All photos by Robert Kerian,
The club scene in Los Angeles can seem intimidating—especially if you don’t know anybody in any sort of power position to get you into the hottest spots. Talk about feeling a little lost. Fret not, I’m here to help you navigate your way through this dazzling metropolis’ nightlife by introducing you to the people you need to know, the people that will make you feel warm and welcome, amongst friends, so you get the most out of your after-dark merrymaking.
Sam Plouchart is a veteran of LA nightlife. Being in the business for the past six years has given him enormous opportunities and access to people at the highest levels. Plouchart has turned his promotion and PR experience into his own company titled 5AM. He has promoted at clubs such as Hyde, Area and Foxtail and is now involved in LA hotspots that include Blok, Bootsy Bellows, and the newest opening this week, Sixty Six.
This new club, Sixty Six, is a chic rendition of a club you would expect to find James Bond (Sean Connery Bond, not Daniel Craig Bond) sipping on a martini, shaken not stirred. The dark wood and spectacular mirror details give Sixty Six a retro vibe that transports the club goer back in time to circa ’66. Plouchart gave me an exclusive sneak peek of Sixty Six as we sat down in one of the cozy corner booths to have a little chat about his experiences in LA nightlife.
I did this event with Absolute for the Greyhound partner ship with Swedish House Mafia at the Belasco Theater. It was definitely, I think, the best thing I have ever thrown.
What is your biggest challenge when putting together your nights?
The biggest challenge for me is to create the best party and generate some revenue, which is very difficult because obviously every body that has to pay to get in to a club wants to pay for a good reason. At the same time you have to service the nice, good-looking people and accommodate everybody, but that’s usually very doable if you do a good job.
Tell me about your most memorable night and what made it so memorable.
My most memorable night, I did this event with Absolute for the Greyhound partner ship with Swedish House Mafia at the Belasco Theater. It was definitely, I think, the best thing I have ever thrown. The crowd was amazing, the energy was amazing, and being so close to these people (SHM) and basically partying with them was just incredible. Especially now that they are splitting, it was really…
One of THOSE nights…
Yeah, I mean seeing these guys in such a small room with an open bar...
It’s weird because people do 9-5s and we do 10-2s. It makes no sense for the rest of the world. But for someone like me who hates being in the office…it works.
And I’ve heard that space is beautiful, the ceiling is supposed to be incredible.
Yeah, it’s this old theater but they redid it. They still kept it as is. It was just incredible, and (SHM) ended up DJing for much longer than they were supposed to just because it was so crazy. This was in between the two Coachella weekends and they had nothing else to do and they were booked only for that night. It was unreal. And I’m a not very big pit person but I was right under the DJ booth in the pit just jumping with everybody. It just says a lot about how much fun it was for me to be in there (laughs).
Dali had his mustache, Snoop has his weed, Elton has his glasses, what do you have? What’s your thing? You’re signature.
I have my loafers, that’s definitely my signature (laughs). I’m French from Paris so I’ve been wearing them forever, since I was born probably, that’s just what I wear. I just have the craziest collection, probably every color imaginable.
You have mighty fine loafers. I actually rocked a pair of mine in honor of you today.
(Laughs) I need to get some pink one with the studs, I’m missing these. I just got a pair of camo(flage) ones that are pretty amazing.
What do you remember about your first club night, if anything?
It was in Paris, I was sixteen years old, and I went to Les Bains Douches, which was David and Cathy’s Guetta’s club back in the day. It was the hot club, which were the old public showers and baths in the city of Paris that they turned into a club. It was crazy you know, when you're sixteen years old and you first go to a place like that and you have all these people around you. It was very fashion-y at the time. It’s kind of different in Paris, like there are very cool clubs, and then there are very cheesy clubs, it doesn’t mix that well. Also at the time it was really the place to be, it was crazy. You had people in crazy costumes and the music was incredible. David was not what he is now but he was still and amazing DJ and producer. And Cathy was running that establishment, it was her baby.
My First night as a promoter was here in LA for Hyde Sundays. I was promoting and it was just the good old days of Hyde. There was a celebrity at every table.
If you come up to somebody who’s a good door person and they ask you who invited you, just be straight…I think it’s a matter of humility.
Hyde was home, it was actually very warm and cozy, and I always saw everybody there.
Yeah, it was actually my longest running night that I have every kept because it was just so great.
How long did you keep it?
I think actually a year and a half. It was great because it was basically our living room, you know? You knew everybody, and it was just so comfortable and fun. At that time also it was way less pressure, there were less clubs. You had much more demand and much less offer. And then I did Area on Thursdays, which was a lot of fun. It was much bigger, more of a super club. We did some really great stuff. I booked Bob Sinclair. Those were back in the days when no one knew him, house music was not really a thing. I was friends with him in Paris and that was one of the first house music DJs that was booked (in a club) in LA. We also had Lady Gaga’s first public appearance. She released her single with us, which is really incredible because when you see what she became, we are really proud we actually got her at a club to do this.
What impresses you the most about current club cultures and how DJs and promoters work and live?
I think the promoting and DJ gigs, at least in LA, were more like side gigs. Most people were young and in school and did that at night and also had day jobs. It was fun money on the side and also a great time too. Now it's really crazy, you can make really great amounts of money. I’ve created my own company and it just goes from events, to promotions, to marketing and PR. It’s just incredible now how these have become actual jobs. It’s weird because people do 9-5s and we do 10-2s (laughs). It makes no sense for the rest of the world, you know? But for someone like me who hates being in the office and hates being in a corporation having people above me telling me what to do, it works. I think it's actually a chance for weird people like me to be productive and constructive, and I think it's also a way to build yourself a brand and an image, if you’re smart about it, and be very successful.
Best line for talking your way into a club.
Um…I’m friends with Sam Plouchart (laughs). No, that’s not the best line. You know, I’ve worked many clubs and done some doors and have done some events that were really high end, like Oscars after party’s and stuff like that. Somebody that just comes up to me and is a straight shooter and is not trying to bullshit me, and that’s not shady it always a good way. If you come up to somebody who’s a good door person and they ask you who invited you, just be straight. And if you’re not invited, for example, just be like “Hey I’m new in town and just saw this place and wanted to come check it out, if it’s possible great, if not, cool.” I’ve seen it happen many times where the door person is like “I’m sorry it’s a private party, I can’t let you in,” and then the person would actually turn around and leave, they would get called back and let in. I think it’s a matter of humility. There are people that come up and drop names and are on their phones, not paying the door person any attention or respect. It’s really not a big deal.
Yeah, just show them some respect and they will show you respect right back.
Yeah, they aren’t ogres, they are not going to eat you. You just have to be cool, polite and personable, and be respectful. People don’t realize that clubs have capacities and there are all these things involved that people don’t think about because it is a very different business. And unless you’re into it you don’t know about all these things. Sometimes you’re at capacity on guys and you just can’t let the guys in. I think being cool with people is always what’s going to get you everywhere.
Be sure to contact Sam Plouchart for bottle service at Sixty Six firstname.lastname@example.org. Join him on Thursday nights 10 pm - 2 am and also on Saturday nights 10 pm - 2 am for their weekly EDM night. Sixty Six will be host to DJs such as Politik, Marshal Barnes, and Devin Lucien. Chic dress code is strictly enforced. I’ll see you all there!