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Necto, a club located on Liberty Street in Ann Arbor, is a popular destination for Queer students at the University of Michigan on Friday nights. This is partially to do with the 18 and up age requirement, and mostly to do with their infamous Pride Fridays, which have existed since 1984. Pride Friday (also known as “Gay Night”) sees high amounts of traffic — almost as soon as Necto opened back up in July 2021, there were lines down the sidewalk to get in. Clubs are popular on weekend nights, but Necto is particularly known around campus for Gay Night. 

During my freshman year, on Oct. 3, 2019, my friends and I went to an Icona Pop concert at Necto (they wrote “I Love It (feat. Charli XCX)”, a very popular song from 2012). I dyed my hair temporarily pink and danced the entire night. A friend told me that one performer of the duo stared at me when they entered the crowd. I still don’t believe her. I did not go to Necto again until last semester when I went to a Friday Gay Night. While there was no official concert that I was waiting for and it was some random Friday night in October, the atmosphere held the same excitement and anticipation as I entered the club.

Many of my Queer friends still love to go on Fridays, even as they are over 21 and can go to other bars. One of Ann Arbor’s most popular gay bars, Aut Bar, closed during quarantine in June 2020. Drake George, a Statement columnist at The Michigan Daily, wrote in February about the decrease in Queer bars over the last few decades. Aut was not a singularity, and Necto stands today as one of the only 18+ Queer-friendly bars within a walking distance for University of Michigan students. 

I sat down with Business freshman Maddie Wilson, a member of the executive board in the Out for Business organization at the Ross School of Business (though it is not Business School-exclusive). She estimated that she goes to Necto’s Gay Night almost every other Friday since joining the club, a popular event to bring members together. During our interview, she told me, “Personally I love Friday Pride Nights, just because it’s just a different atmosphere than a frat party.” She emphasized the community of Necto itself and the importance of going with people that you like, as well as her comfort going alone.

 For Wilson, Necto is not just a place to dance and listen to music with her friends, but also a place to meet people (we both have crazy bathroom stories). She said that she mainly goes on Fridays, but she tries to go on Saturdays with her sorority sisters, too. When I asked if she went anywhere other than Necto, she said, “I think Necto is the main place we go out … I don’t think there’s any other place, at least to my knowledge, that is a going-out club-type of feel, that has a Pride Night.”

I also asked Engineering junior Erdem Ozdemir about his experiences at Necto. He told me that he started going to Necto this past summer, but he has since been going more often, about once a month. When I asked about a favorite Necto memory, Ozdemir told me about an event two weeks ago Kylie Sonique Love’s drag performance on Pride Friday. He expressed an interest in going to Live on their bi-weekly Thursday Pride nights after classes are over in the summer, but he currently only goes to Necto for specific Queer-friendly events. “It also doesn’t help that there aren’t a ton of commercial Queer spaces in Ann Arbor, I know there was Aut Bar, but that closed over the pandemic,” Ozdemir said. “For now, it’s mostly Necto.” He told me that he only goes to Necto on Gay Night — “I’m usually there because I want to be around other Queer people … the energy there is really good, it’s a lot of fun, and there’s a sense of understood community there … Plus, the music is better.”

Necto stands as one of the only University student-accessible nightclubs (for both age and location) within Ann Arbor. It is distinctive in its specific openness, though there generally is a cost for attendance — $10 for anyone 21 and up, and $20 for 18- to 20-year-olds, but it’s free before 10 p.m. for anyone with a college ID. It may not be the only place to meet people or hang out, but it is well-known for its feeling of community and fun atmosphere. Ann Arbor needs more Queer establishments, like most cities; for now, Necto seems to work for a lot of LGBTQ+ students. If you are looking for a club to go to on a Friday night, consider going to Necto for free before 10 p.m. Do NOT forget your MCard.

Giselle Mills is an Opinion Columnist and can be reached at