Jon Bennett is the man behind MONO, the new underground dance club that’s turning the tide against the closure of half of the country’s nightclubs by actually opening one. Stripped back, with a killer soundsystem, long sets from DJs playing until 6am, and affordable entry, it could be the place to help you get over Fabric.
Is MONO the only late night club in Brighton now?
There are some other cool late night spots in town but I don’t think anywhere is offering the consistency we are. We aim to create a safe space to dance to good quality underground dance music until at least 6am. I think Brighton’s been lacking somewhere like that for a long time.
Why are all the sets at MONO so long?
We want to give DJs the opportunity to take the crowd on a bit of a journey over the course of a few hours. The way the venue is set up with a floor level booth means there’s always a real connection between the DJ and the crowd, so the longer they play for the more this develops. It makes them a part of the party rather than someone who just turns up for an hour and then leaves.
Who have you got booked to come and play?
I’m genuinely excited about everything we have coming up between now and the end of the year, but if I had to pick a couple of personal highlights I’d say Peggy Gou on 10th December and our NYE party with Alexander Nut. Peggy Gou because everything she does at the moment is amazing and I can’t wait to see what she can do with three hours in a tiny tunnel with a massive soundsystem, and Alexander Nut is just a real quality selector who’s released records with some of my favourite artists thorough Eglo, so I think he’ll be the perfect fit for a NYE party. Plus we have the Soul City boys doing the after party from 4am till who knows when on NYD, so that’s just generally going to be a whole lot of fun.
What do you think makes a good club?
A quality soundsystem and a friendly atmosphere. If you have those two things then you’re onto a winner.
You’ve got a Funktion-One sound system now. How is it sounding?
Unbelievable. It’s a huge system in terms of power but the sound quality is something else. The Funktion-One guys came down and designed the set up specifically based on the space, so it sounds incredible no matter where you are on the dance floor. It’s about as close to perfect as I can imagine.
What did you before MONO?
I’ve been a part of the Brighton scene in various ways over the last few years, working with different venues and organisations. I think I have a fairly solid understanding of the music scene here now, but it’s not something that’s easy to get your head around at first. MONO is definitely the peak of a long old learning curve.
What do you make of Fabric closing? Is it the beginning of the end of proper nightclubs, or is the turning point where people stand up for clubs at last?
The latter, I hope. What’s happened to Fabric is genuinely devastating, but the one real positive that can be taken from it is the way people have rallied together to stick up for it. It’s been really heartwarming and reassuring to see. We can also all learn something from the way they have dealt with the whole situation. Transparency, professionalism, and somehow still managing to release outstanding music. Hats off, Fabric.