Club Republik – the club – opened within the virtual world of Second Life in April 2006 and has since established a cult following among clubbers worldwide.
The name Republik was chosen for two reasons: It is a reference to the idealogy that Philip Rosedale holds of Second Life being a country seperate and above cultural and geographic boundaries; and combines the similar concept that music and specifically the clubbing sub-culture transcends social classes and governmental disagreements to unite people from all nations and walks of life.
Having celebrated its 1st Birthday this year, the venue remains at heart of the brand as it’s where the story began and has also been the catalyst for the company’s further brand ventures and extensions.
Inspired by the 90's UK dance and rave culture Sable Sunset, Club Republik's visionary and one of it's founders (alongside Lina Pussycat), opted for a design based upon a deposed government's abandoned luxury building partly in response to an emerging trend of 'dark-future' fashion within that particular virtual community, and partly due to the politicised anti-government attitude embodied in the dominant clubbing environment of the early 90’s.
When Club Republik was created, it was done with a very clear goal in mind: to provide an accessable, high-quality, high performance virtual venue that enabled music fans access to the music they adored and the DJs that loved to play and produce it. And of course supply this in a venue like nothing ever seen before in a virtual world to create an experience as close to a night out in a real life club as possible. This is an acheivement the venue can still boast today.
This vision has become ingrained into the Club Republik philosophy and, as the brand now enables music fans worldwide access to their favourite music through an increasing number of channels, influences every aspect of the brand.
Since opening Club Republik has been hailed as 'The heart and soul of the virtual dance scene' as DJ input and musical output has always concentrated primarily on the many forms of electronica. As dance music has evolved, the club output has consistently been at the forefront of the scene with its DJ line up and musical policy delivering over and above the clubbing call of duty.
Club Republik is a venue that not only started a unique brand but also created Second Life's clubbing movement as we know it today.
It is our aim for Club Republik to be held up as an example of what clubbing should be like in Second Life, and in virtual worlds beyond SL in general. It's our goal to raise the profile of virtual music venues across the metaverse as a viable alternative when attemding a RL club or music venue is not an option. As a result we have even provided consulting services to other virtual venues that share our dream, and to real life companies interested in online club culture. We have also been featured in several real-world publications about the music scene in virtual worlds (including real life club industry publications), and served as the venue for a nationally televised music event.
For us it is always the experience of the music lover attending the venue that is paramount, rather than what profits can be made from a business such as ours. At all times we try to maintain a sense of family in Club Republik, staff and guests alike (in fact, this 'family' atmosphere is one of the first things stressed to new employees), and it's important to us that although we each have a sense of responsibility to the guests, what we do stays fun for all of us. After all, no-one comes to a virtual world looking for job they hate - that's what real life is for! :D
As the scene in Second Life developed the owners of Club Republik identified a growing online need - a place for music lovers that inhabit virtual worlds to congregate and share their experiences, and a place for virtual music venues to develop a true community between themselves in the spirit of working collectively to promote the virtual music scene.
Firstly the site is intended to serve as a central place, away from the confusion of virtual world-dependant search and event facilities, where venues and artists can communicate directly with the music fans that attend their events, offer special promotions, and get feedback on what the guests at their venues and events like and dislike.
Secondly, it's a place for those virtual venues that share a similar ethos to Club Republik, and the artists that perform in them, to share what they're doing and their ideas to grow the community with other venue owners.
As a bridge between the two, Club Republik has developed the Club Republik Affiliate Scheme, for which this site also serves as a central base. The aim of the scheme is to provide virtual venues with the technology to get information about themselves to their guests, provide easier means to manage their venues, and to promote the ideals given above to the wider virtual music community.