Holocene (Portland, Oregon)

Music venue and nightclub in Portland, Oregon

Holocene is a music venue and nightclub in the Buckman neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, in the United States. The venue, which opened in June 2003, is a former auto-parts warehouse with an industrial, modern interior. Holocene hosts a variety of events, and was named the city's "Best Place to Dance" by Willamette Week readers in 2017.

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Description and history

Holocene was established in June 2003 in a former auto-parts warehouse, located at the intersection of Southeast 10th and Morrison, in Portland's Buckman neighborhood. The venue is "dedicated to the avant-garde of the Portland art and music scene, with an über-modern interior". Jon Shadel of The Washington Post described Holocene as a "music and art club with an avant-garde bent... inspired by the minimal techno scene in Berlin". He wrote, "the bi-level venue in the Central Eastside hosts an eclectic range of independent DJs and genre-blurring musicians, although most lineups tend to focus on up-and-coming sounds in electronic, R&B and hip-hop."

The 5,000-square-foot venue has a "stark industrial feel" with two large rooms, a bar, high ceilings and a sunken dance floor, which has been described as a "living room in the midst of a gritty industrial loft". According to Willamette Week's Sophie June, Holocene offers "boozy slushies" and "indie-rock shows that often tend toward the psychedelic or the threateningly abrasive". The bar has cocktails called Claire's Knee and Kiss Kiss Bangkok.

In 2020, Holocene curated Going In, a twenty-track compilation featuring local electronic musicians. The collection raised funds for contributing artists and the venue during the coronavirus pandemic.

Events

The venue hosts a variety of events, ranging from concerts to weddings. According to Willamette Week's Sophie June, Holocene "began as one of the only spots to bring national-caliber electronic acts to Portland following the fast demise of the B Complex". In her guides to Portland, Rachel Dresbeck said the venue hosts many "musical experiences—secret shows by famous artists, up-and-coming bands that will be famous shortly, veteran and nouveau DJs, house music, shoegaze, modern soul, and other musical attractions keeping hipsters crowding the place".

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