The Future Of Nightclubs
When I was showing photos of myself in Australia to the hostel staff in China, I showed pictures of a long time ago in a nightclub in Sichuan, pointing, saying, “You know, we don’t have anything like this in Australia.”
I then showed a typical night club in King’s Cross, pointing, “This is what an Australian nightclub looks like.”
To someone who has experienced both Eastern and Western night clubs, the comparison was so funny.
The Australian Nightclub
The extent that Australian people go to in terms of dressing up a nightclub is; they lease a property with a raised, wooden dance floor area, they put some barricades up around the dance floor area, put some bartenders in behind the bar, add some cheap chairs, and that’s it.
There are no special decorations.
The interior is kept as black and dark as possible to keep the beer stains invisible.
The Chinese Nightclub
But, when you go to Sichuan, everything looks like you are in the fucking future!
You have paid, professionals dancing erotically on the stage, and people walking around, asking you whether you would like to buy a drink.
You can dance there. Everyone is having fun.
The dancers and bar staff are all dressed up in provocative, sexy, futuristic outfits. It rains shit down on Australian standards.
The Clear Winners
Chinese KTV and night clubs just piss all over Australian night clubs.
The reason is in the culture.
Australian people think, “Alright, Friday night, let’s go out to a night club, buy some cheap beer, get pissed up, and then look for people to fight on the dance floor, get into a punch up, and get kicked out by the bouncers!” That’s Australian standards.
Or they will think, “Let’s get on pingers and dance like fucking legends!” Then they need to be resuscitated by that friend with a conscience who came to keep the group safe.
The pinnacle of an Australian night club is the disco ball and strobe lights, people on drugs, and glow sticks. That is the pinnacle.
Glow sticks however, would just be something that you would put on the wall in China as decoration.
Chinese nightclubs are leap years much more sophisticated.
The Consolation Prize
One consolation about Australian night clubs is that everybody there is there to party hard.
In China, I was shocked to step into a night club, to be dazzled by the artistic club and lights, but the patrons all remained seated on chairs, too cool to dance.
If you dance with any semblance of Western freedom and liberty, they look at you weird.
Despite how conservative traditional China is, the night clubs are light years ahead of the best that Australia has to offer.
Even in Sydney, where lockout laws see patrons leave a club before 1 am, the clubs are still tailored towards alcohol and recreational drugs.
Reasons Behind Sophisticated Night Life
In Australia, the country is so small, and there are so few major cities, that you can travel to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and you would have seen all the hot spots copy off of each other to create the cream of Australian nightclubs.
In China however, combined provinces, municipalities, and regions number over thirty. Culture between great distances is not uniform, and outside influence is encouraged to make nightclubs look more sophisticated and unique. Style therefore can mutate independently of each other in China, which is why China was such a positive culture shock when I first arrived in that Sichuan nightclub.
The night clubs in China are run like a proud business featured with rich eye candy and luscious visuals, as well as music from around the world.
So, when I remember the local nightclub scene in Australia, it makes me smile at the stunted evolution of those Aussie glow sticks.
The author of Diary Of A Mad Chaos from 1996 to 2018, The Lost Years book, Wubao In China (猎艳奇缘) book series, and Foreigner (华人) an exploration of race relations in Australia. Fluent in Chinese Mandarin, Macedonian, and English, the author currently resides in China, Guangzhou where he continues to make comparative analysis of the cultural differences between Eastern and Western societies.