MoMA PS1: Warm Up 2013 is the Summer’s Best Dance Party!

Crowds forming for the 2013 MoMA PS1 WarmUp party wall, created by CODA

Every Saturday afternoon, all summer long, the normally tranquil courtyard at MoMA PS1 explodes with music, joy, sweat, dancing, awesome design, cool water, beer, happy children, tasty food, good-looking grownups, art, and lots of laughter. That's right, it's Warm Up time again in Long Island City!

After a wonderfully raucous opening day last weekend I'm happy to report that the city's best summertime party remains absolutely that. Now in its 16th year, with a different, impeccably curated line up of musicians, sound artists and DJs moving the crowd every weekend, Warm Up still packs plenty of fun-loving punch. We've attended this event for many years and have loved it each and every time. Check out MoMA PS1 Warm Up festivities from 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012!

Two little girls playing in the CODA pools at MoMA PS1warm up party

Crowds of New Yorkers dance along to the Warm Up music at MoMA PS

Warm Up, Long Island City!

And the really great news is that the MoMA PS1 courtyard installation this year, the massive Party Wall, designed by CODA of Ithaca, NY, is not only visually spectacular AND architecturally interesting, but it's also the most party-compatible piece I think I've ever seen out there. Party Wall by CODA (an architecture and design studio founded by Cornell professor Caroline O'Donnell) features numerous little pools for swimming (if you're a little kid) or feet-dangling (everyone else). The inverted-vee-shaped structure provide lots of sun-dappled shade, there are dozens of detachable chairs made by eco-friendly skateboard manufacturer Comet, a massive mister under which all the cool kids hang AND a time-triggered sprayer way up on the roof, which unleashes a short-lived downpour on the surprised (but usually grateful) crowd. 

One of the DJ's of Warm Up playing his music to the crowds of people at MoMA PS1

Group of women sitting around the CODA pools cooling their feet in the water at MoMA PS1

Expo 1: New York Art Exhibition

As far as the Warm Up's music schedule goes, I must admit I'm no expert, and so can't point to one day's line-up as being "better" than any other's, but I will say that in all the years that I've been going here, I've never once not danced, at least for a little bit. Plus this summer the art exhibition that fills MoMA PS1, and which is open to all party-goers until 6:00, is particularly strong. Called Expo 1: New York and concerned with the current and future state of our planet's ecology, the show takes up the entire museum and features, for example, Pierre Huyghe's tank of vicious arrow crabs; the ruins of an ancient (current?) civilization by Adrian Villar Rojas's; and Olafur Elliason's massive, solar-powered walk-in freezer housing big chunks of an actual, 800-year-old Icelandic glacier (below). 

Art exhibition that fills MoMA PS1 called Expo 1: New York centers around the planet's ecology and features a solar-powered walk-in freezer housing big chunks of an actual, 800-year-old Icelandic glaciers

M. Wells Courtyard Snackbar

And if all of THAT isn't enough to get you on the 7 train to LIC (or the E), the M. Wells crew is running the courtyard snackbar, with corn dogs, just-shucked oysters, jerky wings (above) and a terrific tartare sandwich among the offerings. Warm Up does get crowded (to say the least), especially after 5:00, so here's what I do: arrive around 2:00 – 2:30 and just hang out and play around the Party Wall; look at the art inside and use the bathroom before the lines get super long; dance while there's still some breathing room on the floor or grab a seat on the stairs and take in all the varied and sometimes pretty wild sights and sounds; leave when you can no longer even walk from Points A to B. 

Jerky Chicken from M. Wells Courtyard Snackbar

More Information: MoMA PS1 Summer Events

Warm Up is held at MoMA PS1 every Saturday through September 7. The museum is open from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m.; the music starts at 3:00 and ends at 9:00 p.m. Visit MoMA PS1 online for lots more information about the party, the Expo 1: New York exhibition, M. Wells, and a complete Warm Up music schedule!

Crowds forming for the 2013 MoMA PS1 WarmUp party wall, created by CODA

M. Wells Dinette on Urbanspoon

MoMA PS1 Warm Up Events

2009 2010 2011
2012 2013 2014

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