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Around the World in 80 Raves: When in Robe, Brooklyn

A spa-rave where lavish robes are doled out for free. Just don't worry about your cellulite.

Around The World in 80 Raves takes you into the basements, warehouses, and back rooms where the magic happens—from Caracas to Calgary and back. Photo credit: When in Robe

NAME: When in Robe
LOCATION: Brooklyn, New York
RECENT HEADLINERS: Curses, Party Supplies
VIBE: Pseudo-lavish spa rave
VENUE: Body By Brooklyn, a 10,000 square foot bathhouse with equal fondness for health and hedonism. 
WHEN IT HAPPENS: Every other Sunday



It's Sunday night and my roommates are mixing a Faderade cocktail (that's vodka and gatorade for those not bro enough to know) in the back of a cab like its 2008. We're going to the part of Brooklyn that real adults live in, for a rave inside an honest-to-god luxury spa. t's snowing, and my goosebumps are really making it obvious I have neglected to shave my legs for all of 2014.

When I enter Body by Brooklyn, two terrified-looking spa employees greet me with a huge terrycloth robe and apprehensive smiles. I opt to buy some flip-flops because this whole thing feels sort of suspect, sanitation-wise, and they're only $2 so it's whatever. I snag a mouthwash cup filled with champagne (Hey! It's free!) and head to the lockers.

The author (in green) with friends 

After 30 minutes of taking selfies and deciding which filter makes my cellulite fade the most, I finally ditch the locker room for the dance floor.

There are not that many people on the dancefloor and I am basically naked. This feels weird. I wonder if I'm just being too sober/square/pale, so I decide to go with the flow… and head over to the free snack table that is covered in cheese cubes and little sandwiches.

I spot tonight's headliners, the Brooklyn-based DJs Curses and DKDS, somehow maintaining their Trouble & Bass vampy vibes while also swaddled in terrycloth robes. The crowd is a mix of familiar faces I've seen at local spots like Webster Hall and this year's Holy Ship, plus a few old guys lurking who clearly know no one there but are really enjoying the view.


When in Robe is the closest thing to a pool party New York is going to get in the middle of February. Best of all, it allows you to pretend that you're going to have a relaxing night, but end up sort of naked and partying. Started by Subset, who also founded the weekly dubstep party Bassment Saturdays, When in Robe was conceived as a way for him and his group of Holy Ship friends to decompress from the hectic cruise this past January. The first party sold out in under two days, and Subset and friends decided to bring When in Robe back as a bi-weekly.

There are two rooms to work with. One is a sweaty dancefloor with a bar, and the other a room filled with hot tubs, steam rooms, saunas, and people getting frisky. To give it some credit, I've really never been to anything like this, and a lot of amenities they could easily rip you off for, like, robes and lockers, they offer for free, which is very PLUR. This is also the first rave I've written about where you can indulge in a Hugh Hefner fantasy: listening to disco in a lavish robe while getting a foot massage and watching a girl take her top off in a hot tub. If you're into that.

Sunday parties can be scary for those of us cursed with a normal person job, but When in Robe offers a choose-your-own-adventure approach to the turn up or turn down that makes it doable even for the 9-to-5 raver.

UNFORGETTABLE MOMENT: My boyfriend whispering to me that some intimidatingly cool-looking dudes wrapped in robes are doing K in the locker room.