great artists go there because Embrace owns the Hoxton and Embrace is a major booker of talent lately. It's disappointing.
When I was there on Friday for a drum 'n bass event, I noticed that the sound was kind of shite for half the club, didnt seem like the PK Sound speakers towards the middle of the venue and back were functioning. As the club slowly filled up the entire large front right second bar and side-stage area was roped off and totally empty. A spot with two bottle service booths and room for a good 60-70 people to stand was just vacant despite it getting crammed in the main part of the club. Didn't make sense to have it all roped off and have the second bar not running when the main bar was having delays and lineups.
I asked the staff when I left what was up with that and they told me the side stage area / bar is roped off in case someone decides to get bottle service. They won't allow anyone in there to stand/dance (or heaven forbid sit) unless they buy bottle service. It was 1am at this point so it seemed kind of pointless to keep it closed on the contingency someone wants to drop $600 and beyond on a couple of bottles - nevermind the fact the venue had over 350 people in it the front half the club (where the sound was ok and not shitty) was getting to be crowded and a bottle-neck towards the stage. So instead of opening up a large area for the crowd to divert to, and the second bar (for people to buy their expensive drinks), they keep it closed for "prospective" bottle service customers.
Get fucked Hoxton. That's the greediest and most illogical shit ever. The two bottle service booths only took up like 1/5 of that side stage area anyways. When I was there a few years back for Richie Hawtin they had the side stage area open for anyone and the two bottle service booths just roped off and the side bar functioning. It wasn't perfect but at least it sort of relieved some of the crowding near the stage.
Anyways. Place sucks. Embrace are greedy, management of the club are morons. The sound is mediocre. At the bar I would order an $8 Heineken with a $10 bill and the bartenders would consistently give back a twoonie, not loonies, like I'm obligated to tip you $2 on one beer and pay $10 for a fucking Heineken. $1 totally cool, not $2. It's just those little things that add up to an obnoxious experience. Sorry babe, this isn't the Brass Rail, I'm not paying $10 for a Heineken.
Hoxton and it's shitty sound, expensive everything, overcrowding, awkward layout, shit bottle service nonsense can all go suck a bag of dicks.
Going clubs should be an enjoyable experience. I'm there for the music and to dance. And when the sound is crappy and I've got no room to dance and everything else about the venue is cringe-worthy - it's not that enjoyable.
yeah I saw Kid Koala at the Hoxton back in 2012 and they had the "VIP" area next to the stage... my buddy and I were a bit confused at the roped off area but then half an hour into KK's show, these bubbleheads show up in there, two bros from the 905 and their dates, swilling vodka and ignoring what was happening on the stage right next to them. Could've easily fit another 50 people in there, you know paying ticket holders... place was rammed otherwise. but I mean, bottle service for Kid Koala? Really?
I guess these days the kids, having listened to crappy MP3s since birth via iphones on crappy headphones or earbuds, have no concept about how good sound can be at a venue.
In a perfect world, club owners in Toronto would take the lead from the guys who started INDUSTRY nightclub, and cobble together a system and shape a room to do electronic music justice in a small - mid size venue.
But why would the new club owners fork out the money for that if the kids don't know any better. The DJs can't tell. As long as the booth monitors are adequate most of them have no idea how crappy the audio is elsewhere in a venue anyway.
My biggest pet peeve with current Toronto nightlife is the deplorable lack of bins surrounding the dancefloor at most venues. Setup is usually a stack up front that projects to maybe the first third of the room, and then either top satellites or small arrays at the middle and back that force you to face the DJ booth if you want to actually feel any of what's coming out of the speakers. I guess that's what the kids want - please keep your eyes on the [STRIKE]DJ[/STRIKE] rockstar at all times, right?
I nearly cried when I walked into the basement at the Metroplex 25 at Movement some years back. Long, narrow hall, low ceilings, and every 20' or so, from front to back and on both sides of the room, stacks of subs. Loud, clear, and talk about body rock - mine was still resonating hours after we left.
I even gave CODA a try for Octave One and Saunderson, and it was the same-old, same-old. The sound is marvelously clear, and decidedly underwhelming. And this is supposed to be one of Toronto's new, premier venues.