Susanne Bartsch, Nightlife Icon

Q&A: Forward Bartsch

Nightlife icon Susanne Bartsch appears in “Bartschland in Boston” at the Revere Hotel on April 20.

What does being a nightlife icon mean to you?
It sounds good. I don’t really go by what I’m called. If someone thinks I suck, that’s their choice, and if someone thinks I’m an icon, then that’s their choice, too. It is nice that people are viewing me as more than just a girl running around with a wig. I still feel that excitement and energy and sparkle within myself when I see people unite, flirting with each other, saying hello to each other. It’s a great gift for me. It’s just a beautiful energy, even if it lasts for just a couple of hours.

How have you maintained your stamina?
I don’t do drugs, and I don’t drink—very little—that’s probably why I can keep doing this. Because otherwise it would have devoured me. That’s the answer for physical health, spiritually. It’s really that I love what I do. And I think when you love what you do it’s kind of infectious. People gravitate. Do I have to pay the rent? Yes. But it’s not for the rent that I’m doing it. I think being creative is a really important element in anybody’s life, and in my life I refer to it as a spirituality. You have an idea, and to be able to make it happen and to make it come to life, it’s really special.

Have parties changed since the ’80s?
Yes, a lot. The economy tanked. I think around ’86 things were much more flamboyant—people had more money. And then of course the whole change from dancing and great DJs: it became about bottle service, and that was really devastating to nightlife and events. It became so predictable. You buy a $500 bottle of vodka, and you have a table, and that’s going to make you look good. But no. New York’s become expensive, so the people I am inspired by—artists, writers, musicians—they can’t afford to live here. It’s definitely lost that flavor.

What’s bringing you to Boston?
I am all about creating live art at my events—I see events as art. I think any hotel or commercial venture that supports the arts is what our world and culture needs right now. Boston is a beautiful place, and I think it will be a great backdrop to what I do. It’s going to make it more eccentric. I’m very excited to come to Boston. I hope that people will be excited to come out and experience the night. Let’s have a blast!

This article originally appeared in the April 10, 2013, issue of The Improper Bostonian.