Dante's Nightclub FWD in Cleveland, Dubbed "The Ibiza Of The Midwest", Took Home Some Hardware At The EDM Awards Last Night
When people hear about FWD Day + Nightclub in Cleveland the concept is quite confusing. "So you mean to tell me one of the premier nightclubs in the world is an outdoor facility built in a city that is cold 8 months a year and next to the river that caught on fire?!" Yep, that's exactly what I'm saying and now the industry officially agrees.
Last night Dante's club FWD took home the "Favorite Nightclub Residency" award for John Summit's performance last year. And look at the places they were going up against. Some of the biggest DJ names in the world, some of the biggest Megaclubs in Vegas, a legendary facility in Boston, and fucking Ibiza.
The only thing this upset was missing was Dante wearing a black sleeved jersey screaming at into the camera, "CLEVELAND, THIS IS FOR YOU!"
I remember back in 2015 reading about this guy Bobby Rutter and his plans to open an outdoor nightclub on the river in the newly renovated East Bank of the Flats. I didn't know if this dude was a complete idiot who would go down in flames or an absolute genius who would literally change nightlife in this region of the country.
I mean EDM just wasn't that big in Cleveland at the time and who wants to go to a pool party with a bunch of Cleveland trolls who just crawled out of their houses after having eaten their weight in carbs every day hibernating through the miserable winter. Anyone who has been to Put-In-Bay knows the idea of a midwestern pool bar is WAY more enticing than the actual execution.
If this wasn't done correctly it would just be another place your divorced uncle Dale went on Labor Day weekend to awkwardly hit on waitresses in his American flag swim trunks.
But then something amazing happened. Like a field of dreams for hot chicks and the dudes maxing out their credit cards trying to impress them, they built it and sure as shit they came. They came by the thousands. All summer long the place is packed with the best crowds, best DJs, and most amazing scenery you can find in this part of the country.
The place is beautiful chaos. It's butts to nuts but somehow still doesn't ever feel too crowded because there is no roof or walls. The city skyline falls over you in every direction. The music fills the air immersing you in an experience previously reserved for Vegas or Ibiza. Hell, there is a god damn freight train that drives through the back of the club throughout the night. It's pure insanity.
Seriously. I've been to clubs and bars all over this continent and have never seen anything quite like the experience this place put on display each and every summer under a bridge and next to train tracks in fucking Cleveland, Ohio.
And then last summer they decided just having the coolest club in the region wasn't good enough. They wanted to make a run at the big dogs and put together a DJ lineup that would put XS and Omnia to shame. And that's what they did. Even if you aren't into EDM you know a bunch of these names.
Fisher, Loud Luxury, Chris Lake, Dillon Francis, Kaskade, Afrojack, Travis Porter, Steve Aoki, Lil Jon, DJ Pauly D, Above & Beyond, Waka Flocka Flame, MGK, and Deadmau5 just to name a few.
And of course John Summit. One of the biggest names in the electronic music world right now. A guy who is absolutely on fire playing the most elite nightclubs across the globe and producing mega hits. His residency in Cleveland won an EDM Award. Crazy to think about.
Almost as crazy as realizing Dante is running a bunch of clubs and restaurants all while he's writing dozens of 4,000 word angry political blogs each week. The guy is a machine.
Summit is also the man who coined the phrase, "The Ibiza of the Midwest." Which seems like a complete oxymoron if you haven't been there. But is completely apropos if you have.
Congrats to Dante, Bobby, Michael, John Summit, and the entire FWD Hospitality team. It's well deserved. And god speed to Jeff and the security staff who will have to deal with my unruly drunk ass all summer long.