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Nightlife in Raleigh

The night scene in Raleigh has something for everyone and every vibe. From dancing to international music to drag shows to chill hookah bars, Raleigh springs to life at night and everyone fits in somewhere—even people under 21. Recently, the Dreamville music festival announced the lineup for this year's show which includes Drake, J. Cole, Reuben Vincent and more. In between the festival performances, the nightlife in Raleigh offers another opportunity to continue the fun. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out these popular night spots and find your vibe!

The Dreamville headliner that took everyone's breath this year surprisingly isn’t Drake—it’s Burna Boy. Burna Boy is one of the many afrobeat artists that’s played at the popular nightclub, Farotage. Farotage is an international lounge founded in 2011 that celebrates Afro-Caribbean and African culture. If you’re not 21 yet, don’t be upset! Farotage is open to anyone 18 years or older, and it will be indicated that you’re underage at the door with wristbands. Farotage is open from Friday–Sunday from 9:30 p.m.–2:30 a.m. Because this lounge has a dance-heavy atmosphere, be conscious of what you choose to wear. Ask yourself, “Can I dance in these heels?”


Pine State Public House (21+)

Pine State sits at the very heart of Glenwood Avenue, the street where most 21+ clubs are located. The club is known for playing early 2000s music and hits across multiple genres. The highlight of the Pine State experience is the DJ booth. A section of the booth is roped off for patrons to dance with friends and other clubgoers throughout the night.


Alchemy (21+)

Alchemy Raleigh is another club located on Glenwood Avenue. The visual effects of the club make each encounter more exciting than the last. The DJs at Alchemy create an upbeat atmosphere, and the glow sticks and light-up accessories sold there add to the ambience.


Legends Nightclub (18+)

Legends has been a staple in Raleigh nightlife for decades. Legends is known for its welcoming and accepting environment for the queer community where everyone can have fun and feel safe. The club is open Friday through Sunday and recently began their Trouble Mondays with drink specials starting at 8 p.m. The club is known for its drag shows that occur every Friday and Saturday with three shows each night. With a diverse crowd and friendly staff, it's the perfect place to dance, socialize and be yourself.


Ruby Deluxe (21+)

Ruby Deluxe is another vibrant and inclusive queer bar located in downtown Raleigh. The bar offers a lively atmosphere and plays a range of music genres, from indie to punk to pop. Ruby Deluxe features drag shows, karaoke nights and DJ sets. They also host a Sunday Drag Brunch every Sunday from 1–4 p.m. 18–20 year-olds can attend the brunch for an additional $10.


Shahrazad Lounge (all ages)

For a more relaxed night, Shahrazad Lounge provides an additional option to socialize with friends. The lounge offers hookah, coffee, tea and more. They are open from 3 p.m.–2 a.m. every day of the week.


Responses compiled by Melissa Taylor, Contributing Writer

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