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Nightclub Confidential

Around the Scene: August 6, 2009

August 6, 2009 By: Bryan Bass


International disc jockey publication DJ Mag has released a list of the top 100 nightclubs around the globe as picked by an unreported number of anonymous spinsters who were asked, “which clubs they love the most and provide the best experiences to their guests.” According to the DJs, North American nightlife isn’t on par with the rest of the world, as the first American-based venue on the list was perched all the way at #23 with Denver’s Beta Nightclub. The first Big Apple venue had to wait a few more spots before Pacha landed at #30; the City of Angel’s landed its first venue, Avalon Nightclub, at #40; and quixotically, Sin City was entirely shut out from the list altogether. The other American venues on the list are: SF’s Ruby Skye (#25) and 1015 (#83), Miami’s Space  (#28) and Opium Group’s Mansion Nightclub (#60), NYC’s Cielo (#34), L.A.’s Vanguard (#53), Chicago’s Vision Nightclub (#64) and Denver’s Vinyl (#65). The top international venues according to the list include: Berghain inBerlin at the top spot, London’s Fabric at #2, the Ibiza outpost of Space Nightclub at #3, Tokyo’s Womb at #4 and Ibiza’s Amnesia coming in at #5.


Minneapolis club owners and concert promoters are up in arms, as government officials are pushing for a ban on all concerts, shows and nightclub events in the city that target adult consumers. City officials point at excessive underage alcohol consumption as the reason for the proposed ban, while the opposition is shouting that limiting their audience would cripple the amount of shows held in the city and that it would likely put several downtown venues out of business, all while being highly hypocritical. “They will exempt the Target Center, the Twins stadium and the Metrodome because they are, as the lieutenant from the police department told me, ‘family value venues,’” said club owner John Barlow. “Have you ever been downtown to the tailgating that goes on at football games? They're binge drinking — in vehicles. I don’t understand how that flies.”


Former Fresno, Calif., nightclub owner Kirk Vartanian, who opened the Vegas-style Edge Nightclub for one night last month before being arrested on multiple charges in Nevada and California, has reached an agreement with prosecutors in Nevada on accusations of passing fraudulent checks amounting to more than $240,000 at two Las Vegas casinos. His attorney announced he has agreed to pay $60,000 up front, followed by $3,000 monthly payments over the next four years. The charges will be withdrawn once his debt is cleared. He also still faces multiple counts of felony assault and domestic violence charges in Fresno, where he is expected in court in September.


Officials on Australia’s Gold Coast are fighting back against an increase in violent “glassing attacks” by banning high-risk establishments from using glass and forcing them to use plastic or acrylic glassware. Within the past calendar year, officials in the Queensland territory have recorded 45 glassing incidents in venues ranging from nightclubs to local watering holes to upscale hotel bars. Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading Peter Lawlor announced that any licensed pub or club that has recorded more than three violent incidents within the past year would be forced to make the switch. The Queensland Hotels Association’s chief executive Justin O'Connor made an interesting argument when he noted that the ban is misdirected on venues rather than the patrons causing these acts.


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Bryan Bass


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