Beta’s six year soundtrack finally came to an end this past Saturday

Photo by Victoria Panacci

 

Last Saturday, Beta, one of Waterloo’s most infamous nightclubs, closed its doors for the last time.

The club’s final night — “The Final Chapter” — paid tribute to the artists who have played at Beta in the past and for the EDM fans who have been followers of the club since their beginning. As a way of paying respect to their fellow club-goers, the nightclub sold their tickets for $20 and told guests they wouldn’t announce the headlining act until the event was sold out,  “the first person to ever hit play at Beta will be the last one to.”

The artist ended up being Deko-ze, a Toronto-grounded DJ with a long history of being a part of Canada’s electronic dance scene.

When opened on Nov. 11, 2010, Beta Nightclub played host to various globally famous producers and DJ’s, including Steve Angello and Steve Aoki.

Over the last few years, Beta became a hot spot for the late-night club scene. Students from the Kitchener-Waterloo Region were attracted to the infamous nightclub for their mainstream and niche acts.

In late December, Beta announced on their official Facebook page that after six years of operation, they would be closing to the public. Their last events began on New Years Eve and continuously took place during the month of January. Events featured musical performances and events by Ben Gold, Gareth Emery and Green Velvet, among others.

In a region where post-secondary students take up a large number of the overall population, the nightlife and electronic dance music scene played a significant role in how these students spent their weekends.

It also played a part in how musical acts from around K-W were able to break out through various clubs such as Beta, Pearl and Elements.

In a town where massive EDM clubs have continuously been closing down or changing their scene to accommodate other music fans, does this mean the end of the EDM music scene in the K-W Region?

Isuri Kuruppu, the Waterloo campus manager for XL Lifestyle, has also been a club promoter for the last four years. While clubs such as Beta and Pearl were always packed on the weekends when they first opened, the main attraction to these clubs were the various DJs and musical acts.

“Six years ago, [these clubs] could bring in big top acts for not that much and a lot of people would be going. But as EDM blew up, DJ rates also skyrocketed so like these smaller bars and smaller towns couldn’t really afford them. So [by] not bringing these big names in, people started to get a little discouraged so they weren’t coming in as often,” Kuruppu said.

When asked about how the closing of these clubs has impacted the K-W EDM scene, Kuruppu explained that the age of massive clubs may soon be over. Big, multi-purpose clubs in Toronto, such as Rebel, have seen success through their big musical acts, but clubs such as The Guvernment have shut down.

Instead, smaller niche clubs, such as Brixton and the newly opened Becky’s Apartment, have been a greater attraction to students in the area.

“More niche, smaller bars are getting more attractive with students. I think the age of the giant clubs is ending, but interesting with like Rebel being massive in Toronto as well,” Kuruppu said.

Fortunately for EDM fans in the area, Ever After Music Festival will be taking place at Bingeman’s sometime in June. With Beta and Pearl’s closing, there is little opportunity for after-parties to take place in the area.

Maxwell’s Concerts and Events, however, has begun to serve as a different type of space for EDM fans. Last week, REZZ, a 21-year-old techno artist, headlined her own show at the venue.

“It’ll be interesting to see if Maxwell’s will be picking up more EDM artists just because there’s going to be a lack of in Waterloo,” Kuruppu said.

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