Steve Rubell opened the infamous Studio 54 nightclub in New York in 1977. The club garnered a reputation for its celebrity guests, excessive club-drug usage, open sexual activity, and exclusive entry requirements.
It was known worldwide as the place to be at the peak of disco: its most famous frequenters included David Bowie, Debbie Harry, Mick Jagger, Dolly Parton, Elton John, Michael Jackson, and Cher to name just a few.
Today's top celebrity nightclub owner is Ryan Bish, whose company Cream Group owns a range of different venues across London.
Although the venues are much less salacious than Steve Rubell’s, Bish is the pioneer of innovative, exclusive, unique, celebrity clubbing.
Some of his venue’s guests include Kanye West, Drake, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kendall Jenner, Jamie Foxx, and the Kardashians.
So how has celebrity nightlife changed in the last 50 years, and how does the outlook of Ryan Bish differ from Steve Rubell?
Immersive nightlife in the 70s versus the 2020s
Steve Rubell contracted two expert lighting designers, Jules Fisher and Paul Marantz, to create the dancefloor in Studio 54. They utilised the previous theatre equipment to make moveable sets on the existing TV circuits and fly systems.
The result was an immersive clubbing experience, with constantly changing and dynamic lighting. The inside of Studio 54 was unique. Converted from a theatre in only six weeks, it still had many stripped-back aspects of its previous use. Low hanging bars, balconies on different levels, and an infamous VIP basement all made Studio 54 an innovative club for its time.
Compare this to Ryan Bish’s Cirque le Soir and we can see how celebrity nightlife has evolved. Bish is passionate about creating original hospitality spaces that offer something new and interesting.
Utilising the immersive style of 1970s nightlife, Bish has revolutionised his spaces. In Cirque le Soir, Bish leans on the weirdly wonderful to bring the strange into nightlife. Customers who attend this venue can roam between snake tamers, fire breathers, aerial performers, and magicians.
Therefore, Cirque le Soir is all about abating curiosity and immersing in a surreal world, allowing guests to completely forget about normality outside the venue.
Nightlife style in the 70s versus the 2020s
Studio 54 was known for being exclusive about entry as guests needed to look the part or they wouldn’t be allowed in. At the time, this required many Bowie-inspired outfits… the crazier the better. Silver flares, angel wings, bold facepaint, vibrant wigs, platform heels, the louder, the prouder, the better.
Steve Rubell prioritised both craziness and creativity when it came to his outfit aesthetics, wanting Studio 54 to stand out as the place to go for wildly wonderful outfit inspiration. The guests needed to look as exclusive and unique as they were outside the venue.
Ryan Bish has a very different approach to celebrity style within his clubs. The dress code is ‘dress to impress’, with a ‘chic and stylish’ dress code to ensure that attendees fit the VIP vibe of the venue.
For ladies, they are asked to look both elegant and classy, meanwhile, the gents are asked to be smart and stylish, unless, of course, they are auditioning to perform.
For Bish’s Cirque le Soir, there is a subtle note on the website that risqué attire and experimental looks are usually left to the stage, not the dancefloor.
What’s in store for the future of nightlife?
Bish’s innovative nightlife ideas are far from over, with several new venues scheduled to open in the future. The immersive experience of Steve Rubell’s Studio 54 pioneered nightlife, which is now a platform for exciting future endeavours.
Bish’s ‘Adulthood’ brings childhood games to socialising, offering something new for both escapism and the entertainment industry.
Find out more at https://cream-group.com/