DJ Fanci: For when a casual night in just won’t do

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DJ Fanci is fierce, energetic, charming, and talented. I’ll let her do the talking.

How long have you been DJing?

I’ve been DJing for five years now. It definitely was supposed to be something I started for fun – my first job out of school was in radio, so I had already formed an interest starting in college – but when I could finally afford to buy my first set of equipment, I started playing around and realized it could be a career. I’m all self-taught. I looked at a lot of videos on YouTube, but never formally took a class.

When did you realize you were good enough to go pro?

A few months in. I was doing mixes and having my friends listen to them, and they were saying, “Hey this is really good,” and it turned into a few gigs. I already knew my music, and I realized I could really rock a party.

How did you move from amateur to pro status?

I just linked up with another DJ who heard one of my mixes; he was one of my cowers, so we were both beginner DJs, and we wanted to get into lounges. I started doing hookah spots and lounges where [the DJ] is more of the background music. Then somebody had a birthday party there, and that brought the biggest crowd I had ever played for. They were dancing the whole night, and I thought, Oh my God, I am doing this! This is me right now! So I started to do clubs after that.

Do you have any tips for someone looking to break into the club scene?

Link up with somebody! I feel like a lot of people are always so scared of people taking something from them or stealing their stuff… Link up with someone to become a dynamic duo or with someone who is where you want to be. I knew this was something I wanted to do, but having somebody to link up with in general made the pressure less intense. That’s a lot to have on your shoulders [when you’re just starting out].

And just do it! [Practice DJing.] That’s so basic, but truly, if it wasn’t for my homeboy, who was like, “Hey, do this gig with me,” I wouldn’t have gotten out of my bedroom. I was too scared to mix live in front of people. I would make a prerecorded mix and send it to people, but you have to put yourself out there. You have to fall.

Do you have times where you fall?

Sure! Recently this happened to me during the holidays. I don’t know what I was playing, but the guests were looking at me like, “Girl don’t ever play that again.” I have go-to songs and go-to playlists. I used to have a joke: “When in doubt, play Beyoncé.” There are certain hits that no matter how many times they’ve heard it, the crowd loves it. Those help me reset and go into another mix.

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What is your preparation like before gigs?

I don’t create a playlist. I do have a collection of “new shit,” anything that’s really hot that just came out. I strategically play that stuff because some people know it, some people don’t. I do prepare a lot with new music, practice how I would transition. For the most part I’ve been doing it so long I feel very prepared when I go in there. I know I have the music so I can go in any direction I want to go. If it’s less club and lounge then I will prepare a bit more; especially with an all-ages event, I want the flow to be right. Sometimes I do think we get into a flow that we are used to at clubs, but it’s a different type of flow for a corporate event.

What’s it like when you’re a guest at a club?

I just like the party. I started DJing because I love to party, so as long as [the DJ] is paying attention [to the crowd,] I’m good Sometimes I feel like DJs DJ for themselves, but it’s for us! Not you. As long as they can keep me dancing.

I do love when DJs randomly throw it back. Some of the time DJs get into default mode, so we [in the audience] think, Now they’re probably going to play this song. Well, when they can throw you a curve ball, throw some old Nelly in there, then I’m like “Heeeey!” That’s when I start paying attention. When they start playing something cool, then I want to know who the DJ is.

What might surprise people to learn about a DJ?

There’s a lot of music out there – people don’t realize how much – and it takes a long time to really get your library up. I know a lot of DJs are just like, “Oh, you need a few popular songs, and you’ll be good to go,” but some of the stuff people ask you for, the reactions you get to those good hits, that stuff takes a lot of time. It’s a constant thing. You’re constantly looking for music.

Where do you find your music?

I’m on MP3 websites. I’m registered to a couple of sites where DJs share music. A lot of times I like going out and listening to other DJs because then I say, “Hey, what’s that? Is that a mashup or your original?” Of course, Soundcloud. Exchanging music with other people. I just recently had a gig where I had to play a lot of house – non-vocal house – so I reached out to Neekola and said, “I know house is your thing, shoot me some artists you’re looking into.” I like to link up with those people who have a niche to find some cool stuff.

Top three songs you’re loving right now

Work” by Rihanna; I love that song right now! “Alingo” by P-Square; he’s an African artist, oh my God, he’s amazing. Also “$ave Dat Money” by Lil’ Dicky.

What genre do you specialize in?

“I love remixes. I’m hip hop at heart. But I love pop-type dance music. I spend a lot of time researching hip hop remixes that have a dance movement. Something that gets a lot of attention. Even among other DJs, they’ll say, “Where do you get these remixes, these are crazy!” I spend a lot of time looking for those crossover trackers.

What type of events do you do?

All types. Lounge, club, retail. I’ve been booked for fashion shows, and I do regular in-store DJing. Exclusive retail events with giveaways; I do that kind of stuff.

What should people know about you?

I am a girl power enthusiast. I am all about women doing great things. I love when I meet girls and they say, “Oh I wanna be a DJ…I could never do that!”— Yes you can! You can do that! I love doing awesome women things.

 

Go book this fine DJ immediately! No doubt you’ll be in good hands tunes.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Website

 

Prequel aka “Pretty Cool”…see what I did there?

Last week Prequel DC had their launch party c/o RJ Whyte Event Production, and let me be (definitely not the first and absolutely not the last) one to say Holy Guacamole, Batman! That place looked awesome-sauce.

Three floors, each with a different theme and decor, scattered with 11, yes 11, talented entertainers from our site.

I’ll let the photos do the talking (a picture says a thousand words, after all), but before we even get to the magnificent visuals, let’s chat about the man who took them: Alexander Morozov. He also took our launch party photos, and he always captures the magic of the event! He manages to get the best expressions, candid conversations, and elegant setups.

Check out Alexander’s full album here.

A big thanks to all the entertainers who helped make the Prequel Launch shine!

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Anna Pineapple – Human Statue | Second Floor

Jessie Campbell – Makeup Artist (she brought a lipstick bar!) | First Floor

DJ Wizdom | Second Floor

Rajan – Live Artist (he painted the huge canvas in under two hours!) | Second Floor

DJ Alkimist | Fourth Floor

DJ Civil | Second Floor, Roaming

DJ Sean J | First Floor

DJ Foster | Second & Fourth Floor, Roaming

Alexander Morozov – Photographer | Roaming

DJ Neekola | First Floor

Max Major – Mentalist | Roaming

Show these peeps some love, and book them for your next event! They can all be found on Pelonkey.com along with a slew of other serious talented groups and individuals.

We’re proud Mama Bears over here, always wanting to show off our Pelonkey users…can you blame us?

WeDC 2016 SXSW Kickoff

WeDC has this great way of making everyone at their events feel like one of the gang. I mean, hello, it is We DC after all! We the people… Well, another WeDC event later, and we are just as obsessed with these guys!

The SXSW kickoff was a blast, and we brought DJ Duffin, DJ Civil, and DJ Rene to rock the house as the guests mingled, networked, and checked out the startup tables (um, ours was the best, le duh).

 

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Notice the company you see wherever you look? 😉

DJ Duffin kicked off the night with a fun mix of music to pump up the arriving guests. From high above the evening’s Pelonkey perch, he had the best vantage of anyone there!

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We met a ton of great people, exchanged more than a few business cards, and let’s be honest, did what Pelonkey does best: told people what we’re all about, and probably cracked a few bad jokes as well 😉

Prior to Black Alley, the band for the evening, taking the stage, DJ Civil had us grooving to some R&B, some throwbacks, and like the rockstar she is, she made WeDC’s recap collage, so for your viewing pleasure… (Bottom red tee haaaaay girl!) –>

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And after Black Alley finished up, it was DJ Rene with the closeout. Another rockstar, I tell ya. But, really, when you come to Pelonkey, it’s rockstars left and right. The talent we’ve got on our side are serious performers. In case you didn’t already know based on the amount of bragging we like to do about them.

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Great day for the PelonkTeam, and anytime we’re able to hang with WeDC it’s a great day overall.

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Rene, Ciera, Nicole, Danielle, Duffin, Civil

Until next time, WeDC!

So… the rest of y’all ready to get this SXSW wagon on the road to Austin?? We sure are!

Hap-Pelonk-ZI Christmas!

When you sit in an office everyday, doing work on the same screen, it’s nice to get up, slap on a pretty dress, and dance the night away, am I right?

The Pelonkteam kicked off the holiday season last night at the coveted Zinzi Christmas Party at the Convention Center in DC, and what a night it was! We were dressed to the nines, food, drink, and music flowed, and we met some awesome people in the party and at our table. Also, there were multiple photo booths involved. And DJ Neekola closed out the night with the best dance set of 2015 (if we do say so ourselves).

Phew, I’m exhausted again just thinking about it.

We started our own hashtag for the night – #pelonkZI – which you can peruse on Twitter or Insta, but here are a few teasers for your viewing pleasure. We love a good (mini) photo diary. Even more when it’s holiday-themed. Bring on the Christmas cookies!

Neeks in Cancun con la Marriott!

I bet I know where you wish you were right now…

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Cancun. Am I right? Knew it.

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Pelonkey CEO, DJ Neekola was there recently as part of the Marriott’s Fearless conference… because Pelonkey’s supporters are always awesome sauce clients who host conferences on tropical islands. (Thanks to Entertainment Exchange for hooking up Neekola with the Marriott!) And cue the jealousy. Well, you can pretend you were also there by listening to the playlist of all the jams Neekola played throughout the duration of the convention. And then look at the sunshine outside and pretend it’s not going to drop to 40 degrees tonight.

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Alright, alright, DC. Just throw on your bikini and this playlist & dance around your apartment. No one will ever know.

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To JAM:

SLEDGE – Croatia Squad, Me & My Toothbrush and Peter Gabriel
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Groove Conductor’s Remix) – Daft Punk
Bright Lights (Extended Clean) – VICE Ft. Estelle
Can’t Feel My Face (Joe Maz and Adam Foster Remix) – The Weekend
We Found Love (Toy Armada Diamond Remix) – Rihanna
September (Taylor Wise Remix) – Earth Wind and Fire
Geronimo (Sunstars Remix) – Sheppard
Barbara Streisand – Duck Sauce
Thunderstruck (Shameless Bootleg) – ACDC
Uptown Funk (Neekola Disco Remix) Bruno Mars
Don’t Stop the Party – Pitbull
Bamboleo (Neekola Remix) Gypsy Kings
Malosax – Afro Mix – Stan Courtois
Fun – Mixshow Intro – Pitbull
Should’ve Been Us (Noodles Remix) – Tori Kelly
Sweet Dreams Vs. Just Dance, Lady Gaga Vs. Eurythmics
Call on Me – Eric Prydz (Neekola Remix)
I Love It – Icona Pop (Neekola Remix)
Sexyback – Scooter Remix – Justin Timberlake
Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop tip you Get Enough – Gigamesh Vs. Neekola
Dance – Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez, Party Starter Neekola Remix
What’s My Name Moombahton Remix – Rihanna
Latch Vs. What Do you Mean – Sam Smith Vs. Justin Bieber
Levels Die Young – Avicii Vs. Ke$ha
Let Me Clear My Throat – Party Favor Remix – DJ Kool
Temperature Vs. Americano – Sean Paul Vs. Yolanda Be Cool
Five Hours – Chris Brown

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To CHILLAX:

Adore – Jasmine Thompson
Dreams – Gigamesh Remix – Fleetwood Mac
Promise – Kaskade
Bondye – Never Too Much
Cream – Flyosphy – Claptone Remix
Aint Nobody Loves Me Better – Felix Jaehn Remix
One Thing (Nora en Pure Remix) – Me and My Toothbrush
Clocks – Coldplay Vs. Rythims Del Mundo, Cuba Salsa Remix
Hello (Paul Damixie Remix) Clean AXB Cut – Adele
Say My Name (Kids Want Techno Remix) Odezsa
Colors – Leo Perez
Oxas – Gamper Dadoni De Hofnar
Summer Sippin – Boehm & DVNNI
Sugar – Robin Schulz
Cold As Ice – Louie Fresco Remix
Shades of Grey (Nora En Pure Remix) – Oliver Heldens and Shaun Frank
Night – Janet Jackson
Groove is in the Heart – Gigamesh Remix – Deee Lite
Hotline Bling – Kue Remix – Clean AXB Cut – Sam Smith / Drake
Show Me Love – EDX Remix – Sam Feldt

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Pelonkey Grand Launch Party

Last Wednesday. September 16. LIVE at 10th & G.

Were you there? Have you recovered yet?

Did you miss it? Are you still crying yourself to sleep?

Our Grand Launch Party was aMAHzing. What a night. What an awesome group of people and unbelievable support. Who’s down for a little recap?

If you were at the party, you either met me, your Pelonkey Eagle Eye, or saw me walk awkwardly on stage to accept Nicole’s thanks and give her flowers – I’m not on on-stage person, I’m a BTS, other-side-of-the-computer person – and this was my day-long Grand Launch experience.

6:03 am

Early morning reveille. Especially considering last night’s office work lasted til 10 pm. Not including my 1.5 hour commute back to VA.

6:47 am

Showered, hair prepped, bags packed for later.

7:00 am

Have to finish making name tags using a template that doesn’t work. The bane of my Grand Launch prep so far. Found out my color printer at home is working again, so I don’t need to rush to the office to print the leftover tags.

Simultaneously scheduling a Staples run for extra name tags, Costco run for green room beverages, pickup of the Step & Repeat, printing more signs, scheduling social media posts on Hootsuite, and finalizing a slideshow. Oh, and my gas tank is chilling on Empty.

8:49 am

I was wrong; color printer not working. Name tags took way longer than expected (everyone better wear these). Plan B!

9:15 am

Out the door with everything stuffed into my car in record time considering 20 minutes ago I wasn’t wearing pants.

9:32 am

Step & Repeat acquired! Success #1 of the day.

10:30 am

The rest of my errands went smoothly, and I can take off for DC.

11:04 am

For the first time maybe ever, I am actually relieved to find traffic on route 66 because it is the first time I’ve been forced to slow down in about a week. Here I have my second freakout of the day; the first was that damn printer, the second was the enormity of the impending event. Nbd.

12:37 pm

I will skip over the boring details of arriving at the office, receiving two packages, running out of ink the second I finished printing my last name tag, and getting a $16 parking ticket for only one hour in the garage.

1:00 pm

It’s venue time, baby! All eerily quiet so far because an event is going on upstairs, and we can’t start setting up yet.

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1:14 pm

I am trying unsuccessfully to iron table cloths and runners on a plastic table with an iron sans water on low heat. Machines: 1, Eagle Eye: 0.

1:30 pm

Setup can begin. We are tackling the Step & Repeat first, which was a workaround to begin with, so trying to construct our own stand has been an ordeal. And when I say “we,” I mean Nicole and her friend Cenk, while I sit at a nearby table assembling name tags (seriously, everyone better keep these forever). Ciera is running around like a crazy person and it’s not even 2 pm.

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3 pm

So far, so good! Setup flowing smoothly, vendors should be arriving now.

3:02 pm

Chaos. Vendor load-in times never end up how you originally scheduled.

4:41 pm

This place is actually looking like a party site. Some performers are starting to arrive, green room is looking lived-in, and Ciera is officially going to put holes in her shoes with her running back & forth.

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5:00 pm

Nicole’s makeup is almost done, downstairs & registration are set up, photo booth looks amazeballs, red carpet has been rolled out, and we are making sure vendors have what they need.

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5:20 pm

Holy crap, no one has chilled any of the white wine yet. To the freezer!

5:35 pm

If we leave this in the freezer too long will it explode? We may find out…

5:41 pm

Somewhere in here I have managed to throw on some makeup, curl my hair, and put on my dress.

5:59 pm

I have my comm device (think secret service agent meets trench soldier) hooked up, and it’s off to the races. Eagle Eye to Unicorn, do you have eyes on Neekola? Over. 

6:00 pm

Doors open. Let’s do this.

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6:20 pm

So. many. people! So many, in fact, that I have already found and lost half our performers three times trying to get them to the green room. I’m checking on current entertainers, chatting with guests, making sure the kitchen isn’t on fire, the usual. Ciera has flown by me at least twice on one mission or another. I sigh again with relief because what would we do without her? Perish, surely.

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7:30 pm

A lot of guest networking and problem-solving later, and it’s time to relinquish my comm. My life will never be the same. But the sound manager for the theater needs it more than I do, I guess… Theater doors also open at this time, and guests are being pulled in by the sounds of LJ MTX and the sexy DystRucXion dancers.

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7:50 pm

A word from our sponsors… And let me take a minute here to thank them. Each of them. For our success was due to them.

VeeKast, for providing the performance slide show and live tweeting action. Travelling Bean, for the specialty barista station of our caffeinated dreams. Eco Caters, for organic, fresh food that is still making our mouths water. SkipperFilms, for making sure we didn’t miss a minute of the magic. OM Digital, for the best party favor ever. Sugar Rim Bar, for sangria and stellar service. Zelos Trading, for beer (three cheers!). Event Farm, for the ticketing service from which you all received our beautimous emails. Beat Refinery, for appointing two DJs to the battle and partnering with us always. Carlos, for an unbelievable sound & lighting setup. And Tommy McFly, for Emceeing our event and lending his charisma and energy to the show.

Before the show even began, Nicole took the stage to welcome everyone, and before she could get a word out, she was met with a standing ovation. A testament to how beloved she is in this community. And for good reason. That woman is a rockstar. 

8:03 pm

A little behind schedule (if we’re being picky, which Ciera is), but I can promise nobody in the crowd cares because the best show ever is about to start. Max Major to take it away, followed by an epic lineup of DC talent we also want to thank now. You guys have no idea how amazing these folks were. Over the next few weeks, we will be spotlighting each performer who took the stage (or party room) and represented themselves and Pelonkey. Look for that on our social platforms.

Max Major – Mentalist, Kelly Jo Stull – Circus Performer & Dancer, Chicago City Limits – NYC Improv Troupe, Ben Hoyt – Violinist, DJ Sean J, DJ As-One, Michael Rosman – Comedy Circus, Chip Han – Beatboxer

DJ Foster, Anna Pineapple – Circus Performer & Dancer, DJ Gavin Holland, DJ Phlipz, Dan Lamaestra Jazz Trio, Brian Curry – Magician, DJ Heather Femia, Joe Goldman – Voice Artist & Announcer, Rajan – Artist, David Meneses – Magician

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9:09 pm

Party time! The show was great, everyone is having so much fun, and Ciera, Nicole, and I can finally take a breath, have a drink, and talk with our guests.

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10:13 pm

I’ve been giving the VIP room some love, marveling at the Dan Lamaestra Jazz Trio & Ben Hoyt transform the upstairs into the classiest act ever. Schmoozing is not my middle name, but when in Rome (and when it’s my party), I do as the Romans do… 😉 When in Rome, I also consume more than my fair share of Duck Confit Johnny Cakes c/o Eco Caters. These things were heavenly. And made fresh by Chef Robbie. Just like the rest of the bomb food.

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11:13 pm

The time, it flies. I have had so much fun, met so many wonderful people, and rubbed so many blisters onto my feet. The latter is usually a huge indication of the former.

11:48 pm

All the guests have left – reluctantly, I may add – and it’s breakdown time. The party may have been glamorous, but I’m looking around at all these trash bags knowing the next steps will not be.

12:52 am

Thanks to helping hands from our vendors and friends, we have finally gathered all the trash bags into the kitchen. The venue looks a little like a frat party came through, but I’m taking that as a successful sign. Except for the trash cans that look like beer troughs. I was really hoping I left that in my freshman year of college, but alas…

1:22 am

During load-out, we have managed to lock ourselves into the garage. Let me paint you a word picture. The glass door into the elevator room is shut, the gate to exit the garage is shut and only opened with a parking ticket, we are three floors below ground with no cell service, I have run through a maze of stairs only to lose myself in a neighboring building, and we have decided to cram three of ourselves (one ex-football player included) into the front seat of Ciera’s teeny car in order to bust ourselves out. Finally Nicole comes down to find out what the hell happened to us, and we are freed. Exhausting doesn’t cover it. Slaphappy might.

1:44 am

The venue is empty, the car is loaded, our eyelids are heavy, and it’s time to leave. What is a great party without a calamity of events before and after?

1:46 am

What was that tip my drivers’ ed teacher told us to do when we were tired and driving? Sing along to the radio? I did. To every song that played from the corner of 10th & G St. to my driveway.

2:12 am

I don’t remember getting out of my car or into bed, but I do remember falling asleep with the sounds of Pelonkey ringing in my ears. (Not trying to be cheesy; I was seriously delirious from fatigue and could only remember that something big regarding Pelonkey had just happened, but I couldn’t tell you what.)

I wish I had had the sense to take photos throughout the whole day to illustrate every tiny detail of the party, but I didn’t know I was going to write a diary account of the launch until after the fact. Like many of my great ideas, this one occurred to me too late.

We want to take this launch party city to city as Pelonkey grows. After doing it once, I can promise that the second, third, tenth times will be just as hectic and crazy. And thank god for that. Because the alternative is downright boring. And Pelonkey doesn’t do boring.

Ps. The wine never exploded in the freezer. Take that, science.

Pps. Thanks to Shimeng Tong, Alexander Morozov, and Vithaya for the photography.

Ppps. 82% of the name tags ended up in the trash. Mine is displayed proudly above my bed.

TL;DR – The show and party were a great success. Be super jealous you weren’t there. Or proud that you were. Either way, don’t miss the next one.

Spotlight on Our Amazing DJ Stylus Chris

We here at Pelonkey love to spotlight some of our original supporters and entertainers, and DJ Stylus Chris has been bomb from the beginning. Also a Pelonkey partner with the Beat Refinery DJ School, Stylus sports both real talent with his art and commitment to making the industry better every day.

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Over the holiday season, Stylus performed for a super fun casino-themed corporate party. Representing Pelonkey well, the client had rave reviews. You da man, Chris, and we can’t wait to collab on some more awesome events with you!

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If you’re interested in having Stylus Chris at your next event, please reach out to ciera@pelonkey.com for more details.

Pelonkey’s DJ Wizdom spins at L2 Lounge

DJ Wizdom really knows how to drop a hot house beat, and there’s no better place for it than Georgetown’s sexy L2 Lounge.

Saturday night was poppin’ for L2, sporting all of DC’s hottest socialites and “in” crowd. Wizdom had no problem playing some deep and vocal house, transitioning into the party vibe as the night progressed.

Interested in having DJ Wizdom perform for your next event? Email ciera@pelonkey.com to find out how through Pelonkey!

Champagne models are a huge hit for Pelonkey clients this holiday season!

This holiday season, champagne was easily the most popular celebratory beverage of choice. What makes it even better? How about having a beautiful model serve you a cold, crisp glass from her tiered skirt, fully loaded with sparkly champagne flutes?

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Yes, it is the coolest thing ever, we know! A huge corporate client of Pelonkey‘s had a champagne model at each of their holiday parties and loved them.

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The champagne model & skirt are a fabulous add to any celebratory occasion, giving the event that extra pop of fun!

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Interested in booking a champagne model at one of your next events? Reach out to ciera@pelonkey.com for more info! We’d love to hear from you!

Our DJs really know how to make Heist pop!

Last month, a few of our incredible DC DJs stole the scene at Heist in DuPont!

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As one of Pelonkey‘s partner venues in DC, Heist is one of the most unique nightclubs in the city. It has a fun bank robbery scene (hence the name!) and all gold embellished decor. Including Dirty Hands and Neekola, the music was bumping! One of our other partners, the Beat Refinery, had their main lady DJ Alkimist pop in to party as well! Selfie time!

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All around another amazing night at Heist for their Industry Tuesdays. Catch you there next time!