by the Assonant Weasels
A country’s clubbing scene is a perfect reflection of the level of freedom of expression. It’s like a collective portrait made of thousands of individuals – some alike, others totally opposite, but each of them different to some extent.
In marketing there’s this notion of a brand persona – it challenges you to decide which are the personality traits of a brand and project them into an actual face or person. Now take this notion and apply it to the clubbing scene of a city or one of a whole country. If it were a human being, how would your local scene look like? Would it be beautiful? If it were a woman, would she be wearing high heels, some ragged all stars or a pair of some hip sneakers? Is this person happy or more like frowned and gloomy, maybe even worried? How about the clothes? Are they all black, somewhat colorful or totally cuckoo? The taste in music? Does it span over more than one or two styles? Is this person hungry to learn about new artists or simply prefers to go to the same parties over and over again?
We have to say this. Ordinary is boring. Unimaginative is dreadful. All black is nonsense. Mainstream is absolutely out of the question. And yet, if we’re really honest with ourselves, we might end up realizing that these traits are those that stand out the most when thinking about the local scene.
As much as we’d like it to be something else, we might end up realizing the party options on the local scene end up being all too scarce, especially in terms of venue-related options. The whole party universe is built up on a handful of places that are actually quality oriented, while others have fallen in the trap of mainstream or open up their door for the sole purpose of profit making.
That’s why running a club by gathering the DJs that are the most accesible or the cheapest to get, selling the drinks way overpriced and not treating your party-goers with respect are not going to do the world any good. It will make it only a dark and unhappy place. And it would be the same, weekend after weekend. One season after another, generation after generation.
And this is all related to the system – you see the countries with a thriving music scene are also among the most forward thinking in the world. Or vice versa, those who oppress the freedom of speech also hit the clubbing scene, like the recent case of Tbilisi. Because this is where sometimes good ideas are born and, most importantly, where you go on emotional rollercoaster rides that train your empathy and introspection abilities.
The truth is some governments have understood the importance and escapism surrounding the music scene, taking the necessary steps to ensure a safe and proper environment. While the German government actively supports the community by offering financial aid, in other countries financial “aid” comes vice-versa, from owners and promoters to officials, and in shadier circumstances. Such a corrupt system doesn’t care about its people, nor about their safety and their right to have fun at weekends, so it is the one that’s most liable to failure.
The pinnacle of a rotten state’s failure might end up in a tragedy, as it happened in Bucharest in 2015, when a place that had become a home to culture and music for several years was reduced to ashes, along with friends and extraordinary people inside. All enjoying a Friday night of live music.
So, it’s actually up to us to compensate where others fail – to work towards a collective catharsis. Let us end this with a piece of advice: stay curious, paint your nights in colours and be laid back. Don’t let the experience become ordinary. Because we love it sweet, don’t we? Or, better said, shouldn’t we?