Kenya // Nairobi and around //

Bars, clubs and music venues

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Promoting bands in Nairobi is as precarious a business as anywhere and, given the volatile nature of the music business, venues and bands change at a moment’s notice. Check out wnairobinow.wordpress.com and wfacebook.com (most clubs and bands have a Facebook account even if they have no website) and look at the Nation newspaper on a Friday and Saturday for one-off gigs. Most clubs are open nightly and often on weekend afternoons – and in some cases never close at all. Starting times vary considerably for live music: on weekdays, 8pm wouldn’t be too early to turn up, while at weekends even the warm-up act may not begin before 10pm, and some shows may not get rolling until midnight. Earthy, local clubs have free entry or very cheap entrance fees, while in the glitzier places, men still sometimes pay more than women; around Ksh200–400 as against Ksh100–200. There are some interesting bars in the city’s fancier hotels, where there may be a minimum bill.

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