A nightclub, music club or club, is an entertainment venue and bar that usually operates late into the night. A nightclub is generally distinguished from regular bars, pubs or taverns by the inclusion of a stage for live music, one or more dance floor areas and a DJ booth, where a DJ plays recorded music. The upmarket nature of nightclubs can be seen in the inclusion of VIP areas in some nightclubs, for celebrities and their guests. Nightclubs are much more likely than pubs or sports bars to use bouncers to screen prospective clubgoers for entry. Some nightclub bouncers do not admit people with informal clothing or gang apparel as part of a dress code. The busiest nights for a nightclub are Friday and Saturday night. Most clubs or club nights cater to certain music genres, such as house music or hip hop. Many clubs have recurring club nights on different days of the week. Most club nights focus on a particular genre or sound for branding effects.
Many nightclubs use bouncers to choose who can enter the club, or specific lounges or VIP areas. Some nightclubs have one group of bouncers to screen clients for entry at the main door, and then other bouncers to screen for entry to other dance floors, lounges or VIP areas. For legal reasons, in most jurisdictions, the bouncers have to check ID to ensure that prospective patrons are of legal drinking age and that they are not intoxicated already. In this respect, a nightclub's use of bouncers is no different from the use of bouncers by pubs and sports bars. However, in some nightclubs, bouncers may screen patrons using criteria other than just age and intoxication status, such as dress code and guest list.
This type of screening is used by clubs to make their club "exclusive", by denying entry to people who are not dressed in a stylish enough manner. While some clubs have written dress codes, such as no ripped jeans, no jeans, no gang clothing, and so on, other clubs may not post their policies. As such, the club's bouncers may deny entry to anybody at their discretion. The guest list is typically used for private parties and events held by celebrities. At private parties, the hosts may only want their friends to attend. At celebrity events, the hosts may wish the club to only be attended by A-list individuals.
Exclusive boutique clubs
At high end or exclusive nightclubs, professional photographers will take publicity photos of patrons, to use in advertising for the nightclub. Digital SLR cameras and speedlight flash units are typically used. Concert photography and event photography are used to provide clubgoers with a memorable keepsake in addition to promo material used by clubs. Since several years, some nightclubs and in particular techno clubs pursue a strict no photo policy in order to protect the clubbing experience, and smartphone camera lenses of visitors are taped up with stickers when one enters the venue.
Most nightclubs employ teams of bouncers, who have the power to restrict entry to the club and remove people. Some bouncers use handheld metal detectors to prevent weapons being brought into clubs. Bouncers often eject patrons who bring party drugs into the venue. Bouncers count the number of people admitted to a club in order to prevent stampedes and fire code violations, and also enforce a club's dress code, frequently accepting bribes to let people jump the queue. Many clubs have balcony areas specifically for the security team to watch over the clubbers.
A nightclub act is a production, usually of nightclub music or comedy, designed for performance at a nightclub, a type of drinking establishment, by a nightclub performer such as a nightclub singer or nightclub dancer, whose performance may also be referred to as a nightclub act. A scheduled performance, such as a wedding gig, is a club date.
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