Monthly freak out dance party comes to an end after four successful years

When I describe Let Go! at the Lockerbie to someone who has never been, it goes something like this:

It’s this teeny tiny little bar downtown on the corner of College and Michigan. It gets super packed and it’s practically impossible to move on the makeshift dance floor. It’s always sweltering hot, so if you go be sure to wear something that doesn’t have sleeves and leave your legs exposed, too. Also, don’t wear open toe shoes, because your feet will inevitably be stabbed with a stiletto heel, get drenched in PBR, or both. Don’t carry a purse; it will take up precious space that could be occupied by one more body on the intimately crowded dance floor. Be sure to hit the restroom before you get there or else risk wasting at least three songs worth of dancing time waiting in line. And don’t show up before 11:30 or 12 because it’s not really popping until then. Oh yea- did I mention it’s on a Tuesday?!

Such is the Let Go! experience. With a description like that, it’s hard to understand why it’s been so successful. Andy Skinner (one half of A Squared Industries, the husband-and-wife DJ duo that founded the event four years ago) says they started throwing the crazy dance parties on the first Tuesday of each month simply because it wasn’t being done.

“Originally there was a sense that we (and the crowd) were doing ‘something wrong’ by being there, as if we had a party going with the parents out of town, since The Lockerbie Pub didn’t host dance nights at all,” says Skinner. “There has always been this air of mystique with hosting an event in a bar that has no other events, no proper stage or sound, or normal big nightlife scene – and we think it actually adds to the success of Let Go.”

photo by gregthemayor

And to say Let Go! at the Lockerbie has been successful would be an understatement. The inaugural event took place in December 2008 as an after party for The Duke Spirit who had performed earlier in the evening at Radio Radio.

“We really wanted to do something special for them, since it was their first time in Indy, and we wanted to show off our town,” Skinner says. “We brought in our gear, DJ Scotty Matelic spun records and it was an immediate success.”

A few days later, The Skinners met with Scotty Matelic and agreed to make it a monthly event. That was the Let Go formula for two years, until Matelic moved to New York and his spot was aptly picked up by Action Jackson. Since then, Let Go’s residents have been supplemented with an eclectic list of guest DJs including Zebo, Phenom, Lemi Vice, Knife Fight, Top Speed, Cool Hand Lex, Indiana Jones, Gabby Love, John Larner, Lockstar, Slater Hogan, Oh Be One, Limelight, Jackola, Deanne, Crookshanks, “Dodge” Lile and many more.

With so many well-known local names on the monthly bill and an ever-growing, diverse group of devoted fans, the event has garnered a reputation as one of the best weeknight dance events in the city. On any given first Tuesday of the month, it’s not uncommon to see local figures from the indie rock, hip hop, and electronic dance music scenes converging at The Lockerbie for drinks, jams, and a goddamn good time with all of their friends. So why now, of all times, has A Squared decided to close the books on Let Go?

Skinner explains, “The simple reason is to move on, to find something new and challenging, but it is a bit deeper than that. Attendance and bar sales are as big as they have ever been, so it would seem counter-intuitive to end a good thing, but we decided this is the perfect opportunity to move on. Why not go out on top? We love being a part of Let Go so much that we won’t let it become stale or become something we never intended it to be. Why not end the night before it possibly suffers from its own success? Most importantly, we decided years ago we would never let what we do become “work.” So, after four years, we feel we have accomplished everything we set out to do with Let Go, and it is time to turn our attention and efforts elsewhere to other projects.”

Those projects currently include a monthly event with Action Jackson called “Real Talk” at The White Rabbit Cabaret, which has already been running for a solid nine months. Action Jackson will also unveil a new first Tuesday event in January at The Melody Inn called “Werk”; Andy and Annie Skinner will be frequent guests, though not permanent residents. These events and others will be getting the refocused attention of A Square Industries, who will undoubtedly continue to evolve for years to come.

Skinner adds, “It shouldn’t go without saying we will terribly miss hosting Let Go!”

And it should also go without saying that we- the fans- will terribly miss attending it.