Eight DJs turn Glen Echo into a dance party on the Sunday before Labor Day, featuring an appearance from Jeff Goldblum (sort of)

Christopher Staton and Corey Trimmer have known each other for about 15 years and have been DJs just as long, with gigs at raves, warehouse parties, house parties and the like. But last year they branched out to a venue that’s literally underground: Bird Tunnel.

Among Glen Echo Park’s picturesque ravine is a tunnel decorated with paintings of a bluebird, robin, cardinal and other winged creatures. Staton, whose DJ moniker is RareLife, and Trimmer, who goes by foi oi oi, zeroed in on the setting last Labor Day weekend for a new neighborhood dance event: Bird Tunnel Party.

“If you go to Bird Tunnel, it's not just going to be a bunch of the same 150 dance music fans. You're going to get grandmas, people from the block watch, other local entrepreneurs. People who live in the area are gonna come down and hang out and have a good time,” Staton said. “We already have people who go to every dance music event in Columbus, but we're getting people in the neighborhoods that we live in involved.”

For the second time, Staton and Trimmer, along with organizer Jenn Taurins, will host a dance party in the tunnel underneath Indianola Avenue. This year’s event takes place on Sunday, Sept. 1, from 12:30-8:30 p.m. Eight DJs will each get an hour-long set.

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“We have a mission to bring in other DJs from other production companies that we see eye to eye with. This year we have some salsa DJs, DJ Aloha. We're grabbing people from Midwest Fresh. I'm grabbing people from Restart House Music, maybe some lesser known people who are just starting,” Staton said. “You're in a tunnel, so it's going to echo, and it sounds cool, [but] there's some music that might not translate very well, like really crazy, heavy bass music. So we book accordingly. We don't have people who play nothing but dubstep.”

Bird Tunnel is a free, kid-friendly event, and the organizers will be taking donations for Bridgeway Academy, a nonprofit that serves children with autism and developmental disabilities. "Bird Tunnel is always going to be a fundraiser for a nonprofit,” said Staton, a social worker by day. “It's never about money. We make zero money with Bird Tunnel.”

Staton said he and Trimmer have hopes to one day turn Bird Tunnel into a community festival, but for now, they’ll keep throwing a dance party every year on the Sunday before Labor Day. Oh, and this year’s event features a special guest: Jeff Goldblum.

“Of course he's not coming,” Staton said, “but we put up a picture of his face on the tunnel, and we tell people to go talk to him and ask about how birds are dinosaurs.”