Local hipsters hit Santa Barbara’s newest hot spot last Thursday, as a line out the door marked the opening of the new Club Factory at Zelo’s. Far from the drunken debauchery that is characteristic of the Isla Vista scene, Club Factory drew fashionistas and scenesters alike, with a sassy and stylish vibe that was all its own. Targeting the 18-20 crowd, Club Factory is the newest installment of Santa Barbara nightlife. With the goal of combining fashion, art and music, Club Factory comes to us from the masterminds behind Le Disko Productions, Keith Wilson and Steve Garcia. This L.A.-based promotion company was the first of its kind and is now home to some of the hottest indie dance clubs in Los Angeles, including Club Moscow and Le Disko Sundays.
“There are so many people involved with fashion, photography and music in the Santa Barbara area,” Garcia said. “We wanted to reach out to that type of crowd.”
When asked whether the club’s unique mood will prove to be a draw or a downfall in the California casual atmosphere of Santa Barbara, Club Factory Promotions Director Steve Garcia said he thinks people will flock to the fashion-conscious scene on Thursday nights at Zelo’s.
“Walking into the club, you get the vibe,” Garcia said. “The dress code speaks for itself, the dress code enforces itself. We wanted to have something unique, we wanted to start a revolution. We call it a ‘movement in music.'”
The club’s name pays homage to The Factory, Andy Warhol’s original New York studio. With an emphasis on art and fashion, Club Factory is a masterpiece of its own. In the near future, projectors will be installed to display music videos, in addition to student artwork on the walls and a resident photographer to take club shots. Incorporating art and music, the team hopes to create their own Factory.
“We want to open up students’ minds and ears to new music and new levels of art,” Garcia said. “We hope they will be open-minded and not just go to the Top 40 clubs. Our club is something unique. From music to art to photo to fashion, it is completely different. Plus, it’s just fun.”
If the club’s name is any indication, it is all about the music. In addition to the Warhol influence, Factory is the name of a record label in the United Kingdom, home to Joy Division and New Order. It then comes as no surprise that Club Factory’s music includes ’80s, electro, indie, dance, and rock. The label Factory christened a “fashionista culture in music,” and the folks behind the club of the same name are working hard at bringing that idea to the young and fashionable in Santa Barbara.
“We wanted Club Factory to be unique and diverse. Many of the clubs downtown don’t play the type of music we do. We are bringing the L.A. club scene to Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara has beautiful people and we want to bring them out,” Garcia said.
Promoting at stores such as Blue Beetle and American Apparel, Factory’s main target is the hip college kid. Students are encouraged to get involved, as the owners are actively encouraging students to come take photos and display artwork at the weekly club. Sponsors include Myspace.com, Club Moscow in Los Angeles and theGLfactory.com. With guest DJs, an exclusive photo booth and free parking, the club makes it easy to stay for hours, which is exactly what many people did at its opening night.
And making nice with bands is always a plus for any up-and-coming new club scene. The Le Disko production team is already friends with such bands as Shiny Toy Guns and Moving Units. On February 1, Blake from Moving Units will be spinning beats. So, break out your hippest threads, grab your art supplies and get ready for the biggest dance party Santa Barbara has to offer – Club Factory, every Thursday night at Zelo’s.
“Music is the best part, it’s the reason we do it,” Garcia said.