday, its core elements of love, happiness, expression and acceptance shine bright in everything we do.
Public Disco came to life thanks to an initial investment from the City of Vancouver's VIVA Refresh program. We now work with entities such as the Downtown Vancouver Business Association, Vancouver Pride Society and Vancouver Mural Festival to activate in a range of unconventional urban spaces from plazas and laneways to converted industrial buildings. Our goal is to continue finding innovative ways to present local focused arts and culture in the public realm. No fun city no more. We’re here to put Vancouver’s dynamic music and arts scene in the spotlight.