Yeah, we know. It's really tempting. We're mere hours away from the last three-day weekend of the summertime and your id is probably whispering seductively that it's possible to stretch things out a little longer by calling in sick on Friday. And why not? You've earned it, and Labor Day was created back in 1894 to give the masses a well-deserved break away from the rat race. (Of course, in those days most workplaces were far more harsh and grueling than your comparatively cushy cubicle, but we'll ignore that for the sake of argument.)
If your wilder side wins out and you plan on being absent from work on Friday, the good news is that there are a couple Labor Day-related parties and nightlife events occurring on Thursday evening, not to mention during both the daytime and evening hours throughout the entire weekend in the Metro Phoenix area.
See also: Labor Day events in Phoenix
Since it's still hotter than Hades outside, several pool parties will naturally take place (like one starring onetime Will Smith cohort Jazzy Jeff up in Scottsdale). But most of the better fetes will go down under the cover of darkness. We've included both daytime and nighttime celebrations in our annual rundown of a dozen Labor Day Weekend events.
Labor Day Kickoff at Q Lounge Want to get an early start to your Labor Day festivities? They'll be getting wild out up at the Q Lounge on Thursday, August 29, with a number of different booze specials and beats to spare. Local rapper C-Thug is scheduled to host the fete, which will feature hip-hop and reggae vibes being laid down by DJs Freshmaker and others in two rooms. Drink deals range from $2 you-call-it cocktails from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. and $3 mixed cocktails all evening to $75 bottle specials. Cover charges vary depending on when you arrive, so call 602-995-5985 for more details.
Robots From Outer Space at C.A.S.A. Sunba As Bender from Futurama and Daft Punk have demonstrated, droids and automaton can be just as much into partying as humans. So this robot-themed rager on Thursday, August 29, doesn't seem too strange a notion. Not surprisingly, attendees are being asked to come in appropriate costumes -- such as Optimus Prime helmets and other "robot gear" -- with free champagne being awarded to those in the better getups. Drink specials, DJs, and appearances by the models from Autum Styles are also promised. Things get going at 9 p.m. There's no cover.
Eclipse at Wild Knight According to the sky-watching brainiacs at NASA, there won't be an eclipse of either the sun or moon viewable in Arizona until October, and even then it's going to be partial. That's not stopping anyone at Wild Knight from holding this theme party on Friday, August 30, in which patrons are encouraged to wear all-black clothing and DJ Nathan Reeser will perform. (Wonder if he'll spin "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler?) Indulge in enough of the $3 Fireball shots, $4 Bud Light bottles, or $5 Skyy drinks, however, and you might encounter a blackout of a different sort. Starts at 10 p.m. Call 480-213-9500 for cover.
Splat! Paint & Foam Party at Arizona Event Center Rave fans will have an embarrassment of riches over Labor Day weekend as a total of three different off-the-radar dance events are scheduled to transpire over the next few days. And probably the messiest of the bunch will be this all-night rager over in Mesa on Friday, August 30. Cans filled with a rainbow selection of paint will be made available to attendees to throw at each other during this giguanda celebration of hot beats and colored pigments. Those wishing to wash up can head for the room that will be filled to the brim with a sea of soapy foam. The event runs from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. General admission is $20, and VIP access is $30.
Labor Day Weekend at Maya Day & Nightclub The staff at Maya is probably going to rack up some overtime during the holiday weekend as four straight days and nights of poolside parties are planned. And each has its own special guests and particular verve. While an appearance by Dim Mak's Deorro on Friday night and TJR's gig on Monday -- which is free, by the way -- will both be well-attended and bookend the weekend, the two biggest events take place smack dab in the middle of the schedule.
Influential British trance icons Above & Beyond, who are so in demand that they make a combined $24 million per year, will visit on Saturday, August 31, for an afternoon session. Gates open at 11 a.m. Tickets are $45 to $125. The DJs of the S.K.A.M. Artist collective are scheduled to invade the premesis on Sunday, September 1, including the superstar twosome of house music gurus Bad Boy Bill and Richard Vission. The event starts at 11 a.m. Admission is $10.
XXIV Karat Gold Carpet Launch Party at Smashboxx Screw the red carpet treatment. The proprietors of Smashboxx will be rolling out a gold carpet for patrons who come to the club on Saturday, August 31. It's just one of the glitzy trappings on tap for the launch party for the locally produced XXIV Karat Gold champagne at the club, which will also offer promos and giveaways. DJ Circle and DJ Angell Vittore will be in the mix with hits of the EDM and Top 40 variety. The bottles start popping at 10 p.m. No cover.
We Rule the School Party at Rips Ales & Cocktails Catholic schoolgirl costumes, pocket-protectors, and Pokémon backpacks aren't required to gain entry into Obscura's We Rule the School Party on Saturday, August 31, at the CenPho dive. While there will be a certain geek feel to the shindig, you won't need to dress the part. It will be geared more towards music nerds -- evidenced by the fact the name of the event is inspired by a Belle & Sebastian -- and will feature DJ Adrian Flanagan playing patron's requests all evening. He'll also be giving away B&S posters and copies of their new album. The party starts at 9 p.m. Admission is $5.
The Dip Pool Party at Days Inn Scottsdale To the average cat, the name Jazzy Jeff would probably dredge up memories of the performer's various televised misadventures in Bel Air from the 1990s alongside The Fresh Prince. For those who are a bit more knowledgable in the realm of DJs and turntables, however, he's a diversely talented beat-juggler and one of the greats in the game. And during Labor Day weekend, he'll co-headline the Dip Pool Party on Saturday, August 31, with former MTV mainstay DJ Skribble at this Scottsdale hotel, which runs the entire afternoon and into the evening. Gates open at noon. General admission is $40.
Toga Party at The Sail Inn So you say you're able to drink your way up and down Mill Avenue and go hard until last call? Yeah, cool story, bro. It's still pretty weak kung fu when compared to the historic ragers thrown by the Ancient Romans. They guzzled gallons of wine, staged massive orgies, and even had an entire deity devoted to good times (a.k.a. Bacchus). The spirit of these epic party animals of yore will be invoked at the Sail Inn during its annual Toga Party on Saturday, August 31. Pretty much everyone at the affair will be using bed sheets as garb, from the bartenders to the patrons and maybe even some of the musicians. Cash prizes will be given out to those in the best costumes. Local bands Xtra Ticket, The Noodles, Top Dead Center, and The Sugar Thieves will perform. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission is $10.
Party Time Crew's Labor Day Bash at Fat Tuesday Officially, there are around 40 or so people that make up the Party Time Crew, the Tempe-based nightlife promotions collective headed by the colorful DJ Hazardous. Unofficially, however, anyone who attends one of their high-energy fiestas is considered -- more or less -- to be part of the PTC, if only for a few hours. Their ranks will likely swell with a few dozen temporary members on Sunday, September 1, during the crew's Labor Day Bash at the daiquiri-slinging Tempe favorite. Hazardous will be one of eight different DJs on mixer duty (including Wisko, Garrit Ross, and Cyberpunk) on two different stages while the bar pours $3 domestics and "Red Zone" shots. Ladies can also get $2 specialty shots as well. Runs from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Admission is free.
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Labor Day Industry Bash at Firehouse Scottsdale Sundays are normally a day off for a slew of folks in the service industry. And given the amount of ass they have to bust (not to mention all drunken shenanigans they have to endure) the previous two nights, it's a well-earned respite. Firehouse Scottsdale will give local servers, bartenders, and others in the employ of the nightlife industry a place to kick back on Sunday, September 1, during this party, which is also open to the anyone else who won't have to go to work the next day. Discounts on XXIV Karat champagne and other drink specials will be available, DJ Ray Cache will be on the sound system, and the joint's infamous Firehouse Girls will be about. Starts at 9 p.m. and there's no cover.
Labor Day Celebration at Sky Lounge Power 98.3 has added its official stamp of approval to Sky Lounge's Labor Day Celebration on Sunday, September 1, which means its probably gonna be one helluva party. Or, at the very least, a place to maybe twerk alongside one of the station's on-air personalities. A quartet of DJs -- including Daffy, Image, Bako, and Storm -- will perform on both floors and drink specials will be available all night. Doors open at 9 p.m.
Labor Day Monday Night Swim at Spanish Fly Throughout the summer, you can usually find the blockbuster duo of DJ Scooter and Lavelle Dupree hanging out and doing what they do best in close proximity to some upscale swimming hole, like at the Liquid Pool Lounge in Vegas. Come Monday, September 2, however, the pair will be earning their pay next to the pool at The Fly during the Labor Day edition of the weekly Monday Night Swim. Also in the house will be those enjoying the final fleeting moments of the extended weekend and ladies in bikinis enjoying free champagne. The gig begins at 9 p.m. Call 480-949-8454 for admission info.