Endurance Factors: Building Clubs That Last

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There’s a variety of reasons why some of the world’s most famous clubs don’t go the distance. Iconic Manchester venue The Haçienda lost its entertainments license in 1997 after years of struggling with crime, drugs and violence. The Warehouse in Chicago lost its cultural cache when resident Frankie Knuckles left and took the crowd with him. Twilo in NYC finally fell in 2001 after years of pressure from Republican mayor Rudy Giuliani.

More recently, while London’s decades-old Ministry of Sound pulled off a ‘Lazarus Rising’ in January by beating longrunning property development threats, Berlin’s much-appreciated Horst closed its doors last year following what was identified as “a long and tiring battle against the windmills of money.” What are some of the factors that allow a club or events brand to survive?

A place and time that captures perfectly the impermanence of clublife are the early days of Berlin’s techno scene, evolving in the fall of the Berlin Wall. With more than a third of the buildings in the city’s East lying unoccupied after reunification, the scene was defined by a nomadic attitude in how those derelict buildings were utilised. It was a more extreme variant on what was happening elsewhere, with dance culture growing in illegal warehouse parties around the world.

“…We want something that we can work on for the next ten years or so….”