As a rock music venue, Newport Music Hall is legendary. Scott Niemet thinks it could be just as meaningful as a dance club.
That’s why Niemet, the founder of cross-cultural dance party Sweatin’, agreed when PromoWest Productions, which manages the Newport, asked him to help them book dance nights there.
“I think Newport is seeing that there is that potential to kind of reformat that space to be like a bigger club environment, to bring in more lights and hopefully more sound,” Niemet said. “I think it can work. That’s a huge club.”
Niemet was stoked about the chance to attract major national dance acts with PromoWest’s money and reputation, but first they asked him to book something with local talent. Although this city’s bustling electronic dance music scene is gaining national recognition, Niemet was “stumped.”
He had already helped organize two Newport shows by local DJ/VJ superstars roeVy, both of which packed the club. But most local DJs don’t draw a crowd like roeVy, so Niemet had to get creative. The result is What Next Ohio, a six-hour showcase Saturday featuring a wide range of Columbus electronic artists on the rise.
“Why don’t I try to showcase who I think some of the best locals that are coming out, ones that are producing music, getting national recognition, getting signed to national labels?” Niemet said. “Let’s just put them all on one big show.”
Niemet believes Saturday’s show offers something for everyone, from hot-blooded Moombahton marauders Cassius Slay to Funerals’ icy black-leather burble.
“The night’s just going to build,” Niemet said. “It’s like this interesting pass through different perceptions of dance music, where it just goes from kind of chill ‘stand there and watch the bands’ to, like, full-fledged Moombahton and dubstep at the end of the night, like full-on dance party.”