A nightclub (also known as a discothèque, disco, dance club or club) is an entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night. A nightclub is generally distinguished from bars, pubs or taverns by the inclusion of a dance floor and a DJ booth, where a DJ plays recorded music. The busiest nights for a nightclub are Friday and Saturday night.
The music in nightclubs is either live bands or, more commonly, a mix of songs played by a DJ through a powerful PA system. Most clubs or club nights cater to certain music genres.
Disco has its roots in the underground club scene. During the early 1970s in New York City, disco clubs were places where oppressed or marginalized groups such as homosexuals, Blacks, Latinos, Italian-Americans, and Jews could party without following male to female dance protocol or exclusive club policies. It brought together people from all walks of life and backgrounds.These clubs acted as safe havens for homosexual partygoers to dance in peace and away from public scrutiny.
A recent trend in the North American, Australian and European nightclub industry is the usage of video. VJs (“video jockeys”) mix video content in a similar manner that DJs mix audio content, creating a visual experience that is intended to complement the music.
The beginning of the 21st century saw financial growth of the nightclub industry in the United States. However, the number of nightclubs and employees has been decreasing. In 2010, there were nearly 45,000 bars and nightclubs across the country.