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A nightclub is a venue where one or more regular nightclub events are held. Since most major nightclubs hold very similar events as the primary purpose of the venue, the terms "nightclub" and "nightclub event" are often interchangeable. Nightclubs stereotypically attract younger people from the ages of about 18 to 35, but typically have no upper age limit and can have a wide-ranging clientelle in terms of age.

Nightclubs are a staple of the nightlife of almost every single city in the world. Some holiday destinations, such as Ibiza, are world-renowned for their nightclubs, while others are renowned for different reasons but still have a wide variety of nightclubs to cater to the tourist and permanent customers who live in the area. People typically go to nightclubs to drink, dance, relax, have fun, meet new people, and enjoy the atmosphere.

Definition of a nightclub Edit

Considering the entries in a variety of major dictionaries, we can summarise that a nightclub is a venue which hosts regular events (known as nightclub events) which meet all of the following criteria:

  • They are open at night (in the timezone where the nightclub is located).
  • They serve drinks (usually alcoholic drinks, although not always).
  • They play music.
  • They have an area which is designated for people to partake in some sort of freeform dance-like activity (known as a dancefloor).

Often, the nightclub venue will take on the name of the event being held there for the duration of the event.

Self-designation as a nightclub Edit

The issue of whether a venue designates itself as a nightclub is largely irrelevant in determining whether it is a nightclub. In some cities, venues brand themselves as a "club" on the outside to attract people to enter, and charge a high price for entry, but once the customer gets inside, they find the venue is largely deserted, or otherwise lacking some of the above features.

Similarly, some venues may call themselves a "bar" or in some rare cases a "pub" even though they possess the above characteristics. This is not any indication that the venue is not actually a nightclub.

What is not a nightclub Edit

For clarity, this is a list of cases where the venue is not considered a nightclub:

  • If it serves drinks, but doesn't have a dancefloor, then it is a bar, not a nightclub.
  • If it only occasionally holds events, but doesn't have any kind of regularity to it, then it's just a venue, but not a nightclub.
  • If it has a structure to the dancing on the dancefloor (e.g. dance lessons) then it is not a nightclub.

Borderline cases Edit

Some "edge cases" of nightclubs exist which do technically conform to all the above criteria and are therefore known as a nightclub, but are not what you would typically consider to be a nightclub. Here are some examples:

  • The Renaissance Rooms is a nightclub in Vauxhall, London. Instead of dancing normally, all customers on the dancefloors have to be wearing rollerskates, and so are doing a hybrid between dancing and rollerskating.
  • Some nightclubs have a lower age limit which is quite low (such as 13) - such nightclubs will typically not serve alcoholic drinks. For example, the "Love Social" event occurring at many clubs owned by Luminar Entertainment.

Features commonly associated with nightclubs Edit

Features of most nightclubs Edit

In addition to the mandatory features listed in the definition above, here are some features which you will find in almost all nightclubs:

Features of some nightclubs Edit

A significant number, although by no means all, of the nightclubs also possess some of the following features:

  • They will have a dress code.
  • They will serve some sort of food (usually fast food).
  • They will have one or more stage areas.
  • They will open at night (rather than opening during the day and staying open through til the nighttime).

Rare features of nightclubs Edit

There are some additional features which a small number of nightclubs possess; these clubs are usually widely discussed for these reasons:

Nightclub opening hours Edit

Nightclubs are generally always open through the hour of 11pm, but aside from that, they fall into various categories depending on the hours they are generally open.

Standard opening Edit

Most commonly, nightclubs tend to open at around 9pm or 10pm. Because of this, their customers will often go to bars beforehand to start off their night before the clubs open. Typically, clubs will close around 2am or 3am.

All-day opening Edit

Some clubs will open all day. Such venues will typically open at about 10am or 11am. During the day, they will make some changes to accommodate a wider variety of people than their usual clientelle. They will not usually provide a dancefloor during this time, and may serve food, sometimes from a cooked menu.

All-night opening Edit

Some nightclubs are open until such time as it can be considered the next morning. For example, some clubs close at 6am or 7am. This is particularly prevalent in rave-style clubs, which often don't even open until 11pm or midnight. In these cases, a lot of their customers will come after visiting another nightclub which closed at 2am or 3am. Before these times, the all-night club will often be quite empty.

Early closing Edit

Some nightclubs, particularly those which designate themselves as "bars", will close early, such as closing at 11pm or midnight. Sometimes, this is to avoid paying premium licensing fees for clubs which close very late.

Integrated bar Edit

Some clubs will have one of their rooms designated as the "bar" and often advertise it as if it was an entirely separate venue. This bar is intended for customers who want to go to a bar prior to the opening of the club. After the club opens, the bar may close completely, or it may be converted into just another room of the nightclub.

Weeknights Edit

The above mainly apply on Friday and Saturday nights. However, many venues are open on all other nights, but with very reduced hours, usually closing a lot earlier than they would on one of their main nights.

Nightclub music Edit

Nightclubs play a wide variety of music, but usually a club is targeted to a particular genre or group of genres, in order to attract customers who like that particular style of music. Major genres of music played at nightclubs are:

  • Dance music
    • House music
    • Trance music
    • Drum n Bass
    • Dubstep
  • Pop music
    • Modern pop music
    • 1970s pop music
    • 1980s pop music
    • 1990s pop music
  • Rock music
    • Indie music
    • Classic rock music
    • Metal music
  • RnB music
  • Hip hop music
  • Dancehall music (also known as simply "reggae")

Travel to and from nightclubs Edit

Many, though not all, nightclubs are located in central areas of the city they are located in. Therefore their customers will find the nightclubs easy to get to either on foot or by public transport, such as train. Most customers of nightclubs do not drive to the venue as this means they cannot drink during the night.

When customers leave nightclubs, often the main forms of public transport have finished. This leads many customers to take taxicabs home from the nightclub. In many cities, illegal minicab operators will stand outside major nightclubs, trying to find customers. In some cases, this practice can lead to serious crimes such as rape. Therefore a lot of nightclubs provide their own taxi service, or recommend a local and reputable company. Some people may also choose to take buses home from clubs.

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