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DJs, light displays, mixed drinks, and the whole shebang - and a mixed bag of others



If you're looking for dance clubs in Salt Lake City, your best bet is to open your mind a little and be generous with your search parameters. While the city indeed claims a few prototypical dance clubs, most of its venues fall outside of the strict definition.

If you won't be satisfied by anything but a pure dance club – with DJs, light displays, mixed drinks, and the whole shebang – look no farther than The Hotel – Elevate. This quintessential club has five separate rooms, all gussied up to match your hot pants.

Area 51 also can quite properly be called a dance club. Catering largely to those in their 20's, this establishment features many theme nights, cover bands, DJs, and all kinds of reasons to dance like crazy while enjoying cheap beers.

Those looking for even more selection in the pure “dance club” genre would be well suited to travel up Parley's Pass to Park City. There the extremely popular clubs, Downstairs and Park City Live (formerly Harry O's), offer excellent sound systems, incredible bands and DJs, and beautiful people.

If you prefer to stay in Salt Lake City, and are willing to broaden your search criteria a bit, take a look at the online schedules of bar-slash-venues like Urban Lounge, Club Sound, and Burt's Tiki Lounge. These low-key establishments fill their calendars with shows by local bands and nationally famous indie groups. Others like The Westerner and Hog Wallow function as a place to get a beer, eat dinner, and dance to live music.


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West Valley City
Westerner Club


The Westerner Club offers a totally different spin on the concept of "dance club." One of the area's favorite country-western dance clubs, the spacious Westerner is the place to wear your jeans, big buckle, leather boots, and hat. Patrons here love line dancing, and it's not uncommon for the large dance floor to overflow with toe-kicking revelers who know the words to all the songs. If dancing isn't your thing, a couple of pool tables in the back offer a nice alternative. The kitchen produces some pretty tasty grilled sandwiches too � great for a late-night snack.




Calling itself "Salt Lake City's Independent Sound Stage," the Urban Lounge is perhaps the most popular venue/ bar/ dance club in all of Salt Lake City among the young, alternative, or otherwise hip crowd. On the stage of Urban Lounge you can see music nearly any night of the week. Artists range from talented locals to nationally famous, indie bands. Cult classics like the helmet-wearing Bob Log have graced the stage numerous times. If you check online, you'll notice that Urban Lounge has a show scheduled nearly every night of the week. Come dressed casually; this dark, gritty, faux-dive encourages it.




Burt's is one of the best places in Salt Lake City for a casual night out. Beloved by locals for its regular music schedule and cheap drinks, this State Street hole-in-the-wall is a great place to consume blue-collar beers and feel totally comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. A dive by appearances, yet safe and clean, this place is particularly beloved by hipsters and fans of local musicians. On any random night of the week, you may well catch a solo musician or bluegrass band for as little as $5. Small though it is, Burt's Tiki Lounge always makes room for dancing.


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Whether you're looking for a beer and burger or in the mood to dance to live music, you'll be happy you came. Make your way in, sidle up to the bar, and place an order for your favorite cold one. After a while, should you start feeling hungry, take a peek at the pub menu. Pizzas, heaping sandwiches and burgers can satisfy just about any need. The Hog Wallow also offers BBQ on the weekends. Most weekend nights you'll find live music. This is an excellent, low-key place for dancing and is welcoming to visitors and locals alike.


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Outside of City
Downstairs
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


To get Downstairs from Salt Lake City, you'll have to actually go up... to Park City. Yes, though you wouldn't guess it, sometimes you have to drive to a smaller town to find a bigger party. Given Park City's mountain culture, it is packed year-round with resident and visiting skiers and mountain bikers � in other words, folks who generally don't like to go to bed early. Downstairs, located on Park City's historic Main Street, caters to a range of social tastes. Offering a bar, lounge, and performance area, Downstairs gives locals and visitors a chance to relax, dance, and see DJs and other artists from around the region and nation.


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Outside of City
Park City Live
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


Though it probably sounds counter-intuitive, people often make the commute from Salt Lake City to Park City to liven up their nightlife. This is because Park City Live, Park City's biggest club (formerly Harry O's), is one the best venues in the entire state of Utah for music and partying. A massive club, this draws some of the best and most famous DJs and musicians from around the world to perform on its stage. Set up with a huge, main room and 2nd floor balcony encircling it, Park City Live has a number of bar tenders dressed to kill, VIP lounges, and an incredible sound system. Adding to the sensory experience are videos, laser lights, and digital displays.




Club Sound is among Salt Lake City's most popular and busy concert venues. Neither a fancy establishment, nor a total dive, this industrial-chic venue attracts nationally-famous indie acts, underground DJ's, and a whole lot of 20-and-30-somethings to watch their shows. With a large dance area on the main floor and a balcony overlooking the stage, this large club provides plenty of space for moving around - though it is often completely packed during big shows. During summer events, Club Sound opens its second floor, outdoor balconies, providing yet more space and a place to catch some fresh air between songs. Club Sound is a both an 18+ and 21+ venue; alcohol is only allowed in the 21+ side of the venue.




Area 51 does more than its fair share to keep Salt Lake's young and energetic crowd entertained late at night. Those into dancing and techno, house and trance music will find this to be one of Salt Lake's best venues for combining those interests. Don't come here if you're looking for quiet conversation; the name of the game is loud music by live DJs, crowded dance floors, and themed evenings. Before you come, check online to see whether there is a particular happening that night. Whether you're looking for ladies' night or 80's night, you'll find yourself satisfied here.




Located downtown, The Hotel � Elevate Bar & Night Club is Salt Lake City's most classic dance club. Offering five separate areas each with their own energy and intensity, The Hotel has The Lobby for relative relaxation, Club Elevate with a stage, dance floor, and lighting, The Ballroom for drinking and lounging, The Opium Lounge for mingling and dancing, and The Game Room for dancing and playing billiards. Each room has at least one fully-stocked bar and its own feel � from glossy and glitzy to underground. In every section of the club, you'll find a high-quality sound system and live DJ on most weekend nights.


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Meet Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz began her unexpected writing career in Salt Lake City with her first book on Wasatch Skiing and Travel in 2006. On the subject of Utah, Christine has written numerous...  More About Christine

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