In the last few years, a community of Techno followers established itself in Basel. Acclaimed artists are regularly playing in the city, whereas the LGBT club culture, with it’s mostly mainstream dance and pop-oriented parties, appears not to have picked up on the developments that have been made elsewhere. Despite the fact that Zürich and Lausanne can exceed with a larger amount of clubs and venues than Basel, this didn’t change much in the variety of parties. The impression lasts that it’s still necessary to surrender to Barcelona, Brussels or Berlin for an intense and authentic nightlife experience.
Even though there are well-known parties with good music, there is an attitude found in the Swiss nightlife that seems to stand in contradiction to the promises they communicate to the public, of being free, sexy and exciting. While they are often being advertised with half-naked, toned bodies, the sight of a topless dancer almost causes an outrage. Not to even think of anything further. In November 2015, a clubnight was launched at Borderline club, aiming to reflect it’s program in the very name it was given – La Messe. La Messe is a techno party whose ambience, created by the sober, dark and spacious location of the club itself, allows for associations to the Berlin Ostgut or the Labyrinth club in Zürich. No colourful light eruptions, unnecessary decor or swaths of perfume. La Messe aims to provide it’s audience a space of utter liberation – Dancing as a means of liberation, dancing in leather, rubber, corsetry or even just in a jockstrap. No dresscode, but with body consciousness and the freedom of self expression.
In that regard, providing a darkroom seems as self-evident as to impose a consequent no-picture-policy. Not GoGo dancers but the crowd itself set the program. In so doing, La Messe wants to celebrate participation rather than to subject it’s visitors as objects of voyeurism. The name ‘La Messe’ can furthermore be understood as both a conventional procession and exposition of the new at the same time. The party is open to people of any orientation and gender, rather than to advertise itself as a format catering just to the LGBT community.