Remembering Robotic Wednesdays

It’s amazing to see how the bar scene has changed since I turned 21 back in ::counts on my fingers and toes:: 2004. There were only a couple of ‘cool’ places to go and none of them were in my neck of the woods, so we’d have to go to the northside of OKC to meet other young, like-minded people our age.

One of those places was The Sidecar. Located next to the Hi-Lo in what is now the Barmuda Triangle, it was a tiny, hip, grungy spot with a patio and $1.50 widemouthed bottles of Mickey’s. In 2006, something would happen there that would change the OKC scene forever: Robotic Wednesdays.

A ragtag group of local DJs decided to start throwing weekly dance parties. These were the days before all the giant EDM festivals that dominate the dance scene now. They were mostly spinning electroclash, which was a kind of fusion of punk rock and dance music. It was also the Myspace era when everyone had weird chunky hair that was dyed black with bleached tips.

The parties grew to where Robotic Wednesdays needed a different venue, so they moved to the Electro Lounge, which was at the original S&B’s location. S&B’s would be slinging burgers all day, and then at night shift into a bar. It was always a bit weird because you’d be dancing and partying and then leave smelling like a grease trap, but there wasn’t much else to do.

In 2009, Robotic Wednesdays moved to Kamps and that’s where it seems like things got really wild. They threw a lot of theme parties where the kids would show up in costumes and get berserk on vodka and Red Bulls, sweaty young people on the dancefloor raging out.

Twenty-somethings keep odd hours. They’re either in school, or have service industry jobs that aren’t a normal 9-5 schedule, so having something fun to do in the middle of the week is key. For a lot of people growing up then, Robotic Wednesdays was a way to get out on your night off from waiting tables, mingle and be social, maybe find a hook-up, and get your energy out by having some drinks and dancing with your friends.

After a ten and a half year run, Kamps turned into La Brasa, and the vibe of the restaurant made it difficult to sustain insane and messy dance parties. The promoters were also just getting exhausted from doing it for so long and wanted to pass the torch to the next generation. That was the end of Robotic Wednesdays.

There’s really been nothing like it since, but it’s no doubt made an impact on Oklahoma City. People have made a lot of memories (and a lot of blackouts) going out and having a good time with them. If you’ve got any memories (or blackouts) of Robotic Wednesdays, share them in the comments.

Special thanks to Bryan Peace and Katie Wicks for helping me with some of the details on this story.