South Beach (Miami)



The venues respond!

By Ryan David
Photos by Robin Sommers

Winter Music Conference might as well call itself the NightStalker Convention. Nowhere is there a higher concentration of professional clubbers with opinions that deftly avoid all operational logic. We interviewed six of them and, when they complained more than they gushed, we actually allowed the venues in question to respond.

Leif and Paloma Hyde
Leif: “The best thing about Mynt is that they never compromise at the door. They’re always strict about who comes in and who doesn’t, and never let down their standards. And once you’re inside, it’s always changing. They strip down the interior every six to 12 months and redo the club. It’s great because every time you go it’s always a new place.”

Paloma: “The interior I liked best is with Gisele Bundchen. They had her on wallpaper in black and white. So if you were standing at the booth or table and took a photo in black and white, it looked like you were partying with Gisele.”

Jennifer Hazen
“I’ve never seen a place this packed. It’s crazy, you can’t even walk. But the crowd is totally into it. Everyone is dancing and the music is insane! Plus, it’s so big and there are upstairs rooms that aren’t really crowded, so you can get some air if you need to. The problem is you want to be in the main room where the best music is. The sound system in here is out of this world; it blows you away.”

The Club Says: “We have a Phazon sound system that was updated for Cameo [the space used to be crobar]. Downstairs is a club while upstairs is more of a lounge. You can never recreate the energy of a nightclub in a lounge, especially during Conference where the big names want to play the main room. But in the main room, the speakers are placed in front of the balconies, so they’re a good place to meet people and talk without going upstairs.” -Ken Smith, owner

Jamie Sasson
“It’s the liveliest crowd in town every time. The people who come here are all into it and it’s a good mix, which has to do with the club and the DJs but I don’t really think anything to do with the promoters. There are different rooms with different styles of music, so everyone can find something. Plus, there’s plenty of space so you don’t feel crushed. But the drinks are not worth the price. They charge a lot, but the drinks are tiny.”

Eggli (with friend, left)
“The problem with it here is that the sound system is better in the small room; it’s a cleaner or clearer sound. But the music is usually better in the main room, so you have to switch between the two all night.”

The Club Says: “Yes, we play different formats in different rooms to give our guests a taste of different sounds. Regarding sound issues, Mansion has a state-of-the art Funktion-One sound system, and was voted ‘Best Sound System’ by Club Systems’ esteemed Club World Awards judges. So may I recommend a Q-Tip?”
-Vanessa Menkes, Opium Group vice president, communications

“I like the waiters’ outfits; they’re very Aladdin meets South Beach! In general I do like the sound system: It’s such a big place but you can still hear people and have a conversation; it’s just loud enough. But, at times, the speakers sound blown out, they pop. I guess it’s expected because they’re out in the open. This one you can tell has been through a few hurricanes.”

The Club Says: “Nikki Beach prides itself on giving its guests the ultimate nightlife experience. Our indoor/outdoor state-of-the-art Bose system is set up for guests to truly enjoy the music. We host some of the best DJs from around the world, including DJs from our global Nikki Beach properties and will continue to live up to the reputation as the sexiest party on Earth.” -Shirin Kooros, international marketing associate

John Tyshnte (with friend)
“The sound is perfectly balanced, not too much bass kicking. It’s amazing. And it’s a little dark-sounding tonight with Oakenfold spinning. I love it. But my favorite part of it here is the lighting. It’s traditional, but cool with the candle chandeliers. It’s the best lighting around.”

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Copyright 2006 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2006 TESTA Communications