Participatory Zoo Dance Rescheduled for Oct. 7, 8


Fifth Estate # 15, October 1-15, 1966

Detroit’s first Participatory Zoo Dance, originally scheduled for September 16 and 17, was postponed, but an October opening is planned. Russ Gibbs, promoter of Detroit’s Grande Ballroom psychedelic dance, said that the original opening date had been cancelled due to technical problems.

The weekly dance, the first of its kind in Detroit, modeled in the San Francisco style, involves a great deal of electrical lighting equipment, and Russ said We ran into some unforeseen difficulties with the electrical wiring code in Detroit, but that has all been taken care of and we will open October 7 and 8 for sure.” Kicking off the grand opening will be the MC5 and the Woolies. Anyone interested in getting more information should call Russ Gibbs at 834-4904.

The Grande Ballroom has a capacity of approximately 2,000 people, and when it was built back in the 1920s it cost over one million dollars. It was chosen primarily for its unique interior design, Spanish Provincial. The light show in the redone ballroom is being handled by the Leprechaun Marmalade Company.

Some people have expressed doubt as to whether or not Detroit is ready for this type of freak-out dance, but Russ, who has seen most of the freak-out dances on the East and West coast, feels that Detroit is just as hip as any big city in the U.S. Purposely he has put together a unique combination of Detroiters so that the Grande Ballroom will have a distinctive Detroit flavor.

Free admission will be granted to several couples who appear each night in the wildest get-ups. A large, well lighted parking lot is located behind the ballroom. The ballroom is floating one block south of Joy and Grand River, upstairs.