Are the unique parties which take place in warehouses, castles and other locations taking away from the clubbing scene?
The status of the club is huge in the world of dance music, without the clubs there would be no scene and well, it looks like there could be a bit of problem at this current time as the so-called “unique parties” are making the clubs suffer with operating costs soaring and limited crowds attending the iconic clubs.
What is it that makes a unique party now? The average clubber is now looking for something different, they want an experience which will give them something out of the norm, a different edge to an average night in the club, a new buzz through the atmosphere that is created, something that stands out for them and makes their night. The club just isn’t cutting it if you’ve been there twenty times in the last six months. So where do we go? We go to the warehouses, the castles, big manor houses, wherever the unique parties are taking place.
This style of partying and raving is soaring. With more and more venues cropping up over the last few years and holding parties on a variety of occasions, a lot of promoters are jumping on the bandwagon and heading for these places in order to attract the average clubber to a new experience. In Northern Ireland, we have the underground car park raves, the warehouse parties in Belfast, amongst other cool outings, and this is surely taking away from the clubs. However elsewhere, venues are also cropping up. One of the promoters which really does this well is the Lost In A Moment parties, taking over castles, unique venues and throwing huge parties with the underground dancers. Dalt Vila in Ibiza is another, a quality location which creates an impeccable atmosphere.
But when the crowd attends these events, what about the clubs? The clubs will not be able to throw down these kinds of events, unless the promoter behind the club takes the brand to these areas. However it is sure to be impacting on the club scene, the place where it all began, the sweaty area where you give it stacks on the dance floor. What is happening to clubbing culture?
We talk about the unique parties which are currently being thrown all over the world, however the festivals are also impacting on the clubs in certain areas. What happens when ninety thousand people attend a festival for a full weekend or maybe two? Each night that takes away from the clubs, unless you lock in an after-party, but even the costs to host these are astronomical.
The unique venues attract the crowds through the location which the party is hosted, the club has to try and do this with the artist they bring in, and now with the fee which many are charging, particularly in the more main stream side of the scene, this is extremely hard for the club to pull off. With the challenge of the unique parties taking place on numerous weekends throughout the year, as well as rising operating costs for the club, it is a sad sign to see it, but clubbing culture is slowly dying off.
Though, counteracting this we have the likes of Berghain in Berlin, a club which strives to provide a unique clubbing experience. The battle to get in the door to this club with the long lines and the strict door policy is just a few of the ways that make this club demanded. With no cameras or phones allowed within the building (despite a short video surfacing recently), Berghain allows itself to remain a mystery to the outside world, only for those that have entered will know what to expect.
The other side of the argument is the DJs that come to the clubs will attract the crowd, but with a limited capacity and sometimes huge booking fees which impact on the price of the tickets, will the crowd want to pay twenty or thirty quid to go to a club that you can go to on a Tuesday night and get in for a fiver? It all depends on how interested you are in dance music and the DJ that may be playing.
Is there anything we can do or is this battle going to run on for years? Unless you stop going to these unique parties or start pumping your money into your local club, no not really. It’s hard to stomach but we could see many clubs beginning to shut due to the challenge which is taking place. Does that mean we rule out the clubs forever? No. It means that the cycle which many industries undertake shows the slowing down of clubs, but their time will return. The clubs will always stand firm and we hope they continue to do so. At this current time however, it’s extremely hard for them.
Photo Source: Jika Jika