A short history of clubbing: How nightclubbing has evolved through the decades

 

For many young people around the world, visiting a nightclub for the first time is a rite of passage and an initiation into adulthood. 

However, it isn’t just fun, dancing and merriment that has made nightclubs such important social and cultural institutions in the modern world. In reality, nightclubs have a complex history that is filled with unexpected twists and turns.

Nowadays, we find ourselves in an era where nightclubs are ubiquitous and hyper-commercialised.

In fact, nightclubs have become such a common sight in the landscape of our nightlife that you see them cropping up in unexpected locations such as hotels and even casinos, where hourly jackpots and the whirring of a roulette wheel combine with the thumping bass of electronic music you would usually associate with nightclubs. Whilst casinos and nightclubs have not traditionally been paired together, combinations like this are increasingly common nowadays as nightclubs become ever prevalent and popular.as unique social spaces.

This was not always the case, however, and in previous decades nightclubs were very much an ‘underground’ affair.

History of nightclubs

The exact origins of nightclubs are somewhat difficult to pin down, however, and much of this difficulty is connected to how you define and characterize nightclubs to begin with.

If you define a nightclub simply as a night-time space you can visit that serves alcohol and provides you with a space to dance in, nightclubs have existed in some form for hundreds of years. On the other hand, if you define them more narrowly as spaces with dancing, alcohol, party drugs and DJs spinning electronic music, this history has much shallower roots.

Despite these difficulties, the origins of the modern nightclub are generally accepted to have roots in the ballrooms and dancehalls of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Eventually, other music and dance venues emerged, such as jazz clubs, which gave these night-time spaces more of an underground edge. The next evolution of the night club came during the 1940s and 1950s as youth culture experienced a post-War explosion.

By the 1970s, discotheques — or discos as they are more popularly known — had spread across many parts of the world and increasingly replaced the more traditional dancehalls. Notably, this is also when the DJ started to become a more important figure in the nightclub world.

Technological innovations were also important in contributing to these developments, which allowed for the provision of music without the need to rely on a live band to provide the music. It also allowed nightclubs to become increasingly international spaces, with music from all over the world now possible to play without having to invite a live band.

Contemporary club culture as we know it today, however, began to emerge in earnest during the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the nightclub became an important part of youth culture. This was also when nightclubs entered into the mainstream, which had both negative and positive aspects. On the one hand, the popularization of nightclubs helped to increase the number of these spaces. On the other hand, by becoming so popular, many nightclubs were stripped of their more radical or transgressive elements.

Perhaps most importantly, it was in and around the 1980s and 1990s that the classic ‘sound’ of the nightclub began to emerge. Inspired by the industrial sounds of the cities where nightclubs were often located, the music popularly played in nightclubs was uniquely reflective of the modern age.

Given the importance of the city itself in the development of nightclub culture, the sounds associated with particular nightclub ‘scenes’ were in many respects a reflection of the urban landscape they emerged from.

For example, hyper industrialized urban landscapes like Chicago and Detroit pioneered ‘House’ and ‘Techno’ music in the 1980s. With places like Berlin being an epicenter for electronic music in the decade before.

Eventually, these urban sounds made their way over to the European scene. In places like Berlin and London, the modern shape of the nightclub scene began to emerge. Berlin still maintains its status as a mecca for nightclubbing, with locations like Tresor and Berghain drawing in hundreds of thousands of music fans each year.

Other European locations also fostered their own nightclubbing scenes. Manchester in particular proved to be a hub for the aptly known ‘Club Cathedrals’ which produced some of the defining sounds of the mid-1990s, particularly from places like the Haçienda.

A confluence of political, social and cultural upheavals occurring towards the tail end of the 1980s gave rise to what has been described as the second ‘Summer of Love’ of 1988-1989. This was the peak of the countercultural side of nightclub culture, with raves taking the nightclub scene by storm. However, rave culture provoked a sharp response from authorities. Particularly because it often relied on taking over abandoned spaces and reimagining them as nightclubs.

Interestingly, this countercultural, highly politicized side to nightclub culture was eventually followed by hyper commercialization. From the late 1990s onwards, electronic music underwent a period of intense mainstream commercialization, particularly through the famous ‘Ministry of Sound’ nightclub and record label.

Commercialization led the nightclub scene to pivot from the industrialized environments of Berlin and Manchester towards Mediterranean landscapes like Ibiza. From then onwards, the nightclub scene underwent a period of slow decline to where it is today.

Between the early 2000s to today, the number of nightclub locations has fallen sharply, particularly in the UK. Despite this, a subversive side still lives on. The digital revolution brought about by the internet is reimagining the nightclub scene. What shape this will take remains to be seen, however, what is clear is that nightclubs will always move with the times.

For a more detailed history of night clubs, check out this awesome interactive feature An Incomplete History of Clubbing you can easily swipe through the evolution of the club.

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LGBTQIA+ Therapists Are Essential: Here’s how to find the right one

The right fit makes a world of difference when it comes to finding a therapist. Many people are aware that therapists often use different therapy modalities, have varying educational backgrounds, or focus on specific concerns such as anxiety or trauma. However, what you may not know is that there are also therapists who specialize in working with various populations. This is imperative for many people when it comes to getting the most out of therapy.

Why LGBTQIA+ Therapists Are Essential

Why are LGBTQIA+ therapists so important? It just makes sense that someone that has a similar identity may have shared experiences in which they can help delve deeper into. There are many reasons as to why this is the case, but here are some of the most vital:

Understanding

Since an LGBTQIA+ therapist is more likely to be versed in matters that impact LGBTQIA+ individuals, finding an LGBTQIA+ affirming therapist can give you a sense of understanding that you might struggle to find otherwise. Sometimes, you’ll want to talk about your life in the context of an LGBTQIA+ experience, and having someone who understands that context makes a world of difference. This may come down to the nuances of your relationships, gender dysphoria, systemic barriers facing LGBT community, world issues or events that impact LGBTQIA+ individuals, terms that you use, or something else.

Trust

Whether you’re seeking individual therapy, group therapy, or couples therapy, it can be a lot easier to start trusting a mental health professional if you go into it knowing that you’re safe both physically and emotionally. You don’t have to trust a provider on the first session in any case, but it can help you have a better therapeutic connection in the sense that you know that you can truly be open and show every aspect of who you are in therapy.

Even if a therapist is accepting, if they don’t specialize in the LGBTQIA+ population, what can sometimes happen is that a person feels as though they have to keep things inside as a reflex. On the other hand, if you know what population a therapist works with, it can be a lot easier to let your guard down and talk about what’s going on in your life, especially if that’s something you’d struggle with otherwise.

Progress

When you feel like you can talk to your therapist about anything that’s on your mind, and when you’re able to achieve that sense of safety and understanding we all want in and outside of therapy, you’re more likely to make the progress you want to make. Depending on what you’re looking for (some people will seek ongoing mental health support, whereas others may attend one or two sessions to get a letter for a medical procedure through the informed consent model, etc.), this can save a lot of time, money, and stress. It’s also worth noting that certain concerns, such as eating disorders, are more prevalent in the LGBTQIA+ population. An LGBTQIA+ therapist is more likely to understand how these different factors may intersect so that they can support you holistically.

Finding A LGBTQIA-Friendly Therapist

Here are some ways to go about finding an LGBTQIA+ therapist:

  1. Ask your doctor for a referral to an LGBTQIA+ therapist in your area.
  2. Search the web for an LGBTQIA+ therapist in your area using search terms such as “LGBTQIA+ therapist near me.”
  3. Ask local LGBTQIA+ community organizations for recommendations. This may be particularly beneficial if you aren’t comfortable asking your doctor or are struggling to find providers who meet your needs. If you are a student at a college or university, you may have a counseling center or LGBTQIA+ student resource center that can help.
  4. Use an online therapy website. Many online therapy websites like BetterHelp have licensed LGBTQIA+ therapists. Often, when you sign up for a reputable online therapy website, they’ll have you take a quick questionnaire that’ll help you find the right match. It’s also often faster and more affordable to find a provider through an online therapy website.

If you want to learn more about mental health and therapy, visit Mind Diagnostics to take mental health quizzes and read about everything from depression to even video game addiction. When you’re ready to try therapy, you can tap in your zip code and you’ll see a range of providers in your area who work with various populations, concerns, and modalities.

Simply type in your zip code, and you’ll see a range of providers in your area who work with various populations, concerns, and modalities. Regardless of how you reach out for support, take pride in doing so. Asking for support is something to be proud of, and you deserve to get the help you need.

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What happened to Victor Sykes from ‘Boy Erased’ (and who is John Smid?)

So you recently watched Boy Erased about gay conversion therapy and you wanted to know more about Victor Sykes — the Executive Director of the Love In Action center. Continue reading “What happened to Victor Sykes from ‘Boy Erased’ (and who is John Smid?)”

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Last night, Austin Rogers surpassed $300,000 on Jeopardy (and revealed whether he’s gay)

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Who was the man that Aaron Carter had a sexual relationship with when he was 17?

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Is Tom Holland Gay? Six reasons why some question his sexuality (Updated)

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Whoa! All David Barton gym locations have suddenly closed in NYC

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Continue reading “Whoa! All David Barton gym locations have suddenly closed in NYC”

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Marvel finally has a major character that’s an Asian American male.. and it’s the Hulk!

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Conservative news sites spin Taiwan tragedy to push anti-gay agenda

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Gay Marriage is Legal! Let’s celebrate SCOTUS’ decision with cartoons and memes!

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Iceman comes out as gay

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff takes stand against Indiana anti-gay law

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Rockdogs win basketball gold in the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland

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Kiki and Herb perform at Justin Bond’s 20th “Tranniversary” Show

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The list of gay basketball players continues to grow with another coming out

College basketball player Derrick Gordon comes out

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Guy checks out woman’s ass and it’s cool until he find out it’s a man

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As expected, public opinion and money trump “religious freedom” bill

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Rainbows! Castro to remain tacky as fuck

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Don’t worry, Arizona’s “anti-gay” bill will actually further LGBT rights

Yesterday, Arizona’s Republican-heavy Senate approved a bill that allowed businesses to deny service to gays and lesbians based on religious beliefs.

Sounds like a step in the wrong direction, right? Continue reading “Don’t worry, Arizona’s “anti-gay” bill will actually further LGBT rights”

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In memory of MARK AGUHAR 1987-2012

calloutqueen-mark-aguhar

Two years ago, I clicked through to a tumblr with the tagline “BLOGGING FOR BROWN GURLS” that my friend had recommended on Facebook.

The next thing I knew I was at the beginning; having spent a couple hours scrolling backwards through hundreds of fascinating, angry, hilarious, soul-baring, gender bending posts. I checked the site a couple more times over the next several months. Continue reading “In memory of MARK AGUHAR 1987-2012”

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