If you were a young adult in the ’90s in Dayton, there’s a good chance you spent some nights out at the Asylum, a popular nightclub located downtown at 605 S. Patterson Blvd. On weekends, as many as 1,500 young people crammed themselves into the popular dance club.
Although the Asylum has been closed for 15 years now, its spirit lives on through reunion events hosted by two of the club’s former DJs, Matt Freeman and Eric Heilman. The 10th reunion planned for this spring has taken a new form and cause, due to COVID-19 and social distancing.
On Saturday May 16, Freeman and Heilman will join Passionate DJ, in association with Therapy Cafe, to host a free online streaming event. The event will run from 8 p.m. to midnight on Twitch.tv/PassionateDJ.
“With this Asylum livestream, we are furnishing the music, lights, video, virtual venue, and DJs,” Freeman said. “We encourage the audience to experience this on their home theater systems with the lights down and the sound up!”
While this online streaming event is free, organizers are hoping to raise awareness and donations for those in need during this trying time. They decided to shine a light on and support Set the Banquet Table, a Dayton-based nonprofit focused on feeding the hungry. Most recently, they mobilized chef-led teams to go into area kitchens, like House of Bread, and assist during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We wanted to present a livestream as close to the actual Asylum reunions as possible,” Freeman said. “While we have everyone’s attention, we thought it was a good idea to help raise awareness for a newer local nonprofit organization. Since Set the Banquet Table feeds our community, this felt like the perfect organization to support.”
Viewers of the livestream can donate to the Set the Banquet Table, at any time before, during, or even after the event. During the stream, organizers will have a link showing the audience where they can submit a donation. Donations to Set the Banquet Table can be made at any time by visiting https://sbtdayton.org
“We all miss being at a venue, and experiencing events in what seems to be the ‘old’ normal,” Freeman said. “Hopefully with this Asylum livestream we can recapture that normalcy a bit and break up the ‘stay at home’ routine, at least for one night.”