Houston Hip Hop night Club

How to Open a Hip-Hop Night Club

Mixing tables and colored lights help set the stage at your nightclub.Mixing tables and colored lights help set the stage at your nightclub.

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Nightclubs tend to be high-risk ventures with short-lived life spans as fickle consumers switch allegiance to the newest spot in town, according to Power Home Biz. Hip-hop nightclubs are no exception. Booking fresh, hip talent helps attract customers but can be pricey. Older or lesser-known acts might be more cost-effective but draw smaller crowds. To open a successful hip-hop nightclub, you'll need authentic links to the hip-hop world when it comes to booking talent.

Step 1

Frequent other hip-hop nightclub venues in town, taking note of venue locations, stage and disc jockey booth set ups, sound systems, drink prices, weekend lineups versus weekday lineups, and how ticket sales are handled. Certain venues may specialize in live acts that include hip-hop groups while others may book local DJs. Note how ticket sales are handled. Certain venues may charge a door fee that helps cover talent costs; others may offer pre-sale tickets for high-profile shows. Identify a niche. If your town already offers plenty of gritty, underground hip-hop venues, it might be time for something more upscale.

Step 2

Visit City Hall to apply for a business license and tax liability number. If you're opening a hip-hop nightclub that will feature live music alongside DJs mixing recorded beats, you'll need to apply for a permit for live entertainment. If your nightclub will serve alcohol, secure an alcohol license by filing an application and paying relevant fees. Licenses can be expensive and hard to secure, especially if you're opening in an area already saturated with bars and nightclubs. Starting with a beer and wine license can be a less-expensive option.

Step 3

Pick up flyers and promotional postcards in coffee shops, other bars and bulletin boards to scout for worthy promoters. Identify promoters already booking busy hip-hop shows, and email or call numbers listed on marketing materials to set up appointments. If you're not already immersed in the hip-hop scene, it's crucial to connect with promoters who know which DJs, rappers and hip-hop performers around town are reliable and draw a crowd. Work out a contract that offers promoters either a percentage of door sales, bar sales or a flat fee.

Step 4

Invest in a high-quality sound system to prepare for hip-hop performers, and create a roomy dance floor with plenty of space for customers to groove. Creating a stage can help protect valuable electronics and maintain some crowd control because performers will be elevated from audiences. You'll need amplifiers, microphone systems, a mixing table and backup mp3 player. Video screens and colored lights help add an ambiance to a show.

Step 5

Hire experienced, professional security guards and staff. Fair or not, hip-hop nightclubs sometimes earn negative reputations for fights and illegal substance use during shows. Guards trained in crowd control can help discourage fights before they begin and can identify and escort away guests bringing drugs or outside alcohol into your venue.

Things Needed

  • Live music permit
  • Alcohol permit
  • Hip-hop promoter
  • Sound system
  • Video system
  • Light system
  • Security guards
  • Trained bartenders


  • Hip-hop songs occasionally might promote or celebrate certain types of drinks or alcohol brands in their lyrics. Stock up on alcohol types that are featured prominently in these songs, including top-shelf vodkas, tequilas and cognacs.

Interesting facts

  • From his hugely successful and highly acclaimed 'Music Box Live' night held every Monday at London's exclusive 10 Room club to his work with some of the top pop acts in the world as a vocalist or dancer/choreographer Patrick Alan's background is very diverse...

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