All I want for Christmas...

By Catherine Cook (That's Beijing)
Updated: 2006-12-20 09:48

"I'll probably go," said a DJ friend when asked about Sasha's second gig at Fusion on October 31. "Although Beijing's nightlife scene doesn't inspire me very much these days."

And understandably so. Beijing is currently gripped by a trend for themed events-Pimps and Hos, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Traffic Light and Pyjama Parties... anyone? No? Us neither. Forget gimmicks: Sasha alone was reason for a thousand-plus people to flock to Fusion for a set from the world renowned DJ-and there wasn't a nightie in sight.

If only he'd bothered to turn up.

On October 20, at 2.30am when his no-show was finally announced, all hell broke loose. However, clubbers' dissatisfaction was less to do with Sasha's absence and more as a result of the atrocious way the club handled the night, highlighting the problems that affect every club in the city.

With this in mind, tbj has compiled its Christmas wish list of the things we'd like changed in clubland for 2007.

Cleaning staff
We'd like to see less staff getting in the bloody way. On a recent trip to Coco Banana we positioned ourselves at the bar and, in the space of 15 minutes, counted seven members of staff (complete with dust pan and brush) circuiting the club, bumping into everyone and pissing off paying customers. We know these poor attendants are just doing their job, but surely they'd be better put to use as...

Can it please take less than 20 minutes to get served? Does anyone know why at least three people are needed to serve one drink? I recently ordered a Bacardi Breezer thinking I'd get served faster than if I'd ordered a mixed drink, like my friend. Did I get my drink first? No. Did they bring me the flavor of Breezer I asked for? No. Training staff in these clubs to serve a drink quickly and efficiently makes for happier clubbers.

The dancefloor
Without the dancefloor, the DJ's work is obsolete. Henceforth, we wish to have the dancefloor off-limits to: wait staff, cleaners, security, DJ trainspotters, all non-dancers and that bloody annoying camera man who climbs onto the stage at every Yen party and makes a complete knob of himself-you know who you are.

Ticket prices
Price gouging has become so common in Beijing, we've come to expect it. The reason clubs mark the price for an event as "TBD" is because they're making it up as they go along. If you paid RMB 300 (as opposed to RMB 100) for Tiesto at Coco Banana or RMB 300 rather than RMB 100 for Sasha at Fusion (and he didn't show... ouch) then you'll know what I'm talking about.

The DJ List
The DJ List is a website compiled for people who know nothing about dance music and wish to be conversant in it. That's not to say that those who aren't in the top ten don't deserve to be, but we're bored of those DJs. We'd like to see clubs invite interesting acts who are pioneers in their field, or creating exciting sets and producing their own music. In fact, we'll take anyone as long as they don't play trance or progressive house.

Finally, if you're going to be spending New Year's Eve in this fair city, we suggest you head to the Yen Countdown party. Quite frankly, nobody does it better than Yen, who consistently show us how it should be done. They treat the space like a blank canvas where the lights, VJs and the DJs come together in harmony leaving you enough space to just dance and enjoy the music. And it only takes one person to serve you at the bar. To that we say "hurrah!" and wish you a happy clubbing New Year!


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