Tuesday, September 26, 2023

So You Want To Go Dancing, But You Want to be Home by Midnight? A Genius New Night Out For Sleepy Adults

Cinderellas, assemble – you can now go to the ball (da club) and be home by midnight – introducing the new club for tired millennials and Gen X’s

Hey, remember being young? Remember going out for some drinks, ambling along the city streets, following the wind and seeing where the night takes you – maybe a bar you’ve never been into is having a gig? Maybe you walk by a club, hear the opening beats of Nelly’s Hot In Herre and the next thing you know, you’re singing about your butt in a crowd of people who also graduated high school in the early 2000s.

Remember experiencing 3am for fun reasons?

Remember energy?

While we can’t return the stamina and freedom of your 22-year-old self (at least not in a sustainable way), the new Auckland-based Midnight Club is taking all of the joys of a night of dancing and packaging them up in a more achievable timeframe of 7pm to midnight, to help tired adults have fun on a schedule – which is the only way we can really have fun now.

This genius idea comes from DJ Dick ‘Magik’ Johnson, and Jamie Newman, who created the early morning sober dance party, Morning People. After three decades of DJing, Dick tells Capsule that he was aware that both he – and his audiences – were looking for a night out that was a bit friendlier to the over-30 crowd. Throughout his career, Dick was used to working 12-2am or 2-4am as the peak DJ slot, but had noticed over the past few years the emergence of earlier gigs, starting at 10pm. “There always seemed to be a nicer vibe – you don’t get that messier crowd at the end of the night,” he says.

Originally from the UK, Dick says the night club scene there always ran a bit earlier, as opposed to in Aotearoa where things tend to only kick off after 10pm-12am (as someone who has tried to go to Family Bar multiple times and simply never made it to 10pm, because I am so sleepy, I can personally attest to this).

“With getting older – and also with having kids – I noticed that with both myself and my mates, we didn’t want to be going to out midnight,” he says. “More and more I thought that it would be great if the night could peak at around 10pm and then you head home at midnight.”

Annie Mac, a DJ based in the UK, had started this movement a few years ago in London. Called Before Midnight, the gigs became so successful that she’s now doing tours across the UK. Dick hopes that the Midnight Club will be similarly popular here. The success of Morning People, the dance events with the tagline ‘party first, work later’ which run from 7-9am, had also proven there was an emerging and enthusiastic market of people in NZ wanting friendly hours to get their funk on.

“Everything has changed in dance culture,” Dick says. Back when he started DJing 30 years ago, club culture went hand-in-hand with drug culture. “It was always going to be a big night anyway, because people were high on ecstasy!” But in recent years, the crowds have become healthier; not only has drug use seem to have lessened, but so has the drinking. The point of Midnight Club, he says, is to “recreate that energy in other ways… people can hit the dance floor at 8pm for a few hours, go home and then be pretty fresh the next day. People are ready to make the most of it.”

Midnight Club Launch Party is on August 5, at Raynham Park in Karangahape Road, in Auckland. For more information, visit here.

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