By Gabrielle Lue, NoisePrn Contributing Writer
What comes to mind when you hear “nightclub”? For me, all the lights fade to black and I can hear a faint thump of the beat. Lights flash in the corners of my eyes and a shot of adrenalin runs through my veins faster than Usain Bolt ever could. This happens in no more than a half-second. Nightclubs are where many DJs get their start and are often the location where people can immerse themselves in EDM and feel no pain.
Next up on the train to Imagination Land: whom do you see there? People rolling or tripping some serious balls, the guy who’s “too old” for the scene, the girls who are just there to dance and the assholes constantly trying to slip a hand up their skirts. But… What about kids?
My first taste of nightlife was at Club X-it in Hollywood, FL, which is now closed; may her blessed and twisted heart rest in peace. My best friend wanted more than anything to go to a rave, and who was I to not follow her into the eighth circle of Hell? I was 13 and it was a RAVE. I told my parents I was sleeping over at my best friend’s house, but $20 later I was sitting in a smoke-filled venue with black lights all over the room and rainbow lights flitting everywhere. Girls around me were dancing in just their bras and mini-mini skirts, sometimes furry leg warmers. Guys were often shirtless but drudging around with an army of chains on their Tripp pants. That night I sat outside watching people glow string and just talking with anyone who came by. I ended that night sleeping on the beach because my best friend had also told her parents she was sleeping over at my house. I woke up a tired ass bitch (with the frizziest hair).
The next few times I went to Club X-it, I went upstairs. There were three more rooms my dumbass had no idea about. The hallway I considered a room of its own because people were always getting down and getting… busy. Those people had the gall to yell at YOU when, in your attempt to step past them, you stepped on their hands. The green room was just green flashing lights and a dance floor. Every now and again smoke from a fog machine filled the room. The couch room had five couches, always full, no flashing lights, just people with glow sticks blowing up those who were rolling. Time whisked past as I danced the night away with my friends or as we stood around in the couch room trying to nab a seat. When I did end up finding a seat in the couch room, people would wave glow sticks in my face, switching up the patterns between circles and figure eights. I was always too tired to let them know that I wasn’t rolling. When we left we would wander around Hollywood until the sun came up, bought Publix subs and rode five different buses to get home.
The last time I went to Club X-it, I spent the entire night trying to prevent a 21-year-old creep with blonde dreads from taking my 14-year-old friend Sophie home. I’d had enough of the all ages nightclub and was no longer down with the clown.
Yet, I would never trade my experiences at Club X-it. I’d go so far as to say that I would be an ignorant loser today without it and I would’ve never developed the serious appreciation I have for EDM today. But the all ages club has become an ecosystem for men to take advantage of younger women. Between underage Sophie being slipped drinks and guys groping and grinding on half-dressed girls, it makes you wonder how many kids have lost their innocence at that venue and others alike.
I propose a solution: All ages nightclubs need to stop being all ages. If you love the music, there is no reason that you should have to stay home just because it’s safer. There is a very different vibe between clubs and bars that are 18-and-up vs. 21-and-up. The age limit on “all ages” nightclubs should be specified as 17 or UNDER. Let’s just scratch the words “all ages” from the name entirely. The only issue with this option is that anyone who owns a nightclub probably won’t see this as a worthy market.
There is no way that kids can stay out of trouble, but you can at least let them get into trouble with other kids. As a kid all, all you want to do is grow up. Now, Dora the Explorer shirts are being traded out for plunging necklines, and when you’re at a club with your older counterparts the desire to grow up becomes even stronger. I’m the kind of girl who wears sweatpants and old T-shirts to school everyday, but the first time I went to X-it I was compelled into wearing a fishnet shirt and a Tripp skirt. There’s something wrong with that picture.
About the Author:
Gabby spends her days playing Civilization 5 (and various other steam games), trolling around on Tumblr, watching Netflix or getting into shenanigans with her friends. In her spare time she attends the University of Florida and attempts homework.