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Now more than ever, club spaces provide a much-needed space for creativity to flourish and communities to grow. But what makes a club successful, and what risks are at stake?

This is the focus of Communities Behind the Dancefloor – a new documentary produced by Ballantine’s as part of their True Music Series.

Premiered at this year’s ADE Festival, the documentary focuses on four iconic clubs from around the world: Glasgow’s Sub Club; Nitsa in Barcelona; The Gärten in Beirut; and the now-closed New York club, Output. The film looks at the history and impact of these four clubs with never-before-seen footage and candid interviews, focusing on what makes these clubs unique whilst shining a light on the invaluable communities around them.

Representatives from all four clubs joined together for a panel discussion at the premiere, held at the pop-up Ballantine’s House event at De Hallen Studios in the west of the city. The discussion delved into the personal histories of the clubs, and the way that each has shaped the communities around them. The consensus was clear: it takes care, dedication, resilience (and, according to Mike Grieve from Sub Club, “a really good sound system”) to run a successful club space, but the impact on the community and ability to instigate real social change makes this a fight worth fighting.

Speaking of the project, Ballantine’s head of music commented: “It was important for us to tell the stories of clubs from very different parts of the world to give people a wide understanding of the scene. Working with these pioneering institutions highlighted how integral these iconic clubs are/were to the cities they reside/d in, creating communities beyond their borders. These clubs stood the test of time and have evolved with the different challenges their city faces, from changing social climates to economic upheaval.”

The True Music Series Limited Editions are available now, featuring key design features from the four participating clubs.