When Temple Nightclub opens in the fall, in the former City Hall space at 1144 Broadway, as part of the Zen Compound entertainment complex, it will be like the love child of Burning Man and Las Vegas, says CEO and founder Paul Hemming.
“There’s a little bit of the creative spirit that you see in Burning Man, where it’s like anything is possible,” Hemming says. “And then there’s the business model of Vegas, the bottle service, the high-end experience, the VIP experience and the high production value and the headlining DJs.
“Then we’ve added this super-creative level, where we have three different rooms of music. The cutting edge of dance music, past, present and future, is our goal — the stars of today and the future stars of tomorrow and the legends of the past. We rotate in all those different styles, whether it’s bass music and house or EDM and Top 40. We try to give everybody this full spectrum of musical choices.”
In addition to a Funktion-One sound system with new 32-inch subwoofers that have new sub technology that Hemming says is "going to add some real oomph," Temple will also include an interactive tunnel.
“As you enter the club, it’s almost like you’re going through warp drive, and you’re going to walk through a fog screen that will be like this portal to another dimension,” Hemming says. “So, from go, you’re walking into a new world.”
The futuristic club, which Hemming says will push the boundaries of technology, will boast LED light programming, a fifteen-by-forty-foot grid screen, and a dance floor that generates energy from people bouncing up and down on modules that harness kinetic energy.
“It’s like walking into a spaceship,” Hemming says. “We’re giving people this otherworldly experience. People go to a nightclub because they want to escape and dance and want to release all this energy, and that’s what we’re doing for them. They’re going to go into this spaceship, and it’s going to be so atmospheric, with dancers and a bunch of sci-fi stuff that it is really going to be hallucinatory.”
Hemming hopes to have the Temple opened by Halloween. The club is just one component of Zen Compound, which will be taking over the 25,000-square-foot building and will also include ECO-SYSTM co-working space Mirus Art Gallery and Hive coffee and cocktail bar and eatery – all slated to be up and running by early 2018. Hemming has been honing the concept of his mixed-use space since launching his first Zen Compound in San Francisco a decade ago. The Denver outpost, which will be his second, will create 100 new jobs.
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Hemming says what sets Zen Compound apart from other venues is that it’s not just a club, but really an eco-conscious entertainment company with multiple layers, including a co-working space and art gallery that are part of that organism. “We’re really building a community that is multi-dimensional,” he says.
Temple will be open on Fridays and Saturdays in the beginning, and then Hemming says he will explore other nights and options. Zen Compound can also accommodate corporate events, and Hemming says he'd love to host meet-ups in the co-working space, which can be used by freelancers, startups or entrepreneurs who pay monthly membership fees that run from $400 to $700.
“What we do with the co-working component is, we program events in three categories,” Hemming says. “One is business acumen – so anything to kind of help you develop your business chops, from legal to business planning to pitches. We’ll do pitch events, and then we have a health and wellness component, too. We do yoga classes in the nightclub in the morning, personal trainers or workouts, meditation, any type of meet-ups that are focused in health and wellness. Then we do creative stuff like DJ classes, painting classes and film screenings.”