Beta Nightclub crew reflects on bringing the best EDM to Denver for five years

Categories: Profiles

Ferdinand Arsell Villadiego

Since first opening its doors in 2008, Beta Nightclub has been at the top of numerous "best of" lists, and it currently holds the top spot for clubs in North America. In commemoration of the club's fifth anniversary, being celebrated this week, we caught up with the folks behind Beta to get their thoughts on what it's been like watching the venue grow into the premier spot for A-list EDM DJs and producers.

See also:
- Catherine Nguyen Le and four coveted Colorado music-industry jobs
- Sub.mission residents and crew reflect on five years of bringing dubstep to Denver
- Deadmau5 at Beta Nightclub

Brad Roulier (right) with his Manufactured Superstar cohort Shawn Sabo.

Brad Roulier, founder

What are your thoughts on being a part of the number-one club in North America?

Beta is a great club with an amazing DJ booth, sound system, Kryo [Kryogenifex fog] system, performers and staff. The most important part of our club is the EDM audience in Denver for all genres. This is what it's about. It's the best feeling. I am so grateful to our whole team, but most grateful to the fans.

Catherine Nguyen (foreground) with husband John Le (aka DJ Dragon).

Catherine Nguyen Le, executive director of entertainment and marketing

Catherine, you've been with Beta for five years: What has it been like, watching this club grow to be the best nightclub in North America?

It's been incredible! I feel like that word doesn't even do it justice. It is such an incredible feeling to start something from scratch -- to really leave an impression on dance music. What's unique with Beta is that everyone involved has a strong passion for dance music. That's what sets us apart from other venues who have been head-hunted from other genres. At Beta, everyone involved has their own drive for dance music.

I started raving in the '90s; it's something that's all in our blood. With Brad, he started in the mid-'90s with throwing parties, so it all started with this passion that we were all excited about. We, or I, never thought this would be a career, but we all work with our friends. Ha Hau is one of our best friends -- he does our Thursday -- he started with John Le with Triad Dragons, and that's the same crew we are running with today. I feel fortunate to have been gathered with these people who share the enthusiasm for dance music, and we are still with the same group of people.

Are there any nights that really stick out to you?

There have been many nights like that, but the first one with that experience was Memorial Day weekend in 2008: It was that Sunday, and it was Danny Tenaglia. Why that sticks out is because up until that point, I was focused on getting opened, and we just opened two months previously. We called [Memorial Day] our grand opening. We had a Sunday-afternoon kickoff that day, and then Danny Tenaglia played from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. -- a five-hour set!

Brad and I had been trying to get Danny Tenaglia in Denver for a while, and Brad was trying to get him out, but it never worked; he didn't want to travel. It was his first Colorado experience, and I remember I was so tired -- I don't even recall how tired I really was -- I was on the dance floor. I got on the sweet spot and had the best acoustic and dancing time throughout his set for a good hour, and I was like, "This is my job!?" It's amazing... just curating a lineup, and one that I really enjoy.

A couple of other times that I had the same feeling was one year later, for 2009 Memorial Day, for Armin van Buuren. We had to block off the doors because we got so much shit from our neighbors because it was so loud. They would hear it all the way down to 17th and Wazee -- the bass just bounces off the concrete. We closed off all those doors. We really exercised the thought of club culture evolving. With the challenges we had, we gracefully evolved for ourselves and our customers. Not to mention having the number-one DJ in the world at your club.

The last moment was in 2011, when we had the Kryo installed, and the first night we blew it off. We built this hype around it, or anything new we do, and then make the customers come out and experience what we want to give them. We didn't say anything about it, and Fedde Le Grand was headlining that night.

The track he dropped was Madonna's "Music," and he had the vocals a cappella -- you know, "Music...makes the people...come together..." -- and right when the bass hit, the Cryo [hit], and people went fucking nuts. It was electrifying. It is another moment that personifies our commitment to evolution within the club, whether structural or production.

Location Info



1909 Blake St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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I vividly remember Danny Tenaglia's second memorial day appearance, truly a special moment seeing his handheld spot light performance "BE... yourself!!!" and then stretch out all the sore muscles from dancing your a$$ off!!! good times & great people thanks beta


Beta keeps Denver urban and modern.  One of the reasons I havent left for another city.  The only question I have is- with all the talent in the local denver "edm" scene why does Beta believe keeping the same local djs in rotation is "evolution"?  Switch it up already.  

Michael Beckerman
Michael Beckerman

If there is one industry in this world, where there are no rules at all and absolutely ANYTHING you can possibly imagine goes, no matter how crazy it is, it's the night club industry. It's one of the few industries on this planet where your business is rewarded based on how crazy, outlandish and utterly insane you can be with the environment you create. To own and/or operate a nightclub in ANY city in this country and not absolutely push the boundaries, in every single area of what you do (DJ's, lights, special effects, decor, audio system, costumes, promoters, acts, performers, etc.) is absolutely unconscionable. Club goers in every single city (outside of Manhattan) should be demanding much more from the clubs in their cities - and they should get it.

Michael Beckerman
Michael Beckerman

Think I'm wrong here? Talk to anyone that has ever been to any of the following legendary NYC clubs of years past and then see what you think: The Limelight, Palladium, The Tunnel, MARS, MK's, Webster Hall, Red Zone. Most of those clubs are now gone, but in their day they absolutely set the standard for the sheer lunacy and insanity that made Manhattan the absolute focal point of the entire clubbing world. Those clubs, in their day, set the standard by which all other clubs that followed would be judged. They did that by constantly setting the bar higher, every single week, for what they gave their customers: sheer insanity. When you went to one of those clubs, you felt like you had traveled to another planet, some where off in the far reaches of the galaxy where insanity ruled and no rules applied. And you felt like the DJ beat the living crap out of you and left you for dead while you where there - and you loved him for it. So much so that you couldn't wait to get back in again the next night. Assuming of course that you could put together an outlandish enough outfit to be able to get picked by the seven foot tall doorman dressed like a purple alien with red devil horns, to even get in, of course.

Michael Beckerman
Michael Beckerman

I like Beta, largely because it has tremendous potential, but like so many other Denver area clubs, they are so far behind the curve still that they don't even come close to being what would even be considered just an average club on the east coast yet. The biggest problem with Denver clubs is that they make almost no effort to improve themselves or evolve beyond where they are over time. They quickly get comfortable, predictable and stale and no one in management ever has the good sense, foresight or where with all to really innovate, adapt or evolve beyond that point. All you have to do is spend one weekend in the clubs of NYC to know what I am talking about here. Clubs in NYC are constantly pushing the envelope, continuously looking to push all aspects of what they do and how they do it to the absolute extreme, innovating hard, every single week - while Denver clubs essentially make no effort what so ever to push any kind of boundaries at all, in any aspect of what they do. This is really sad too because with just a little big of guts and some honest creative effort on the part of owners and managers, the club scene in Denver could be absolutely world class, a hundred times better than what it is today. Until Denver area club owners and managers resolve to FINALLY GET OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE and learn the value of really pushing limits and pushing boundaries, and truly make an effort to create a truly out-of-this-world club going experience for their customers, nothing is ever going to change here - or improve.

Adria Riley
Adria Riley

NO! It was bad? Dieselboy and AK1200 are two of my favorite dnb guys. So sad. :(

Justin Eshelman
Justin Eshelman

Not POTD this year... sheesh, i wrote emails to dieselboy and ak1200 about that one. You don't not play together for over a year and go out and wing it with a 3 DJ set. train wrecks aplenty. They both apologized and got me in to some other shows VIP around the country, but still... Come on! Favorite Moment? I can't say I have one yet and I was just their last Friday for Nosia.

Eric Delgado
Eric Delgado

Also David Guetta, black friday 2010! Behind the DJ booth,out in the crowd.

Adria Riley
Adria Riley

Standing behind David Guetta while he spun his set. Back in October of 2008. Amazing.

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