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What makes a club popular in London? Many qualities need to be in place for those long lines to start showing. Whether its the exclusive air of appeal, high quality sound equipment, talented host of DJs, raw mix of original music, celebrity visitors, fashionable guests, venue location, or just really good dance beats, there are several factors that make one spot trendier than the next. Here's a glimpse at some of the hottest clubs in London, including some that are not longer active today, despite hitting all the right notes.
The Ministry of Sound London
The Ministry of Sound London, more affectionately referred to as MoS, is a nightclub and record label that began out of an inspiration by New York nightclub Paradise Garage. Opened by DJ Justin Berkmann on September 21, 1991, the club focuses on American house music and is located on an abandoned bus garage on Elephant & Castle in Southwark, London. The club gained early popularity for hosting the latest DJs. However, it wasn’t until 1994 that they got their alcohol licence.
The club is divided into five sections: the Bar, the Baby Box, the VIP , the Loft, and the Box. The Box has a special roof that contains sound, a spring floor for easier dancing, and is home to the club’s amazing sound system that boasts 150dB(A). The Ministry of Sound also has club locations in Egypt and Malaysia, in addition to several other initiatives affiliated with the MoS abroad.
While no longer an active member of the London nightlife, the Herbal nightclub remains an icon of the clubbing scene. Located in the Shoreditch/Hoxton neighbourhood of east London this must-see club closed down in late 2009 when the entertainment license was revoked by the Hackney Council; rumours substance abuse and drug activity were cited as the cause, but the true reason remains unknown. Nevertheless, in its heyday, the Herbal club hosted some of the most sought after DJs, with a top-notch sound system.
The club was small – with a maximum capacity of 250 – but its doors were open for partying every night except Monday. Guests had to be 18 and over to enter, and the club was a popular hangout for local and international celebrities such as Kate Moss, Winona Ryder, and The White Stripes. The club was even named Time Out Venue of the Year. Herbal welcomed live bands, musical acts and other entertainment, but admission was never more than £10.
Operating with a 24-hour license, the EGG nightclub is one of the few places open really late – until late becomes really early. Music as this club is a mix of the usual club beats, such as underground, ultra-modern, House, Techno, Tech-house, Deep, and Funky dance music. A “smart but casual” dress code is recommended guests must be 18 and over to attend, with advance purchase of tickets recommended. The club is divided into five rooms, each of which are also available for rent to a private event.
The Garden has two cocktail bars, a VIP lounge, and a maximum capacity of 250. The Basement has DJ booth, video wall installations, projectors, and can hold up to 50 people, perfect for a small dance part. The Mezzanine room is great for bigger dance parties with a wide empty space, a DJ booth, a bar, lighting equipment, and a private seating area. The Loft features private booth seating and a private entrance, as well as a DJ booth and dance floor. Lastly there's the Apothecary with an antique chemists bar and a stage that makes for a great entertainment space.