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Club or warehouse : The dividing contrast

SOCIETY - Nightlife has been given a new wind compared to all those years spent in clubs. Another alternative exists for ever-demanding customers. Collectives have taken this chance and expanded the field of possibilities for more free and ‘open’ raves. Lights on a divided nightlife.

The first warehouses appeared in Paris in 2011 with TWSTED raves, organized by Supr!ze, which emerged in Saint-ouen in an old theater. However, it is in 2014/2015 that warehouses have reached their peak, and they still continue to do so to this day.

The Ile-de-France region houses about two ‘big’ warehouses per week-end, organized by various collectives of the parisian scene. These events aren’t always made to earn money. Some organizers are just passionate about it, risking fines and/or expulsion.

The biggest threat is mostly the police, because as sad as it is, they are rarely on the schedulers’ side and doesn’t hesitate to interrupt or cancel said events.

These events can be illegal, but are always quite strict when it comes to organization. There are emergency stations, guards, a sound system you wouldn’t dream of, and a crazy (in a good way) atmosphere.

The environment provided by a warehouse is clearly what some party people are looking for; a libertarian spirit meaning sex isn’t prohibited, drugs being tolerated (as long as it’s somewhat supervised), nudity isn’t a problem and twelve hour long shows are more than just appreciated. All these characteristics are making ravers slowly but surely abandon clubs in favor of warehouses.

On the other hand, the clubs are also responsible for this abandonment of the public due to the rather severe rules imposed on them by the government. Smoking being forbidden inside, toilets needing to be used individually with controls carried out, nudity or sexual intercourse being unthinkable or even, guards not always acting correctly with the customers. On the drinking side, prices remain inconsistent and clearly do not encourage consumption compared to evenings warehouses. Of course the expected audience is not the same and for good reason: When you're a student or a young worker, you cannot afford to invest a lot of money in it, and it clearly makes those generations fed up about it.

However, clubs own several advantages over warehouses because they are directly in the city, which facilitates the movement of party-goers during the night. The licenses they have allow them to party until the end of the night and more without having the police chasing them. The warehouse events are mostly in the suburbs due to the size of the hangars which must be huge and far from any neighborhood. Sometimes it works in favor of club programmers; Some agencies are reluctant to allow their artists to play in a warehouse because of the risk of cancellations or interruptions.

We are far from la la land. Let’s not bury our faces in the sand: The underground places push to exceed our limits and some have understood it too well. Exceeding oneself through illicit substances or too much alcohol, can turn the party into a real hecatomb.

You are not going to have the same experience going into a warehouse or a club, but one thing is sure: Both must stop fighting and must learn to coexist in our city. Customers will always differ between these two atmospheres.

We can worry about the future of the warehouses events though. Are they just a trend? What if tomorrow some Parisian club offered all the upsides of a warehouse with an irreproachable sound system and unlimited freedom? Would we still go deep in the suburbs to dance and have fun?!

What about you, are you more club or warehouse?