Fri, Aug 15, 2003 - Page 18 News List

Thursday: the new start of the weekend?

By David Momphard  /  STAFF REPORTER

What did you do last night? Wednesday, Hump Day as some call it, has long been a night for single young professionals to loosen their ties at a favorite club or restaurant and take a break from the workweek. But Thursday? Well, suffice to say that the highest-rated programs on television can mostly be seen on Thursday night -- the night when everybody loves Raymond more than they love their own friends.

But that might be changing as bars, clubs and restaurants have begun organizing Thursday-night events geared toward attracting people back out onto the town. Even the National Concert Hall has gotten on the bandwagon, scheduling many acts to open on Thursday evening rather than Friday.

Pioneering this uncharted territory are several organizers and event production companies willing to bet that good music and good company can lure people out of their living rooms to, say, The Living Room, where Sneaky Spins Productions has launched its Thursday theme night, Heavy. Billed as an intimate showcase for Taipei's finest underground sounds, the night offers fans of funky house music the opportunity to hear DJs -- whose acts they may normally have to pay NT$500 or more to catch -- for half the going rate, drink included.

Other clubs are getting in on the act as well, promoting all-night drink specials, offering free cover to anyone arriving before a specified time, or else dedicating the night to gay parties or ladies nights.

But it's not just bars and clubs trying to create a Thursday night scene.

Even events produced at the national Concert Hall are often premiering a day earlier. "We haven't been doing so ourselves," says Mavis Yu, assistant manager for marketing and promotion, but a lot of independent production companies are starting their shows on Thursday, including Cloud Gate's 30th anniversary celebrations, which starts next Thursday. Yu explained that for many international production companies, a Thursday start date simply fits their schedule better, allowing them to fit more dates into an international tour. For companies like Cloud Gate, Yu said, school summer vacation is also a consideration. For two months of the year there's an audience that doesn't have anything to do on Friday morning.

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