Werk hosts morning performance — new format of parties caused by COVID-19

Creators of an art space in Kazan replied to a ban on clubs operating at night with dances at dawn — from 6 a.m.

Werk art space from Kazan offered a new format of club events amid the pandemic and coronavirus restrictions. Last Saturday, the establishment invited clients to come to dance at 6 a.m. because Russia’s consumer rights protection watchdog prohibited businesses from working at night. Realnoe Vremya’s correspondent woke up earlier to test the know-how from the Kazan reformers of club lift first-hand and be in the thick of the action.

Why not host a party at 6 a.m.?

Citizens of Kazan learnt about the morning party names Beneficial Breakfast when a message appeared on the Net a few days to the event: “On Saturday, we will test a format of the party ‘earlier in the morning’. We will open the doors at 6 in the morning and go to stretch our bones until 12 o’clock together with the masterminds of the event Buwalda, Tonel’, Kandaurov, Bensees and Watch Me. Everything will be the same, music, light, the bar, only at 6 a.m.” One could go in free for sharing the post or paying 200 rubles.

Werk is located at the end of Tukay Street, it is already an industrial part of the district. The external design of the dilapidated building doesn’t suggest there is a bid space inside with two dance floors, a bar and a clothing store.

Werk, which opened in summer 2019, gradually became a refugee to completely different formats: if at first it seemed that mostly techno music played here, rock musicians began to perform in the end on the territory of the former furniture factory, exhibitions were held, house, hip-hop, noise and new academic music sounded here. Werk, in fact, accommodated a big part of independent artists.

After entertaining events and restaurants have been banned from working at night from 11 o’clock at first and then from the midnight in Tatarstan according to Russia’s consumer rights protection watchdog’s recommendation since 31 October, the existence of such spaces turned out to be under question. As the youngest “club”, Werk was in such a terrifying state at the height of the pandemic that some of its workers (around 20 people work at events here) self-isolated during the strict restrictions in the spring by turning their life into a reality show with online sessions and auctions.

As one of the co-founders of the space Ruslan Chizhov says, the new rules of operation excluding the work at night seriously hit all clubs: “Our goal now is to gather no more than 100 people during the permitted time, sometimes it is possible, sometimes it isn’t”. One of the DJs offered the idea of the morning party — Buwalda. If parties may not be held till 6 a.m., why not start them at 6?

“We had hosted events when they go on even in the morning, TAIZOLEN festival lasting many days, New Year celebration. There aren’t always a lot of people on the dance floor. As I understand, around 40 people came, till the midday, which isn’t too much. It isn’t Moscow that constantly has people who want to go to a club in the morning,” Chizhov explained.

Photo: vk.com/taizolenfestival

“It is an attempt to do everything legally”

Realnoe Vremya’s correspondent headed to Werk at 7 a.m. After going through face control and getting a wristband, I was inside where just a couple of people were dancing slowly next to the DJ. Several girls in tight-fitting dresses were ordering cocktails, guests were primarily lying on sofas, armchairs as well as on swings (one of the gimmicks of the place) and were talking. The second dance floor was closed. It felt and security guards assured me that regulars had come to stretch the bones, moreover, there weren’t obviously people who spent the night well. As the organisers themselves noted, “it is an attempt to do everything legally, moreover, this industry isn’t very developed in Tatarstan, that’s why one shouldn’t hope for a real buzz”.

We will note the possibility of going home on public transport after the event as an advantage, while one dances better in the morning (if going to bed early) than after a hard working week. However, there are only sandwiches for breakfast.

As the organisers themselves noted, “it is an attempt to do everything legally, moreover, this industry isn’t very developed in Tatarstan, that’s why one shouldn’t hope for a real buzz”

We should add that a party named Custom was held at Werk in the evening, which began at 7 p.m. It ended at midnight, of course.

By Radif Kashapov
Tatarstan