On Saturday night, the local beat junkies from Raund Haus hosted their 6th anniversary party at Rubies On Five Points, “Durham’s new home for live music and revelry.”
As soon as I walked through the doorway, the ruby red glow and trembling bass beckoned from upstairs like a siren song. Attendance was hard to gauge leading up to the event. Isolation and fear had gotten the better of us lately. Even if only 10 people were in the crowd, though, that would’ve been enough. As I stepped onto the second floor, the sea of familiar faces — from DJs I’d worked with and other business owners I knew, to high school buddies and old roommates — was overwhelming. Folks from every corner of the scene were present to participate in our collective attempt at a new normal. I made the rounds.
Eventually, I found myself in conversation with Nick Sanborn and Defacto Thezpian, two people I rarely saw during the pandemic. We shared life updates, as friends do after a long hiatus, before divulging what projects we had on the horizon. As we were talking, more friendlies like Brian and DJ Shahzad cycled through the bar, exchanging daps, hugs and ”I ain’t seen you in a minute!”-s. It felt like being at a family reunion.
Events like this are where connections are made, partnerships are forged, and projects are seeded. Ideas flow freely, inspiring you to work harder just to keep up with the current. It’s healthy competition, like two teammates going at it in practice to incite the rest of the team to follow suit. Camaraderie has always been a bedrock of the Durham creative class. The pandemic hindered that collegiality. That night, it was on full display. I was reminded that no matter how the texture of a city changes, the people who inhabit it ultimately decide its fate.
And there was reveling. No doubt about it.