Best Queer Dance Party

Good Times at Bench and Bar

For more than four years, Olga Texidor, aka DJ Olga T, brought Good Times to the Den at the Fox Theater, both literally and figuratively. But in May, DJ Olga T decided to move the free Wednesday night party — produced by and for the East Bay queer community — to a venue that's an even better match for the Good Times crowd: Bench and Bar, one of the Bay Area's largest LGBT nightclubs, located a few blocks away in downtown Oakland. And the event has remained hugely popular in its new location, attracting about 150 to 200 people each week. It helps that there's no cover, $6 drink specials, and an eclectic mix of dance music — hip-hop, R&B, reggae, Latin, Nineties, and more — to please the diverse crowd it attracts. Good Times regularly spotlights queer DJs from around the Bay Area, and offers tables for LGBT nonprofit groups to do outreach. DJ Olga T and Good Times partner "Shugga" Shay Franco-Clausen market the event as a party for "women, trans, queer boys/bois/girls, and allies" and emphasize that they foster a "culture of love and acceptance" — one that's sometimes absent from Bay Area queer events. As DJ Olga T likes to say, everyone is welcome at Good Times.

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