Explore Lausanne

Do you wanna dance? Go MAD!

Nightlife — By Sonja Holverson on November 13, 2010 at 6:21 pm
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Image courtesy of  the City of Lausanne

Once a warehouse, the Iconic (and sometimes a bit wild) MAD Private Lausanne Dance Club is in the trendy Flon neighborhood, a former industrial area and reputed street of prostitution.  The Flon has only been renovated in recent years but has received a complete make-over into contemporary culture and is a chic area with cinema complexes, 4 large stores, lots of trendy shops, some medical offices, the old loading docks redone and lots of little interesting cafés and restaurants. It is also right next to the main terminus of the Metro system which can get you almost anywhere so that you

can enjoy your evening to the fullest (There are also Pyjama Buses for outlying areas so that you don’t have to drive).

You can’t miss the building; it’s colorfully painted and has a 3D giant pink condom attached to it that has been there for decades. Members can bring 2 guests free but non members are also welcome for an entrance fee of $25. Even though the doors don’t open until 11:00 PM, MAD can get up to capacity very quickly on the weekends, so you may want to go early because they will stop the line from entering if there are too many people. There are over 3’000 members living in the region. Many of them are university students and young professionals since there are so many colleges and technical schools in Lausanne, but there are also some older members.

The MAD is open five days a week. You have to be 18 years old to get in which pleases the members as many other bars tolerate a rather too young and rowdy crowd (14-16 years old!). There are 5 floors: 4 dance floors, 4 bars, 3 independent sound systems and 1 restaurant. If want a table for a light fare which is offered in “Le Bedroom”, you might want to reserve. There is no specific dress code. Sundays are free and celebrate Gay Night.

Image courtesy of MAD

The MAD is well known for the many famous Djs who come and their great selection of mixes. Oftentimes, there are live converts also. Check out their website for the schedule. MAD, which stands for “Moulin a Danse de Lausanne” (The Lausanne Dance Mill) which caters to those who love progressive house,               tech-house and hard beats and fantasy performances.  It can also be rented out for (sometimes really wild) private parties.

This year the MAD club has been nominated for more than one award at the First Swiss Nightlife Award which will take place in Zurich on December 4. Out of 8 categories MAD is nominated for 4: “Best dance & Parytunes DJ”, “Best Event”, “Best Event Series” and “Best Club”.

MAD has come a long ways since it was founded in 1985 by a group of friends who first recognized the need for a night spot especially for young people eager to dance to the sound of their favorite music and to see live performances of popular artists. Although disc jockeys had been know for ages, in the 1980s being a DJ emerged as new art form and expressed an individuality of the DJs who mixed the music and added their own sounds.

Image courtesy of  the City of Lausanne

At first the club was completely private with only members and guests.  Soon the MAD was known all over Europe and they started to allow non-member guests for an entrance fee. The club can old 1’000 customers at a time most of them 18 to 25 years old.

In recent years, the MAD has added to its activities the Atlantis festival, a yearly event devoted to electronic music and dance that is held in May, which is presented simultaneously in several spots in Lausanne and/or other cities, and attended by thousands of fans, with the participation of many world-famous disk jockeys and music groups.

Sample this song with Christian Sims on the mix @ Mad Club, Lausanne March, 2010 (this one’s for you San Francisco!)

For more to do in Switzerland follow me on Twitter.

Image courtesy of MAD

Tags: DJs, Europe, Flon, Lausanne, MAD, nightclubs, Switzerland, Zurich, “Atlantis festival”, “dance club“
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