In 2011, a massive earthquake rocked Christchurch, New Zealand, nearly wiping out the city’s nightlife industry. On a mission to help fill the empty void left after the disaster, Mitch Ryder and Sam Smith opened Hide, a bar that is being used as an “all-inclusive ‘safe-space'” for those looking to experience live electronic music. Post COVID-19 lockdown, the club is now back open, selling out and welcoming in record numbers of attendees.
“Before the earthquakes, there were about 10 serious, world-class nightclubs in Christchurch,” Ryder told Stuff. “They were formidable, but they closed and there was no scope for anyone looking to rebuild.”
Hide, which opened last year, takes inspiration from European clubs, equipped with a spacious dance floor, an impressive sound system and lighting, and “no cheesy top 40 remixes,” according to Ryder. It’s a project that has been in conception since 2012, but finally found a home on St Asaph St after yet another club closed down.
While other venues in the area are struggling to survive, Hide has continued to flourish. Hide’s organizers pay homage to the spaces lost during the earthquake while offering the younger generation in the region, who haven’t been able to experience nightlife, an auspicious glimpse into what the industry could be.
The beauty and allure of the club also come from the mission Ryder and Smith have espoused for Hide with their “hide, seek, and dance” catchphrase. Through that endeavor, they’ve created a space that supports the multi-cultural and LGBTQ+ scenes that helped to form the backbone of the electronic music industry.