Barraca 49 sound camp by Nomada aims to be the metro’s most inspired nightlife event

Barraca 49 Saturday Night May 7th

Barraca 49. // Photo by Pierson Kubel

Every First Friday weekend, Novel’s additional parking lot at the cross-section of East 20th Street and the underside of Oak Street transforms into the pop-up club and self dubbed “sound camp” known as Barraca 49, Kansas City’s newest and most inspired nightlife option.

Barraca, which had its first showing during April’s First Friday, is the most recent venture of local arts and entertainment organization otherwise known as Nomada.

Founders Dante Walton, Jason Eubanks, and Austin Goldberg created Nomada last year with a vision of fostering new, tasteful, and unique spaces to enjoy music and build a community around KC.

Barraca is a means of expanding these goals and creates a space that engages attendees on a deeper level. “Sound and music take me to the present moment, so from the moment people see the tent, we want them to be transported,” explains Walton.

Barraca’s most striking aspect is the venue itself, hosting drinks and dancing in a rare, 14-foot tall authentic ’70s military tent. The sun-faded colors and distinct smell of worn canvas create an instant ambiance with palms flanking the entrance and vintage furnishings solidifying a relaxed, retro-chic vibe.

The Cargo Truck And Mural By Lovespac3

The cargo truck and mural by LOVESPAC3. // Photo by Pierson Kubel

The “camp” is bathed in the warm glow of a fire emitting from the modified exhaust pipe of a ’71 cargo truck parked adjacent to the tent. Above it, a large segment of the Oak Street bridge is painted by local artist LOVESPAC3 with the phrase, “It’s time to transcend,” written out in white ink. 

The tent may be Barraca’s most talked about feature, but attendees left the event praising the finely tuned Danley hi-fi soundsystem. Far from the blown-out, unbalanced live audio set-ups of other venues, Barraca’s pounding dance music hit ears with clarity and presence.

While it was easy to get lost in the sound, it was never too loud to have a comfortable conversation or order a drink. Barraca’s music is curation of dance tracks pulled from all decades and genres, perfectly crystalizing a unique upbeat and joyous vibe while remaining effortlessly cool. 

The tent’s atmosphere was effervescent and present with glimmering lights reflecting off the disco ball. After chatting with the event producers, it became apparent this sensation of transcendance was Barraca’s ultimate goal.

The event has already brought out sizable crowds over the last two First Fridays weekends, garnering a must-see reputation amongst Kansas City tastemakers and dance music enthusiasts. However, with Barraca, the Nomada team aims to offer something more experiential and conscious that goes above other nightlife options.

Walton explains the core ethos behind Barraca 49, “It’s about being present, it’s being mindful. We try not to use plastic, all of our cups are recyclable, and we really want people to care for their environment.”

This mindset is especially present at Barraca on Saturday mornings. Soul Service, curated by Rylie Beck, is a calming meditation event which focuses on relaxation and grounding. “We practice meditation, and we wanted to offer a home for that within our space,” says Walton.

While contrasting the thumping dance music of the night time portion, the Nomada team sees Soul Service as providing the same ethos: connecting people with other like-minded individuals through sound and movement.

Barracas Disco Ball Lightshow

Barraca’s disco ball light show. // Photo by Pierson Kubel

The Nomada team envisions Barraca on a larger scale. “I could see it traveling the world,” notes Walton. But with its home in KC, Nomada wants Barraca to be a magnet of international talent that draws new crowds to the city’s nightlife.

June is looking to be a pivotal moment in accomplishing this goal as Barraca welcomes DJ, record producer, and label owner Seb Wildblood for the first time on June 4 amid his 2022 world tour.

There are countless options around town to hear music and get a drink, yet few foster a collective experience as powerful as Barraca. For those looking for something off the beaten path, keep an eye out for the military tent parked in the Crossroads.

To order tickets for Barraca 49 or learn about other Nomada events, visit their website or follow them on Instagram

Categories: Culture