Big Night Live fosters community through music


Harriet Rovinak

Big Night Live offers intimate, personal music experience. The venue offers unique theme nights such as “Fangirl Fantasy” events.

Alexa Grayson, news correspondent

The energy is electric at Big Night Live, a music hall in Boston’s North End that caters songs to its audiences, making music come alive on the dance floor as attendees sing the words to their favorite songs. 

Big Night Live hosts unique theme nights personalized for specific audiences, like Fangirl Fantasy events that play fan-favorite songs, Abba-themed Gimme Gimme Disco, electronic dance music or EDM nights, along with traditional DJs and concerts. At this modern, intimate venue, there’s never a dull moment. 

The venue opened its doors Oct. 31, 2019, hosting duo act Gorgon City and Camelphat as its first event. The music hall holds around 1,500 guests who are greeted by a red, dazzling chandelier, a large central bar and two dance floors surrounded by 24 elevated VIP pods. 

“The venue and the dance floor are super nice,” said Darcy Zhang, a fifth-year business administration and mathematics combined major. “While you’re standing in the front row, you’re really close to the speakers, you can feel the beat … you just start to dance.” 

The music hall features a range of acts and events including Fangirl Fantasy — “the ultimate fangirl experience” — where fans gather to listen to songs by their favorite artists in an energetic environment. Past Fangirl Fantasy themes have included “Taylor Swift vs. Olivia Rodrigo” and “Taylor Swift vs. Harry Styles.” Other events have featured live performances from artists like Steve Aoki, Zedd, Snoop Dog, Kane Brown and Peach Pitt.

“It’s [themed-nights], such a simple concept that draws such a passionate group of followers to come to the venue,” said Joe Mazzei, director of marketing at Big Night Live. “It’s really remarkable.”

Fans lined up Nov. 12, 2021, in red attire as they awaited the sold-out “Fangirl Fantasy: Taylor Swift vs. Olivia Rodrigo” event. The night featured music from chart-topping pop icons Swift and Rodrigo. An array of Northeastern students joined together to reminisce and shout the words to songs that they knew by heart. 

Mara Caplan, a first-year international affairs and economics combined major, couldn’t help but bask in the liveliness of the room at the Fangirl Fantasy event. 

“It was a really fun environment. It was really exciting,” Caplan said. “There was a lot of energy in the room … And it was a really supportive experience. All the girls in line were hyping each other up and everyone felt really safe.” 

Caplan purchased her tickets a day before the event, which happened to be the same day that Taylor Swift re-released her album “Red.” The re-release featured a 10-minute version of Swift’s 2012 song “All Too Well.” Caplan recalls how fans at Big Night Live were able to sing their hearts out to the song just a day after it came out. 

“It was super impressive that we learned all of the lyrics within the 12 hours that the album had been released,” Caplan said. “There was a lot of enthusiasm.” 

Mazzei said the venue serves to connect people through the power of music. 

“We target people that love music, and whatever that music is, we try to bring to them. Our focus is on what’s exciting, what’s new,” Mazzei said. “We are in the hospitality business, and we have a good gauge of what our guests like and love from the food they want to the music they want to experience.” 

While some of Big Night Live’s events are restricted to those over 21, others are open to those 18 and older. This gives younger college students the opportunity to enjoy the perks of the venue while also maintaining the exclusivity of a traditional club. 

Beyond fostering community through weekly music events, Big Night Live also served locals by using its space to help the Boston community during the height of COVID-19. Mazzei explained that there was a grave shortage of blood supply during the early stages of the pandemic, so Big Night Live hosted dozens of blood drives in partnership with the Red Cross. 

Big Night Live takes precautions in its events to ensure safety amid the pandemic. Mazzei said the venue requires proof of vaccination and mask-wearing. 

“We kind of just follow the rules, follow the guidelines, follow the science, and made sure that the number one priority is always making sure our guests have the most pleasurable, safe experience that they can,” Mazzei said. 

Big Night Live’s welcoming atmosphere invites newcomers to the live music scene while still appealing to more experienced attendees. Peter Janosky, a second-year computer science major, said Big Night Live was one of his first experiences enjoying Boston’s nightlife. He took a leap of faith when his favorite artist, Taylor Swift, was featured in the “Fangirl Fantasy: Taylor Swift vs. Harry Styles” event. 

“I don’t go out that much. So this was a little bit of a special occasion for me,” Janosky said. “Taylor Swift is one of my favorite artists. And so I figured it would be a lot of fun. And it was — I loved how everyone there was just there to have a good time.”

Janosky was enchanted by his experience singing his heart out to Taylor Swift and Harry Styles songs at Big Night Live, prompting him to attend more events in the future. One includes the upcoming March 3 event for those 18 and older, “Fangirl Fantasy: Taylor Swift vs. Olivia Rodrigo.” 

“Everyone there just had a passion for music and it created this really cool environment,” Janosky said. “Everyone there was pretty much a Taylor Swift fan. There is always something to bond over.,and I managed to meet five new people just waiting in line outside.” 

At Big Night Live, students and Boston residents come together to celebrate the riveting power of music.

All upcoming events are featured on Big Night Live’s calendar and tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster. The ABBA-themed “Gimme Gimme Disco” will take place Friday, March 11 at 8 p.m. for those 18 and older. For the 21 plus age group, events include DJ Nicky Romero Saturday, Feb. 19 at 10:30 p.m.