Our KIN network takes us on a trip to their home cities. First up, we join creative entrepreneur Toye Sokunbi on the Lagos party scene…
Toye is a creative entrepreneur and founder of ARTISH, a Lagos-based human resource start-up for creator economy freelancers. We asked him to take us on a tour of Lagos after nightfall.
“The night is like a balm to the severity of the day. Extreme affluence side by side with poverty; harsh conditions; mile-long traffic on failing infrastructure – there’s a lot to contend with during the day in Lagos.
But, at night time, there’s a calmness that overcomes the struggle.
Difficulties are washed over by a kaleidoscope of streetlights, silhouettes and the ocean stretching out from the shores of the city.
Everything seems to stop in a moment in time. Even a packed club with bass pumping from the speakers feels like a reprieve…”
There ain’t no party like a Lagos party
“Lagos’ biggest party season is in December, and a frenetic series of mixers, exhibitions, weddings, birthdays, house parties, concerts, music festivals, club nights and more that begin in the last days of November stretching through December, and sometimes bleeding into the early weeks of the new year. ‘Detty December’ as it’s fondly called by Lagosians has gained global infamy in recent years as a seasonal destination for hedonist debauchery and cheap but tasteful fun.“
Now ‘Detty Easter’
“A growing number of events are packing out Easter holiday weekends. Though relatively milder compared to the Detty December, it’s not unusual for big UK and US artists to have headline concerts in Lagos during Easter, or for Nigerians in diaspora and holidayers from around the world to party in Lagos for a few days during Easter. With reduced flight costs in April, and the mellower pace, Detty Easter is a budget-friendly Detty December.“
Budget Lagos nights
“Clubbing is not cheap anywhere in the world, and Lagos is no different. Recently though, the demand for pocket-friendly alternatives has become an opportunity for party promoters to host electronic music-themed, events. Though the frequency of EDM events is still limited to monthly and bi-monthly ticketed parties and festivals, the community is growing because it gives the underserved budget clubbers an experience of what a good Lagos night should actually be: a progressive safe space to enjoy good music with friends without having to break the bank. Element House is a monthly house music party often hosted in Lagos by Spektrum Live and attracts DJs from around the world. Similar events are hosted by independent promoters are Sweat It Out Lagos, EkoLectro, House On The Reef and more.“
“Elaborate Escape Rooms, game nights, arcades, silent parties, play-listing parties and themed-private dining, are only a few of the new innovative alt-nightlife activities that have grown in popularity around Lagos since the end of the pandemic.
Bature, an outdoor craft beer spot set in Victoria Island, for example, offers a touch of indigenousness and authenticity on its drink menu. Beezus Kitchen, a catering company based in Ikoyi also hosts a monthly ticketed 8-course private-dining event called K-BBQ Night, which — as the name implies — is a Korean-themed dinner menu for a select number of guests. Last year, Wafflesncrm, a Lagos-based skate brand celebrated its 10th anniversary with a skate-themed concert, featuring indoor ramp skating side-by-side music performances and DJ sets. The goal for many of these themed spots and events is to give nightlifers unique experiences that cannot be easily replicated.“
A lot of Nigerians unwind by partying
“The way Nigerians let their hair down is changing with younger generations and the advent of social media. While it’s largely still confined to red light district subculture, the adult entertainment industry is growing in popularity and becoming a subject of fascination, among working class urban men and women alike. Over the years there’s been more open curiosity and less stigma around experimentation with drugs, too. Nigerians are quite laid back people, generally speaking – but nowhere parties like Lagos!“
To delve into more city life read City Limits, our series of pieces exploring the urban experience here.