Live out your nightclub fantasy at Necto
Necto Nightclub has been a hub of queer life in Southeast Michigan for 1984. Formerly known as “Nectarine Ballroom”, the club’s name was shortened to “Necto” in 2001. Now celebrating its 21st anniversary since the alteration, Necto remains Ann Arbor’s premier spot for queer (and non-queer) nightlife. The club and its performers have consistently won local awards, recently voted “Best LGBTQ+ Club” and “Best Dance Party” in Washtenaw County by Current magazine. Necto was also nominated for “Best Nightlife” by The Michigan Daily’s 2022 Best of Ann Arbor series.
In a Midwestern college town competing with iconic spots like Rick’s and Scorekeepers (more commonly known as “Skeeps”), what is it about this “gay bar” that drives Ann Arborites crazy? After spending a Friday at Necto, I understand what it’s all about.
8:20 p.m. on the first night of fall vacation and the line for Necto is already down the block. Raucous laughter, smiling faces, fishnets and thick black eyeliner eagerly await entry into the Michigan’s Best Nightclub. It’s Necto’s famous PRIDE Night with legendary drag queens Violet Chachki and Gottmik.
Before the show started, I had the honor of meeting Chanel Hunter and Perry Dox, Necto’s PRIDE party hosts. Chanel has worked at Necto since 2013 and has been doing drag for 21 years. She’s played every type of gig all over the state of Michigan and recognizes “there’s something unique about [Necto]. It makes you feel like a rock star.
Perry Dox, who has only been with Necto for a year and a half, described his time at the club as a “metamorphosis”, helping him grow as an artist and a person. “Necto offers experiences that few clubs offer,” Perry said, and as the only “gay bar” in Ann Arbor, Necto serves as an example and standard of queer living in the city, creating an important and safe space. for the community. . Perry agrees with Chanel that there is something indescribable about Necto: “you feel it, it’s an energy that infects and moves the community.”
Both drag queens emphasized that at Necto, they live to be entertained. “There’s one thing that Necto has always been rooted in, and it’s not too serious. We have a responsibility to educate on important issues,” (at this point, Chanel pulled out a red, white bodycon dress and blue adorned with a dazzling Joe Biden logo)“but we know people come here to escape and dance the night away.
Looking to the future, Necto intends to continue to push the boundaries and provide special experiences for all partygoers. The club is known for attracting big names from RuPaul’s Drag Race, but they’re also excited to bring in more up-and-coming musical artists and host different themed parties for new crowds, like the goth-industrial. Factory Mondays. Whatever comes next, the community can clearly rely on Necto to outdo themselves and deliver fun, safe, and collaborative experiences for everyone.
My evening spent on the dance floor in Necto’s main ballroom was truly extraordinary. The club allows everyone (18+) to live out their nightclub fantasy in an environment that feels truly supportive and safe. Necto lets UM students escape the oppressive fraternity basements for an evening under the Necto disco ball and smoke machines, bodies throbbing with the deep bass of pop remixes and throats raw with laughter and endearingly shouting “yas queen” and “kill” whenever someone tries to pole dance.
So why does Necto remain at the center of queer nightlife in this college town? In the words of Perry Dox, “just get out there and experience it for yourself. You can talk and walk, but you have to come and see it for yourself. Kill, queen!
The daily’s editor Maya Levy can be reached at email@example.com.