Barstool Blackout takes on Burlington


A UVM-heavy crowd donned white and neon attire and danced under black lights, bubbles and balloons on Jan. 20 at the second sold-out night of the Barstool Blackout Tour’s stop at Higher Ground.

The tour, put on by the popular sports website Barstool Sports, is called the “world’s biggest blacklight party” according to banners for the event.

“It’s no big deal, really,” an early webpage for the tour said. “Just touring around the country going to some of the biggest party campuses in the world to throw down barstool-style with a DJ and, like, a truckload of lights and lasers and shit. Basically throwing massive parties leaving nothing but a path of destruction across the U.S.”    

Partygoers showed up on Friday decked out in glowing hipster garb, but many of the guys chose to wear simple white T-shirts and let the backlight do the rest.

As teens and young adults flooded into the Higher Ground ballroom, people passed out glow sticks to the crowd, which were worn as necklaces, headbands and belts.

The event began with local DJs Cake Effect, DJ Jackels and DJ Ordan, and eventually featured Chicago-based DJ Dante the Don, who performs at all of the Barstool Blackout shows.

The back balcony area provided a chance to get a drink, watch the lights and crowd from afar and carry on some semblance of a conversation with other attendees. 

The real party, however, was on the dance floor.

People danced for four hours straight to electronic dance music mixes as colored lights flashed from the stage.

For some songs, DJ Dante mixed cuts from popular tracks, such as LMFAO tracks “Shots” and “Sexy and I Know It,” and Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness,” with electronic beats.

On others, he sampled more classic tracks such as Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

The show concluded with a symphony of fog, confetti, bright lights and the second balloon-drop onto the crowd dancing to Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling.”

“The DJs and light show were awesome throughout the entire show and they did a great job bringing the show to a close with a massive release of balloons, bubbles and smoke,” senior Gianna Vannelli said. “The entire crowd was yelling with enthusiasm as everyone reached up their hands to pop bubbles and toss balloons.”

With a final plea from Higher Ground workers to “get home safely,” the crowd flooded out of the steamy venue into the chilly Vermont air. 

In the area outside the doors, attendees discussed the show and engaged in vicious contests to catch cabs home or continue on with their nights elsewhere.