Follow-Up: Why Aren’t Millennials Going to Dance Clubs Like Previous Generations?

Over the last week or so, I’ve been tracking a story on why Millennials don’t seem to be going to dance clubs in the same numbers of previous generations. What’s causing this shift? I put the question out on my radio show a couple of times. Here are some responses.

Hey Alan,

On today’s morning show, you spoke about the change in choices and what people choose to do with their time. Dance clubs vs what the choice is now.

I think it is the shift in popular music. I am in my mid 30’s and I remember in my early teens growing up in Orangeville and attending high school in Caledon, the thing to do was go to Club FX all ages night. We had the odd field party or house party but it was mainly dance or house music being played. I was an exception as I was a grunge fan but still had those friends that listened to house and dance. You take a look at today and there is no popularity to house or dance music.

We didn’t have pop country which has taken control. That “Duck Dynasty” lifestyle with country music and drinking beer and smoking cigars or chewing tobacco is the thing now. And it all wraps around popular music and what people are choosing to listen to.

I think that is the reason for that you don’t see dance clubs anymore. Even the younger generation would much rather sit on the tailgate of their jacked up truck, drink beer, and listen to today’s country music rather than sit in a loud dance club.

Intriguing topic. Had to chime in.



Long time listener, etc. etc.

Just heard this morning’s segment on my way into work and had kind of a different perspective on things. I think “millennials” are often viewed as being a group of people who don’t care to have true interactions with people and/or want to spend all their time on the internet – but I don’t think that’s true, or was even reflected in the answers people gave you in regards to why they don’t go out to clubs.

I think expense is a big factor and so is human interaction – but in the opposite way. I don’t go to clubs often but I did recently to celebrate the birthday of a friend. The cost breakdown for my night was as follows:

  • $15 – bottle of wine to bring to her place before we headed out
  • $15 – Uber ride to the club
  • $10 – cover, even though we were there early enough not to pay it, because the bouncers/staff held everyone back for 5 minutes until the time had passed (probably not their fault, they must have quotas to meet, especially if no one is going to clubs any more)
  • $5 – coat check
  • $30 – four drinks and tips (two for me, two for my birthday-celebrating friend)
  • $35 – uber home as there was surge pricing (a cab would have been about the same cost though, from previous experience)

That night cost me $110 and most “genuine human interaction” I got was at my friend’s house before we left. The interaction I got at the club mostly consisted of shouting at a few friends over the music before giving up, and being hit on by guys who wouldn’t take no for an answer and got angry when I turned them down.

Comparatively, for $25 I could have had a couple pints and some nachos at a pub where I could actually hear my friends, catch up on their lives and feel like we’d really gotten to see each other. For $15 in beer from the LCBO I could have gone to a party at a friend’s house and not only gotten to catch up with friends but also gotten to meet other people, who being friends of friends would likely not spill drinks on me, hit on me aggressively, or touch me without my permission.

I’m 25 and I went to clubs a little more when I was 19/20 but my experiences were essentially the same. I love having genuine human interactions – a club just isn’t the place to do that. So when your readers or Twitter followers let you know that the reason they don’t go out is that it’s expensive and unenjoyable, don’t be so quick to assume that the real reason is their inherent aversion to human contact.



Dear Alan,

I listened with interest to a morning program last week in which you commented on how going out to the clubs was in decline, perhaps a victim to advances in texting and other IT-inspired socialization amongst the younger crowd. As the father of two teenagers, I can attest to the impacts even at the pre-club age. Everything is pre-arranged. Activities are structured. The spontaneity of knocking on someone’s door is a foreign concept. Talking to someone at the school dance is about the limit of it. A snapchat seriously moderates the need to co-locate in order to socialize.

For my generation, I still lament the loss of the alt-rock clubs, especially live-to-air with the late Martin Streek. We were once regulars at the Kingdom in Burlington. Is there even a club in the GTA that still carries on with a strong alt–rock music lineup today?


Colin, Kitchener, Ontario

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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