As a salute to the last 30 years, SLUG Magazine is hosting a celebration to bring together all of those who have helped make SLUG the strapping, savings-account-owning 30-year-old it is today. Similar to most people’s 30th birthday, SLUG has decided to spend it reminiscing on all the major moments in SLUG’s history by throwing the SLUG Magazine Time Warp. Hosted at Urban Lounge and Rye Diner & Drinks, the SLUG Time Warp will be a cornucopia of live music, games, activities and opportunities to bask in old memories while creating new ones.
Turning 30—I’ve heard—is weird. There are these expectations of a mature, peaceful outlook on life that makes the rigorous nonsense of your 20s all worth it. I imagine all of these accomplishments are crammed into your 29th year, then the moment you turn 30, a raging desire to brew your own beer viciously awakens inside of you. However, SLUG’s journey to turning 30 has not been filled with cold-press juice cleanses and dabbling in microdosing, but it does have similarities to most millennials’ path to “adulthood.” SLUG was birthed by Gen-Xers and started its journey of self-identity through music, debuting as a punk rag in 1989. As the years have gone by, SLUG cultivated its love for local artists, athletes, chefs, self-starters, business owners, fashionistas and all the other characters who come together to make Salt Lake City (and beyond) a fountain of culture in the Utah desert.
Will Sartain, co-owner of Rye and Urban Lounge, finds a sentimental value in having the event hosted at Urban, the home of SLUG Magazine’s monthly, 17-year-running, local-musician showcase (with corresponding published features about the artists), SLUG Localized. Sartain says, “I love that we are both still here. We are very lucky to have a partner like SLUG. We feel honored to have the event at one of our venues.” Additionally, as a co-cultivator of art and music in Salt Lake City, Sartain says, “It has been nice to grow up with SLUG and really appreciate what it brings to our community. It is very easy to take an institution like this for granted. As time has passed, I now know just how rare it is for something to sustain for 30 years … let alone a [print] publication.” John Platt, SLUG’s Event Coordinator, echoes that sentiment, saying, “We are not just celebrating that SLUG has been around for 30 years. We are celebrating the fact that Salt Lake City has grown and changed during that time and that SLUG has been there to cover it and has been actively helping with growth and change through our community-building efforts.”
SLUG Mag’s Time Warp: 30th Anniversary Party! will be on Feb. 16, and the party will rage on from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., with doors opening at 8 p.m. and music starting at 9 p.m. Entrance will be $5 at the door, and you can collect a free T-shirt with your entry. It would be easy to assume that a SLUG party will entail music in the punk or rock n’ roll realm, since that is what old SLUG is remembered for. However, the night’s music will include a large variety, including DJ Finale Grand, Cool Banana and Durian Durian. This lineup was selected to cover a wide range of music, similar to the wide range of music that SLUG has covered over the years.
Platt says the night is expected to be “an opportunity to unwind and reflect on what SLUG means to you, and how it has affected the community over the years.” The “Time Warp” theme will be accompanied by Urban Lounge’s black-light-engulfed interior. Attendees will have the option to participate by decorating their free shirt and to have it live-screen-printed with our SLUG typewriter logo. Platt says, “People should wear white or neon. Wear something you’d like to customize or decorate with highlighter.”
On the Rye side, (just north of Urban Lounge), the event will carry a similar but more relaxed mood. Local musician and community member Adam Sherlock will be hosting a SLUG Magazine “Cover Bingo,” offering attendees an opportunity to win prizes while enjoying the evocative, nostalgic past SLUG covers. In addition to SLUG Bingo, attendees can participate in the ”Build Your Own SLUG Cover” station provided by Smilebooth.
As a co-owner of both Rye and Urban Lounge, Lance Saunders says, “Our relationship with SLUG will always be that of friendship and professionalism. SLUG Mag is (and always has been) a predominant staple in our community.” The SLUG Magazine Time Warp is more than a party—it is an opportunity for SLUG to thank its backbone, our community. Executive Editor Angela H. Brown says, “SLUG is a reflection of our community. Our contributors and readers define who we are. It’s important for SLUG to create events where these individuals can link, laugh, learn and love. This is what celebration is about—connection.” Come out and play on Feb. 16 at Urban Lounge and Rye—enjoy the embrace that SLUG wants to give to the city that has nurtured this publication for the last 30 years. – Bianca Velasquez