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The best Labor Day parties in NYC

Make the most of your long weekend by checking out a great Labor Day party, including daytime BBQs and plenty of DJs

Soul 2 Seoul
Photograph: Team Chuubie Soul 2 Seoul
By Vivienne van Vliet, Time Out contributors and David Goldberg |
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No work and all play makes for a very fun Labor Day. Party hard this three-day weekend with our roundup of the best things going down. Check out one of our favorite clubs in NYC for a BBQ with a stacked lineup of excellent DJs, or travel back in time by dancing to all your favorite '80s songs. With so many things to do on Labor Day, we recommend you start planning now.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Labor Day in NYC

Best Labor Day parties

Shanti Celeste
Photograph: Courtesy the artist
Clubs

Level BBQ 2016

The third annual Level BBQ takes over our favorite DIY Ridgewood venue. Enjoy summertime vibes with music from some of New York's finest—Patricia, Beta Librae, Olive T, Andrew Devlon and many more—in addition to a very special treat in the form of Bristol-based producer and DJ, Shanti Celeste. The BRSTL label co-owner is one of the forward-thinking music capital's most prominent figures, with a monthly show on NTS Radio as well as releases on top labels Idle Hands, Secretsundaze (run by Giles Smith and James Priestley) and Julio Bashmore's Broadwalk.

Andy Stott
Photograph: Courtesy the artist
Music

Andy Stott + Demdike Stare + Vatican Shadow + Becka Diamond

New avant, genre-crossing production company Quo Vadis makes its debut with a no-nonsense lineup of mind-blowing, celestial live electronic music. Manchester, U.K.-based dub and techno producer Andy Stott comes fresh off the release of his fourth album, Too Many Voices, on Modern Love. He's joined by Modern Love label associates Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker, better know as the duo behind Demdike Stare. The music of both Stott and Demdike Stare traverses sickly netherworlds of techno and dark ambient in post-apocalypse—but though often dark and brooding, their ominous soundscapes are always beautifully produced and hauntingly powerful. Noise-brooding wizard Vatican Shadow (a.k.a. Prurient) joins, with DJ support from Becka Diamond.

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Soul 2 Seoul
Photograph: Chuubie Photo BAM!
Clubs

Plastic Dreams

Plastic Dreams hosts Brooklyn's favorite "half-Korean, half-African, half-American" duo Soul 2 Seoul, a.k.a. Basement Floor's Turtle Bugg (Tajh Morris) and [Ctrl] (Phillip Chung). DJ Wey (Lover's Rock, BANK Records NYC) and Vito Roccoforte (The Rapture, Throne of Blood) join on the decks, with Plastic Dreams resident Antipattern performing an analog live set.

LGBT

Horse Meat Disco

icon-location-pin Knockdown Center, Outer Queens
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The disco daddies of HMD come to us all the way from London for a bit of long-weekend revelry. Join hundreds of handsome men from all five boroughs and get ready to sweat. Joining the bill for this September shindig is Brooklyn DJ Ron Like Hell.

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Photograph: Courtesy David Cova
Things to do

YES Labor Day BBQ Extravaganza

Throw together your most patriotic getup and bring your holiday to a thrilling end with 12 hours of all-American raging in House of Yes’s yard, where hot dogs and patties (with veggie options!) are doled out all day, barely clad partyers dance to house beats and the alcohol keeps coming.

Photograph: Courtesy Kenny Rodriguez Photography
Music

The Freedom Party: ’80s vs. ’90s

If you haven’t experienced this NYC dance-party institution, now’s your chance to jump, grind and shout to hip-hop, pop and rock jams from DJs Cosi, Herbert Holler and Marc Smooth. This week’s ’80s vs. ’90s theme promises to deliver all the Prince, Lauryn Hill, Duran Duran and Madonna you could hope for.

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Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin
Photograph: Natalie Keyssar
Nightlife

Mister Sunday

Justin Carter, an avant-garde DJ-composer, and Eamon Harkin, with a flare for Detroit techno, know how to get a party started. This year, the weekly Mister Sunday summer series moves from its previous Industry City location to the outdoor bar-meets-restaurant venue, Nowadays, located on the edge of Bushwick. There’ll be plenty to eat from with Country Boys Taqueria and Nowadays’ vegan and veggie-friendly kitchen, some fresh, locally brewed beer and sangria, sodas from Brooklyn Soda Works and no restrictions on dogs or kids!

Photograph: Courtesy SlingShotMenace
Nightlife, Daytime parties

Pizza Zoo

Load up on carbs and chill out at NYC’s biggest adult pizza party, where you can get down to dope jams, try your hand at chalkboard art and dig into endless slices from Williamsburg Pizza. No need to feel guilty: You’ll be dancing off the pizza all weekend long.

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Nightlife, Daytime parties

Freesome Block Party

In celebration of the New York Caribbean Carnival on Mon 5, the party collective Fun With Friends shuts down a Brooklyn warehouse for a wild block-party throwdown and encourages guests to bring the flag of their nationality. Get into the vibe with soca, reggae and hip-hop beats from DJ Ernz, free burgers grilling on Pulled Together’s food truck, dancing and plenty of new friends.

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