The Kennedy Center’s Terrace Is Turning Into Outdoor Nightclub This Fall!

The hottest pandemic-era club is coming to Washington, DC, the Kennedy Center, to be exact.

A D.C. entertainment company will soon launch HEIST x Kennedy Center, a pop-up club on the performing arts center’s terrace. Tickets for opening night on Oct. 3, sold out within 15 minutes, according to the club’s Instagram account.

In the Before Times, HEIST was a high-end, underground nightclub in Dupont Circle with black leather seats and $20,000 bottles of champagne on the bottle service menu. Members of the Washington Capitals and Nationals celebrated their championship victories there.

The Kennedy Center iteration promises similar vibes. Located on the performing arts center’s terrace, the club will feature a “glamorous and exclusive design” with a stage for DJs, 20 “Ultra VIP cabanas,” and 40 VIP tables overlooking the Potomac River, according to Heist’s press release.

A VIP cabana comes with a snack tray, dessert platter, and “Red Bull package,” as well as private elevator access for all guests. Be prepared to spend at $1,000 for this package, Other tables and cabana packages have minimum spends ranging from $240 to $750.

All tables will be spread apart and limited to no more than six guests to comply with the city’s coronavirus guidelines. Food and drink orders will be taken in advance, and temperature checks will be required upon entry. People without reservations will not be allowed in.

The Kennedy Center is one of only six local venues to receive a waiver from the city to host live entertainment amid the coronavirus pandemic. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the pilot waiver program on Friday and the other five recipients: City Winery, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Pearl Street Warehouse, the Hamilton, Union Stage.

However, the new nightclub is not a part of the waiver program because it is categorized as an outdoor restaurant, not a live music event.  “This event has no live music being performed, only music curated by DJs through a playlist. A waiver is only needed for live music initiatives,” said a spokesperson for MoKi Media, the public relations company representing HEIST.

The performing arts center hosted its first indoor shows in several months on Saturday with new measures for social distancing. A 40-person audience was seated onstage in the Opera House, while singers Renee Fleming and Vanessa Williams performed from a stage built over the orchestra-level seats.

The Kennedy Center’s REACH space, meanwhile, has already been home to the wine garden pop up Victura Park this summer, offering wine and beer, a menu developed by chef Erik Bruner-Yang and space for social distancing.

A spokesperson for the Kennedy Center confirmed HEIST would pay the center for the use of its space.

Vinoda Basnayake, the nightlife entrepreneur behind HEIST, has close ties to Bowser. Last year he was appointed to chair the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife and Culture, a relatively new committee that serves as a liaison between nightlife establishments and the city government. He also served on Bowser’s Re-Open D.C. Advisory Committee. His lifestyle and entertainment company, Versus, is also behind the Morris American Bar and Casta’s Rum Bar.


“We’re so excited to bring back culture and nightlife experiences for our community here in Washington, which is so in need of uplift this year,” Basnayake said in a release Monday.


To learn more information about the new nightclub please visit and Follow @heistdc for updates.

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