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Flex is a nightclub in Vienna. It is located between underground station Schottenring and Augartenbrücke. Many international and Austrian music acts and DJs, such as Pete Doherty, Juliette and the Licks and Arcade Fire, have performed in Flex. There have been hundreds of visits from drum and bass DJs like: Pendulum, High Contrast, DJ Marky, Aphrodite, Patifee, DJ Hype, Logistics, Leopoi, and others. According to the annual rating of German music magazine Spex Flex has been among the best nightclubs in Europe for years. The soundsystem is also widely considered one of the best.
Flex has been around for over a decade and has supported multi-cultural events from all over the globe. Primarily DJ sets and live sets are seen to be particularly common. Flex houses many DJs and in the late 90's was primarily a club to listen to the newly imported music genre, Drum and Bass. In time however, Flex adopted a seven-day cycle, which was implemented in the first five years or so. There are several musical themes:
- Monday: Either "So Messed Up", which is mostly trash, techno and minimal or "Dub Club", mainly dubstep and jungle music. However, it is also often closed on Mondays.
- Tuesday: "Crazy", also called Electronic Tuesday, is a weekly minimal techno event.
- Wednesday: Mainly indie, pop and rock is featured on "London Calling"
- Thursday: Weekly drum'n'bass night called "Beat It"
- Friday : "London Calling Special", again mostly indie music and rock.
- Saturday : Mostly either "Wicked", a drum'n'bass, ragga and jungle event, "Crazy Special", again techno and minimal, or "Future Beatz", which consists mainly of drum'n'bass and drumstep.
Because the system is very loud, Flex provides ear plugs free of charge for those who find it necessary to dampen the loud bursts of bass and sound. The Flex sound consists mainly of 4 large subwoofers which are placed underneath the stage to give maximum bass output, followed by 2 large speakers which hang parallel to each other, nearly 6 feet (1.8 m) long and 2 feet (0.61 m) wide. Around 6 speakers on the stage, 2 for the DJ's output check and another four around the elevated stage area, each speaker is half the size of the main, however a foot thicker. Another 10-12 speakers are placed around the club, at the entrance, in the midsection and next to the bar on the left hand side, with each speaker being similar to those on the elevated area. A sound and visual control which is usually present, is seen elevated between the midsection and the stage front.
The Flex Café is a bar located right next to the Flex. It features couches and a small dancefloor which is hardly ever used. Sometimes there are DJs in the Flex Café, and there is mainly indie music playing. In spring and summer there are benches outside and sports events are shown on a large screen, however, bringing your own beverages is not permitted. Sparkling water is free in both Flex and Flex Café.
Due to the increase of criminality, especially drug dealing, in the area surrounding Flex the police determined a curfew. All Flex parties are due to be finished by 04:00 hours. This has caused an amount of criticism among Flex' visitors and a petition has been launched in order to collect 50 000 signatures to be presented to the mayor of Vienna, Dr Michael Häupl, to raise the curfew to 06:00.