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When I think of the all-American, blond-haired, blue-eyed boy, the first person that comes to mind is Christopher Berini. He’s a Ken doll come to life, a wholesome image of a hot DJ on a mission to raise funds for charity.
Mesmerized by music since he was young, Berini shifted from classical piano lessons to sound-smithing on his synthesizer. In high school, he sneaked into gay bars, where he discovered the power of dance music. This led to a full-blown obsession with 90s house music as he studied abroad in London while he was in college. When he returned back to the US, his best friend introduced him to the gay party “circuit.” Soon Berini followed the icons of house music, such as Junior Vasquez, Frankie Knuckles and Susan Morabito. His friend DJ Julian Marsh inspired him to get his own turntables in fall of 2001.
Berini entered SF’s Next Hot DJ contest in 2008. He scored a regular happy hour gig at Lookout in the Castro and headlined a new party at Mecca called “Swank,” produced by Mike Lane and Janine Shiota (creators of the legendary Fresh T-Dance at Ruby Skye). “These two big breaks helped me realize that I could truly pursue my passion as a profession,” Berini says. “And I’ve been doing just that ever since!”
When Berini joined forces with his buddy DJ Grind and the guys at Lookout in the fall of 2010, the party PLΣDGΣ was be born. “PLΣDGΣ was designed to honor and support the organizations that help our community thrive, while creating a vibe I can best describe as ‘flirtatious camaraderie.’” With that, Berini winks and smiles and I’m automatically a supporter of his cause.
It’s no surprise the signature PLΣDGΣ paddle gets as much action as it does. “We often joke that we beat donations out of our friends if necessary, but as you’ll see from the paddle photos on our Facebook page, everyone involved is totally into the party.”
On a more serious note, Berini says “PLΣDGΣ means bringing my friends together, dancing to the music we love, and generally having a blast… all while helping our community thrive.”
The power of PLΣDGΣ is very real. “Having worked with many nonprofit organizations in San Francisco,” Berini explains, “I know how much they need the type of unrestricted funding produced by parties like this – so I know they make a difference.”
And PLΣDGΣ is about to make an even bigger difference with its new location at Rebel. “PLΣDGΣ got off to an excellent start at LOOKOUT and we are incredibly grateful for their partnership in making it such a success over the past 15 months,” Berini says. “While leaving is bittersweet, moving to Rebel and going weekly will allow us to grow in some exciting ways, and it means we can raise much more money for our beneficiary partners.”
“For one thing, REBEL has a great dance floor. And I’m excited about working with a new fellow PLΣDGΣmaster, DJ Brian Maier, who is as talented as he is gorgeous,” Berini says. “Plus we’re making big improvements to the party, like adding more hot gogo dancers, ‘shot masters’ passing Absolut shooters, and a crew of hot PLΣDGΣ brothers running the show. They’ll form “frat” teams that will compete in fundraising challenges at each event.”
PLΣDGΣ’s kickoff party at its new location will feature a drinking game Olympics. Get into it this Friday the 13th at Rebel.