September is going to be a rough month for the Miami nightlife community as two more long-standing music venues are closing their doors for good. Come Monday, we will have said our goodbyes to Mansion. EDM fans are buying their tickets to take part in the last bottle-service fueled night with superstar DJ Nicky Romero tonight for the last big party at the glamorous mega-club.
This will certainly leave a void in South Beach's club scene but it may not hurt as much as one would expect. There has been a shift in culture in Miami in recent years as party-goers are beginning to crave a less glitzy and more intimate experience; They no longer want the "big room" experience. Las Vegas seems to be the last place where the approach of selling bottles over music is still a sustainable business plan, because it certainly doesn't work here anymore.
No, the Miami clubber is beginning to crave substance and Mansion's habit of telling DJ's to "play more commercial tracks or get off the decks" began to no longer cut it. Not when venues like Grand Central were bringing in talent of unparalleled quality, and bringing them in as they were becoming truly famous. Located downtown, away from the night traffic of South Beach, it was a local hipsters dream come true.
As the performers who played Grand Central became more famous, the venue began to gain notoriety, becoming a favorite of many for years to come. I have some particularly happy memories at Grand Central, such as when I saw Maya Jane Coles and Cajmere at HARD's WMC party. Unlike Mansion, Grand Central's popularity has not waned -- in fact, their style is perfectly in line with the aforementioned cultural shift -- so why is September 26th the last time anyone will party at the historic building before it is demolished?
All fingers point to the Miami Worldcenter: A privately owned multi-million dollar shopping mall/luxury apartment developments/Hotel. This massive ode to capitalism will take up 10 blocks of Downtown Miami and has already claimed another favorite of every Miami clubber -- Mekka Nightclub. The 24 hour nightclub that closed it's doors for probably the first time and for good after WMC this year. I was there for the Andy C party over their closing weekend and I had the time of my life. I've left that venue at 3pm before and I won't ever be able to do that again, that's sad.
Just as the city begins to move away from the opulent tourist traps that it became known for in recent years, the center of the city turns into a shopping mall. While the pessimistic point of view would be that the Miami Worldcenter will severely harsh this city's vibe, I am adopting an optimistic stance: Perhaps the new development will become the flame to the moths that are tourists and South Beach will become an artsier, more intimate locale.