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international news _ 1st May, 2006

Washington DC Club Cull 'End Of An Era'

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Washington DC superclub Nation announced this week that they'll be closing permanently on July 15 to make way for a baseball stadium.

The venue hosted massively successful nights including acclaimed events Buzzlife and Cubik, presenting mainstream DJs including Oakenfold, Sasha & Digweed in recent years though fell victim to DC's booming property market, the Washington Post suggested. Five gay venues were also recently shut by the stadium development plans plus 'three of Washington's biggest and cheesiest dance clubs; Lulu's, Polly Esther's and Tequila Beach' for other developments, the paper said.

Local promoter/ DJ Simon Pattee from Sleaze and Redux-XM Radio described the closures as 'a big blow for Washington nightlife', though stressed he's upbeat about the future.

"I'm personally going to miss Nation a lot, though I think in the end, in an odd ball way, DC could actually come out of all of this even stronger than before," he told Skrufff.

"Buzzlife has always been a big backbone of the club scene here, but I have faith Scott Henry & Buzzlife will find something bigger and better to fill those shoes, if they haven't already," he predicted.

Speaking on their website, Henry said much the same, declaring 'While we are saddened to see our home of so many years close, this is a very exciting time for Buzzlife. Our time in DC is no where near its end and we have exciting things planned for 2006 and beyond."

Simon said the closures have no connection with the RAVE Act or any New York style anti-dancing laws, with clubs 'pretty much off the radar of law enforcement and politicians for the past few years'.

"And drug use in clubs here, from my observations, may even be at an all time low," he added.

Simon was less enthusiastic about America's overall dance scene suggesting clubs have been struggling in recent years to attract fresh blood.

"It's definitely getting harder and harder to breakthrough and stay busy enough to make a living in the US alone," he added.

"Even if you are on fire throughout the rest of the planet, most promoters are struggling to make ends meet and find themselves wanting to play it safe with the same circuit of DJs and agency's they have been working with regularly for years."

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