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DJ Diplo to play opening party at new Flagler Village rooftop pool bar the Easton

Will a Flagler Village rooftop concert by global DJ star Diplo be the moment when downtown Fort Lauderdale becomes a different kind of tourism destination?

The host of the show, part of a grand-opening party for a new venue called the Easton, acknowledges that he is out to make some noise.

“We wanted to kind of throw our stake in the ground and say, ‘Here we are. Come check us out,’” says the Easton’s David Cardaci. “We wanted to create awareness for our brand, so he’s, like, a nuclear bomb.”

A Grammy-winning producer and DJ, Diplo will perform on May 15 at the Easton, a 9th floor indoor-outdoor pool bar and lounge at Quantum Flagler Village on Federal Highway.

The Saturday afternoon show will include a single set by the DJ scheduled at 2 p.m. on the pool deck. Admission will be RSVP-only to facilitate social distancing.

Most guests will need table reservations, which will start at $500-$600. A very limited number of free general-admission entries also will be available. For information, visit the Easton Instagram: Instagram.com/the_easton_ftl.

If you want a sneak peek, the Easton will begin a soft opening on Monday, April 19, opening at 4 p.m.

The venue is the most recent of several projects by Cardaci, the downtown Fort Lauderdale nightlife/restaurant entrepreneur who owns nearby hot spots Rhythm & Vine, the Wilder and Roxanne’s.

In a few months Cardaci will open a Flagler Village nightclub called the Abbey and its promising sister restaurant, Holly Blue, in the former First Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Cardaci has some experience hosting performers of national renown at Rhythm & Vine, including Dillon Francis, Nora En Pure and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

“This is a different level. Nobody is booking Diplo in downtown Fort Lauderdale,” Cardaci says, laughing.

Cardaci says Eyal Agai (Pirate Stereo/Slap & Tickle Records), the programming director who creates the vibe at all of his bars and clubs, deserves the credit for closing the deal with Diplo.

The Los Angeles-based Diplo, a staple of Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards, winning in 2019 in the Best Dance Recording category for “Electricity” and in 2016 for Best Electronic/Dance Album with “Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü.” A single on the album, “Where Are Ü Now,” also won the 2016 Best Dance Recording award for Diplo and collaborators Skrillex and Justin Bieber.

Born Thomas Pentz, Diplo grew up in South Florida, attending South Plantation High School. On Sunday he was the headliner at Tallahassee hot spot Potbelly’s.

Located at 721 N. Federal Highway, on the eastern edge of Flagler Village, the Easton faces Holiday Park, Parker Playhouse and the ongoing rehab of the War Memorial. It sits atop Marriott’s 137-room Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Downtown hotel, which sold out on its opening weekend in March.

Cardaci says he has been fielding calls from out-of-town “music fans, Diplo fans,” looking for rooms at the hotel.

Shown under construction in February, the 9th floor pool deck at the Easton in downtown Fort Lauderdale will have a soft opening on April 19 and host Diplo on May 15.
Shown under construction in February, the 9th floor pool deck at the Easton in downtown Fort Lauderdale will have a soft opening on April 19 and host Diplo on May 15. (Carline Jean / South Florida Sun Sentinel)
 

The property is part of Quantum Flagler Village, which includes two 15-story residential units and ground-floor retail along Federal Highway. A five-story parking garage has a dedicated entrance for non-residents, who park on the first three floors. There will be valet service for the Diplo show.

The Easton has its own elevator and its own entrance from the street. It includes a 1,500-square-foot indoor lounge-nightclub space with retractable doors that open onto a 10,000-square-foot pool deck, with two gazebos, two bars and a turfed area with a retractable awning.

The space can accommodate just under 500 people inside and out. A menu of pizza, sandwiches and elevated finger food will be available, including ceviche, lobster tacos, shrimp, scallops and charcuterie.

The sound system uses state-of-the-art technology by Void Acoustics, a British-based leader creating sound for nightclubs, concert tours and music festivals.

But anyone hoping to hear Diplo’s set from Holiday Park will be disappointed, says Cardaci, who tested the sound system a few days ago.

“We cranked it up really, really loud, and I went across the street and I could just barely hear a tiny bit of something. And it was wide open. We turned it up to 11,” Cardaci says.

He says the speakers at the Easton have been arranged to limit sound from leaving the property.

If there’s a noise problem, “we’ll bring our engineers out there and change it,” Cardaci says.

The Easton is at 721 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Hours are 4-midnight Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-3 a.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. Visit TheEastonFTL.com. Again, for information about Diplo reservations, visit Instagram.com/the_easton_ftl.

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