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Night Fever At The V&A, Dundee

Updated: Mar 12

A year on from the first coronavirus lockdown, the V&A Dundee has re-opened its doors celebrating cultural spaces and looking to a brighter future where everyone can come back together, to dance and to enjoy shared public experiences once again.

V&A Dundee reopens on Saturday 1 May with a UK-exclusive exhibition on the joyful design history of nightclubs, Night Fever: Designing Club Culture.
VA_Night_Fever_018 ©Michael McGurk

V&A Dundee

As Scotland’s design museum, V&A Dundee tells a global story, investigating the international importance of design alongside presenting Scotland’s outstanding design achievements.

V&A Dundee features world-class exhibitions alongside the permanent Scottish Design Galleries, and a changing programme of commissions, events and activities.

The new museum has been delivered by Design Dundee Ltd, founded by the Victoria and Albert Museum – the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance – Dundee City Council, the University of Dundee, Abertay University and Scottish Enterprise.  

The Night Fever exhibition was developed by the Vitra Design Museum and ADAM – Brussels Design Museum, it includes films, photography, posters, flyers, and fashion, as well as a light and music installation.

Nightclubs are an example of a total designed experience, employing architecture, art, fashion, graphics, lighting, performance and sound to create an immersive sensory experience where design, music and technology meet on the dancefloor.

Key nightclubs featured in the exhibition include:

  • The Electric Circus, New York, 1967

  • Space Electronic, Florence, 1969

  • Studio 54, New York, 1977

  • Paradise Garage, New York, 1977

  • The Haçienda, Manchester, 1982

  • Area, New York, 1983

  • Sub Club, Glasgow, 1987 – present

  • Kinky Gerlinky, London, 1989

  • The Rhumba Club, Scotland, 1991 – present

  • B018, Beirut, 1998

  • Berghain, Berlin, 2004

  • Ministry of Sound II, London, 2015

  • The Mothership, Detroit, 2015

Sub Club SoundSystem at BAaD (Barras Art and Design), summer 2019.
Sub Club SoundSystem at BAaD, Glasgow - 1 © Brian Sweeney

From Italy to New York, Paris, Manchester, London, Beirut and Berlin, and into everyone’s homes today through online streaming, the exhibition charts how nightclub design has changed and evolved.

The exhibition includes a new section on Scotland’s unique and distinct club culture, including legendary club nights in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Paisley, exploring how the Scottish club scene links to the music and influences of Chicago, Detroit and Europe.

The iconic Rhumba Club, 1991 – present, Scotland, with multiple locations over the years has been seen as a roving, chameleon-like night across central and east Scotland. The Rhumba Club started in February 1991 at Roxanne’s Nightclub, Perth. It was founded by Wayne Dunbar and Zammo, and was one of the first nights in Scotland where house music was presented as a club night. Over its 30 year history, it has appeared at Fat Sam’s, Dundee; Citrus Club, Edinburgh; Ballys, Arbroath; and Ice Factory, Perth. Over its many locations, a Balearic influence has been integral. Unlike other clubs and club nights, it did not stick to a particular genre, always creating an exciting balance between American Garage, Techno and House. Over the past few years, The Rhumba Club team have diversified into festivals and weekend extravaganzas, but still pay homage to the classic club night by regularly returning to the Ice Factory, Perth.

The museum also features playlists of music chosen and mixed by Scottish DJs and artists including Dundee’s Hilltown Disco, Heir of the Cursed, ISO YSO, OHO141, Jim Lambie, Junglehussi, Anna Meredith, and Sofay.