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Popular weekly rave finds new home in Fort Worth’s cultural district

A DJ playshis set at a nightclub as a crowd listens
Juan Salinas II
Meet Me Underground’s attendees listen to DJ Joven's set on Aug 28, 2023, in Fort Worth.

Since it began two years ago, Meet Me Underground has become one of the main hubs for Tarrant County’s house music scene. After being in limbo for about a month, the event has found a new home.

The sounds of repetitive, thumping beats can now be heard in Fort Worth’s Cultural District every Monday night — thanks to Meet Me Underground.

After a move from its original downtown location and a short stay in the Southside of Fort Worth, the popular weekly rave has found a new home at Ampersand Bar.

“I’m relieved,” said Alvaro Gonzales, founder of Meet Me Underground.

The event highlights local house music DJs — it’s a genre associated with funky or jumpy beats that encourage people to dance. Since it began two years ago, Meet Me Underground has become one of the main hubs for Tarrant County’s house music scene.

But in late July, some disagreements with management at the rave’s original location pushed Gonzales to move.

“I had to bite the bullet and go elsewhere,” he said.

Gonzales decided to move from Curfew Bar downtown to Distribution Bar in the Southside of Fort Worth.

Chris Whetstone, a manager at Distribution Bar, attended a Meet Me Underground show and knew he needed to find a way to get the house party at his nightclub. Bringing the weekly rave to the bar would boost business on Monday nights, he said.

“I don't know if I was manifesting, but it's just a great opportunity to let people know that we're a part of the neighborhood of Southside,” Whetstone said.

While Distribution Bar management was ecstatic about the move, tenants from the apartment above the bar weren't too happy.

After only two shows at the bar, the tenants had enough.

Gonzales recalled that some residents would throw eggs at cars parked outside Distribution during Meet Me Underground.

Gonzales felt that tenants were overacting.

“Which was kind of ridiculous,” Gonzales said. “You choose to live above a bar; you expect sound, especially since half of it’s like a recording studio.”

Despite dealing with disgruntled tenants, a bigger problem arose for Meet Me Underground – how its regulars felt about the aesthetic of the Distribution Bar.

“People didn't necessarily vibe with it,” Gonzales said.

a disco ball reflects lights at a nightclub.
Juan Salinas II
Ampersand Bar’s disco ball reflects lights during Meet Me Underground on Aug 28, 2023, in Fort Worth.

A permanent spot

The move to Ampersand Bar has been received well by its regulars, Gonzales said.

One of those people is Raquel Borja, who has been going to Meet Me Underground since the first show in 2021. Borja likes the new space — a coffee shop during the day, and a club at night – because it reminds her of when she worked at a coffee shop.

“Being able to listen to house music in a coffee shop, it's pretty exciting,” Borja said.

For Borja, Meet Me Underground is also a safe space because of its relaxed and comforting atmosphere. People who go to Meet Me Underground would often be welcomed with open arms by regulars, Borja said.

Borja recalled when she arrived at a recent rave, three people she hadn’t seen in two months greeted and told her how much they missed her.

Encounters like these give Meet Me Underground a sense of community, which Borja enjoys the most about the weekly rave.

“(Meet Me Underground) just feels like home,” Borja said.

Gonzales is proud of what Meet Me Underground has become in such a short time.

The event is popular, he said, because people from different backgrounds can come together and enjoy something they have in common — house music.

“It’s important to me that we try to keep that up,” Gonzales said.

Finding a place that matches a rave aesthetic was a challenge. Gonzales said he’s relieved that people enjoy the new spot.

Gonzales asks for patience as they continue to figure out what works and what doesn't work at Ampersand Bar. But with the backing of the owners, who are electronic music fans themselves, he believes the new location has huge potential.

“I think it's something that could be bigger than the last spot,” Gonzales said.

Juan Salinas II is a KERA news intern. Got a tip? Email Juan at You can follow Juan on Twitter @4nsmiley.

Juan Salinas II is currently studying journalism at UT-Arlington. He is a transfer student from TCC, where he worked at the student newspaper, The Collegian, and his reporting has also appeared in Central Track, D Magazine, The Shorthorn and other Texas news outlets.