Everyone of legal drinking age has been to at least one night club in their lifetime. Without painting with too broad of a brush, often times these clubs are quite unsatisfying. Filled with boring top 40 tracks, basic bitches, douche bros, overpriced cocktails, tacky club wear and bouncers who refuse to let in anyone who isn’t a six-foot-tall blonde female, they’re not always looked upon favorably by the general party public.
Thankfully, there exists a perfectly viable alternative. There is a place full of original music, peaceful patrons, and an open-minded atmosphere conducive to forging new friendships and having a great time.
These amazing nightlife scenes are hidden just out of sight all across America and they’re called underground clubs. They’re in your city, and here’s how to find them.
Social Media Networking
The easiest place to start when attempting to uncover these somewhat illicit secret venues is to take to your favorite online social networks.
Depending on what type of music you like, go out of your way to “like” and follow all the various social media pages and feeds of traditional venues in your area that cater to the types of music that you frequently listen to.
The next tier of engagement is to like the promotional pages of your preferred genre in your city. It is the job of the people who run these pages to get you through the door, so they’ll be more than happy to help.
If you like house music or hip-hop or soul, search those terms with your city name at the end. Scour Reddit, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for sections dedicated to these subcultures.
Once you’re done liking all the pages and following the accounts, start posting and commenting. When you start forming a rapport, move the conversation to private and direct messages to find the underground spots.
Remember, these are illegal parties in warehouses without liquor licenses. Lots of other unsanctioned activities also play out here and they operate during unusual hours. Use common sense and discretion when discussing specifics and you’ll be rewarded with invites.
Failing the above, you can also befriend individual artists, bands, and DJs by liking their pages, reaching out to them, and going to their shows. Play nice, support the acts and communicate your desire to be a part of their world and you’ll find like-minded individuals who will help you out.
Get Out There
The absolute easiest way to find these events, however, is to simply go outside of your comfort zone and meet people on your own, out in the real world.
Go to shows, concerts, and club events for acts you already like or ones you are curious about.
Make it a point to talk to at least five different groups of people each time to venture out. You’d be surprised how many guys or gals with business cards are ready to include you on the guest list for their upcoming pop-up party.
Talk to people, dance, have a good time and share your drugs and stories with people who look friendly. Casually about what they’re doing the rest of the weekend. Elaborate on any hints they drop and always keep your ear to the ground.
Even if you don’t smoke, bring a pack of cigarettes and a lighter and offer one and a light to a fellow party goer in need. The smoker’s section is where where so many friendships are formed and drunken kinship is in no short supply.
After you’ve made friends and liked pages, the final step is to get on all of these secret e-mail lists. Most monthly or semi-monthly underground events will have an email list to disseminate the venue details. Some of the more professional ones even make you prove that you were invited to the event by one of their representatives, so make sure you save any business cards and contact information that comes your way in your wallet or in your phone.
Generally speaking, an e-mail will go out a few days to a week before the party with a “coming soon” vibe. It won’t go into much detail, but that’s because it’s more of a digital heads up to let you know to prepare for what’s coming.
The day of the event, an e-mail with specifics will show up in your inbox with a GPS location, instructions, and sometimes a password. To fund these events, a cover fee of $10-30 is usually outlined as well. Trust me, it’s worth it.
The Night Of
When it’s time to head over, make sure you don’t show up before midnight-1:00 AM. Things don’t really start popping off until between 2:00 and 3:00 AM, so be aware that underground clubs are strictly for the late night crowd. If you have work the next morning, I would advise not going to sleep.
Also, and I can’t stress this enough, BRING CASH. There’s nothing worse than being denied entry or not having enough scrilla for another round of drinks. Come prepared.
Aside from these tips, just have fun and blend in. I highly suggest a hearty pre-game with your drink of choice (bourbon, in my case) and comfortable-yet-stylish dance wear, including shoes you can tolerate standing and dancing in for hours.
Plan to have a designated driver as well or take an Uber. There’s no reason to put yours or other people’s lives at risk because you failed to plan ahead. Plus, it’s really fun seeing the look on an Uber driver’s face when he or she pulls up to a random warehouse in the middle of an industrial district at 2:00 AM.
Find your happy place and be safe out there, fam. I’ll see you on the dance floor.