24 years ago, when Kuta in Bali was a small fishing village with bamboo huts and mud tracks, only known to late Hippies and a handful of adventurous low budget tourists, something interesting happened.
Amidst the serenity of its 8km long stretch of sand and (back then) clean waters a night club opened opened in Legian/Seminyak.
It was located directly at the beach, an open concept and opened until the wee hours of the next day. From 6pm to 6am. Thus Club 66 was born.
This weekend, Bali’s most well-known Club, an institution and trendsetter once, closed its gates forever, to be replaced by just a another hip resort.
With its 15.000 Watts Sound System, Club Doublesix was a famous venue and in the hearts and minds of most party goers and visitors to Bali – many international top DJs from all around the world like Tiesto, Pete Tong, Steve Gerrard, Mike Hiratzka and countless more rocked the crowds over the years here.
For the last stand, nothing was spared and lots of effort was put into making this a special night to remember – anything was possible. The venue was decked out with lavish decorations and light beams, lasers, big screens, 60 DJ’s (!) for this 1 night and a total of 6 stages and music areas all entertaining patrons at the same time.
Venues like Syndicate and Bacio, not necessarily better going Clubs in the area, were joining in the fun and were connected with 66, but walled off from the beaches and surrounding areas.
And they came in droves.
While Club 66 was deserted most of the last couple of months – for the last stand – everyone and his dog who was in Bali came to join the fun one last time.
Around 9pm the place was starting to fill up and even around 4am new guests were still coming and paying the cover charge of 100K Rupiah, to get in and ‘be part of history’ as the final flyer put it.
It was definitely the party of the year so far in Bali!
The owner, Pak Kadek, who also runs several other venues in Bali, was holding court in Bacio, with TV crews and photographers swarming around him to get the best pictures.
The crowds were an interesting mix of Locals, Bali Expats, Hippies, Rasta Men, Butterflies of the Night, Jakarta Nightlife Pros, Bali Residents and Tourists – a lot of different people you usually don’t see together all in the same place.
Most people wore their best or even glamorous attire, meeting old friends and partying the night away in the heaviest fashion.
Heyyyy – but if all is gold, why is it closing?
But nobody, maybe with the exception of Pak Kadek – the owner – knew for sure.
It seems, Club 66 fell out of fashion already months ago. The center of mayhem and night entertainment slowly shifted back to Kuta over the last couple of years.
With the opening of Skygarden and Ocean Beach Club (later closed due to land disputes and re-integrated into Skygarden), Clubs without Cover Charge became the norm. Fire Dancers, Acrobats, Stage Shows, Live Music and Bikini or Lingerie Models dancing on top of bars are all a common sight now in the Clubs of Kuta.
Yeah, you can even drink for free in some of those clubs or use the many drink promos to get your fix of booze for special low prices all night long, if you know where.
While night spots like Skygarden, Surfer Bar, Apache, Taverna or Espresso Bar are packed any night of the week – the signs became clearer that something wasn’t going right in the Doublesix area.
Club 66 with its steep cover charges, dark atmosphere and unchanged ancient concept of heavy techno beats with light shows and nothing else couldn’t or didn’t want to compete with the young and hungry Party Club Cowboys in Kuta.
A ray of hope came through, when the owners of the area around Legian beach tried to transform the place into higher class night venues. Clubs like DeJaVu, Syndicate, Bacio or lately Cocoon Beach Club opened and had initial success.
But it wasn’t good enough.
Nearby La Vida Loca (a pickup place, full of the oldest and ugliest night birds, was doing its best part to spoil the fun of the high-rolling crowd. And of course the stench of the open sewage system just down the road of Jalan Arjuna (or Jalan Doublesix back in the days) still leaves an indifferent feeling of filth in an otherwise high-price nightlife area.
Drug sellers (fake and real) around the toilet areas in Club 66 and several police raids and undercover busts and constant ripoffs also left dark stains in the minds of carefree party goers.
The Clubs in the area stagnated and were already near empty almost every single night of the last couple of months, maybe with the exception of some weekend nights and special events.
So the inevitable happened. Last week already DeJaVu closed and Club 66 followed this weekend.
If Bacio can stay a strong contender in the area, remains to be seen. Cocoon might probably survive, as its Lounge and Pool Concept with various shows through the week is unique to the area and proved to be quite successful so far.
It’s a pity., Club 66 has to close now, but it had a good run. TIme to enjoy the sunset at Doublesix Beach again in its full serenity, at least the name remains. Oh wait….places like La Plancha and Crystal Palace mushroomed there lately and do there best to keep their patrons happy.
As Pak Kadek put it in his 66 Closing Speech published in Bali Advertiser:
It was a place to meet, where a lot of romance and madness happened, eventually Doublesix became a raving discotheque for all different shapes and colors from around the planet.
If the walls could talk, the stories that went on from opening to the closing would make a great novel. Lots of secrets and memories that will never be told
The tales of hedonistic debauchery that happened in Club 66 would surely leave many breathless! After all – this was Bali’s first super-club, and last weekend, it all came to an end.
Farewell Club 66 and RIP!
For some impressions of the Final Party at Club 66, check out the embedded Youtube Video below:
People Bungy Jumping above the crowds at the Closing Party of Club 66:
So far it seems, that Hackett’s Bungy Jumping Tower will remain on the area of the former Club 66, but nothing is certain. After all, the area will be demolished and transformed into a new resort, so who knows what will happen.
Anyone has the latest rumors? How did you enjoy the Final Party at 66? Please scroll down and leave your comment below!
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