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Notorious Clubs: HYPE, Brampton

Posted by Jennn / January 16, 2006

Welcome to the Notorious Clubs series. This is where we look at clubs with some of the shadiest promoters, rudest staff, nastiest owners, worst sound systems, highest drink prices and loathsome activities in Toronto. Today we'll take a look at HYPE in Brampton: home of ACDC, GNR and Bon Jovi Tribute Bands, rude bouncers and cutthroat business practices.


The first thing that struck me about Hype was how it felt more like a teen center than a concert venue. With its pool table, small stage and sports figures on the walls, I wasn't too enthused... but then again, I've seen worse. The excruciatingly painful sound system is aimed at making your ears ring loudly to be sure your experience here sticks in your mind for days afterwards. While the lighting is OK and there are plenty of booths to sit down at, you will soon find that looks can be deceiving. "We feel honoured to play at the only club where you CAN'T drink at the bar," Latefallen declared onstage.

Yes people, it's true - you CANNOT drink at the bar here. As soon as you get a beer in your hand, a gruff, bald bouncer will be looming over your shoulder, instructing you to move to the back of the room where you will be quarantined like an animal. If you hesitate to get a shot or ask the bartender a question, the owner will be shaking his head, pointing to the corner. "You have to drink that over there!" he insists.

With an all-ages crowd, it's understandable that there needs to be a designated drinking area to keep under-aged kids from getting their eager hands on a pitcher; however, what ISN'T necessary is being insulted, chased from the bar and verbally reprimanded in such a condescending manner. Afterall, drink sales constitute a major portion of a club's profit. Bands didn't get any special treatment either. Though a few musicians furtively snuck beer onstage, they had been originally told there was to be NO drinking onstage unless it was bottled water.

The rude attitude didn't start there of course. It began as soon as we stepped inside. At 4:45pm, no one was working the door to inform us the club wasn't open yet. Moments after sauntering in, we were instructed to wait outside another fifteen minutes until 5pm. Twenty-five kids clamored in the freezing hallway until 5:45 when they were finally allowed inside.

Media guestlist and family member guestlist simply doesn't exist at Hype. "We only have guestlist on Saturdays when the tribute bands play," the owner told me. "Otherwise it's like you're stealing from the bands. Tell the bands to pay for you if they really want to treat you but they only get paid based on how many people come to see them." Standard procedure is to pay bands based on a percentage of the bar sales (for free shows with big numbers) or split the money from the door among the bands.

Let's do some crude math here. At Hype, patrons hand the door $7 - $5 for the club owner and $2 for whichever band they've come to see. If no one has ever heard your band before and you're the opener, you will go home with nothing, not even a free bottle of water or one drink ticket. If 50 people come to see you, your five band members will get $20 each. In this case, Seconds To Go (from London, Ontario) went home with a meager $9 total (not sure where that extra dollar came from - sympathy loonie?).

Expect to be yelled at for resting half a bum cheek on the unused pool table. You'll have bouncers shaking their heads at you if you take two steps past their idea of the drinkers' boundaries (which is only verbalized and not designated by any signs, by the way). If they feel you've dropped some trash in the hallway, expect to be bullied into picking it up, regardless of whether they have proof it was actually you littering. Also don't be surprised if the door is slammed behind you on your way out.

This tyrannical bouncer behavior may just be an unfortunate byproduct of the red Security shirt. The 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment found that ordinary Berkley students could be transformed into sadistic monsters just by playing a mock prison guard role. In less than a week, their voices had changed and they were punishing other students (arbitrarily labeled as "the prisoners") by tripping them, stripping them, locking them in closets, verbally humiliating them and taking away "privileges" like bathroom breaks. On a much smaller scale you can see this transformation of character in many bouncers. I'm sure he's a great brother, a great friend, maybe even a great coworker; but it's almost as if he ENJOYS over-policing patrons and treating you like "just another punk-ass kid". I remember dealing with disrespect as a teenager but I knew many of my peers instigated trouble just for fun and sort of understood why bouncers came down so hard on us. But for someone in their 20s who just wants to have one beer and watch some bands play, this goes beyond degradation.

On a positive note, the chicken wings WERE pretty tasty, the bartenders and runners were very sweet and the large $13 pitchers were an excellent value. If I were coming here for a pre-game meal, I would seat myself at a table near the TVs and have a perfectly fine time. But I find that the Hype "Indie Music Sundays" is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Don't fall for their trick. They don't care about Indie artists, they don't care about Indie music and they certainly don't care about YOU.



Michelle / January 17, 2006 at 12:17 pm
O.k wat you dudes just said is totally tru cuz when me and my friend went to see A constant reminder, secons to go, latefallen and angry agency. Well let me tell you. the whole night i was gettin pushed around by that damn bouncer. It's not enough that I paid 6 dollars for a damn drink but to make me leave my friends to go drink in isolation at the back was just rude. As for band members being treated like shit. When Jay and Steve from ACR came in behind us they decided to go through since teir part of a band. The dude told them to get to the back of the line, and didn't care if they were part of a band. the only pplz I like in the whole place was the bar tender chick and that cute lil gurl that kept commin around askin us if we where o.k. (they deserve a raise!!)

<3 Michelle
Joe Pinto / February 8, 2006 at 12:45 am

I promote HYPE and several other venues. Some of the above story is true and some of it total
bullshit. 1/This show was all ages therefore no drinking in certain areas.
HYPE is 19 plus drinking 90% of the time.
2/ Several of the bouncers do suck,
I want to kill them myself. These things take a little time in new venues
sometimes. I need 2 months of training
(I'm serious)
3/ Nobody makes just $2 per fan.
The range is between $3 to $4 per fan
to $4 per fan PLUS a base cash guarantee. Indies that draw decent have
walked out of HYPE with $400 to $800 or more for 30 minutes of live music.
People that do well move up just like
life itself.

HYPE has also paid over $5,000 to $10,000 per show on "name" recording acts on many occasions and forked
thousands into radio and local news ads to support local talent.

4/ On the "TRIBUTE" cut up. Many rooms
are actually even alive because of
packed FRIDAY DANCES (every Friday
at HYPE), Commercial old school acts
like TROOPER and APRIL WINE (sold out in advance) and great CHICKEN WINGS. An average Tribute band draws about 300 people even in summer at HYPE
and does record breaking bar sales.

Should promoters write off TRIBUTES for being too commercial or some of the Indies that didn't pack the place like they said they would ? Should promoters stop bringing young people into decent venues because its almost always a loss or very small profit for the trouble ?
NO, NOT AT ALL. Why ? Because it is really about the love of ALL MUSIC and love of ALL PEOPLE that creates a scene. Bars are a dime a dozen there
are few scenes. Scenes take some time.
There ARE better clubs then HYPE BUT there are shitloads of clubs with a lot
less going for them too.
There's a great crew of people at HYPE and it's too bad that just a couple knuckleheads spoiled this night
for some people.

Some nights (not at HYPE) I've
dropped over $10,000 on a promotion. Did I go crying to the bands and say "Hey man can you give me GAS money ?". Did any of them
offer to help me ? You know that answer.
**Actually the only musician who asked if I needed any money and if I was
ok in over 20 fuckin' years was
SHANE of the great and unique
BINARY LINK. I paid his trio $86 that night for the small handful of people they brought and he offered to give some back. I got a bit choked
up because at the time I was struggling to feed my 6 year old.

Anyhow, Rome wasn't built in a few months,there were NO HYPE OWNERS
at HYPE that Sunday as presented in the above lie, most ALL AGES shows
don't produce thousands in profit, and HYPE will continue to be a great
Brampton venue and support the great talent found in Peel Region and beyond.
If you need a gig or a few thousand good
testimonials I can be reached at
hypeshow@hotmail.com or

Dale / February 13, 2006 at 02:37 pm
I would also like to add something to the comments that Joe Pinto said. I work at the club venue HYPE and I was the bartender that night. Although nothing above was mentioned bad about me and my side-kick (the runner) and I thank you for that, I still feel I need to defend this great venue. I work very hard and I care for most of the patrons that come to the venue. Although, some of the patrons are not the nicest people you'll meet, I still treat everyone with the same respect. Yes, we do have to have an area for 19+ and an area for under 19, but most of the patrons are very understanding and follow the procedures. There are some clowns that don't follow the procedures and feel they can do whatever they want. Keep in mind that this is a place of business and there are many laws for business owners with liquor licenses. The owners are just trying to accomadate for everyone without losing their licenses. Just think about it for a second and put yourself in their shoes. As for the drinking on the stage, standing on chairs and sitting on the railings of the patio, all the owners need you to do is fall and then they'll have a lawsuit. They aren't being mean, they're just looking after their investment. Your comments about the owners are very unfair. The owners were not there the night that was discussed and if they were you would have felt differently about them. They are the nicest people to work for and I have respect for them, this is why I choose to make a comment about you knocking their venue down. I've worked for them for over 2 years and it's unfair to speak so poorly about someone that wasn't even there and they aren't able to defend themselves. I'm not sure who you are referring to as "the owner" but you're are mistaken. I'm not just protecting them, they really weren't there. Please anyone that is reading these emails, don't let the bad reports stop you from coming because it's really a great place to work and to socialize! Hope to see you there...........
Lasik / February 21, 2006 at 04:27 pm


Tomek / February 23, 2006 at 12:01 pm
You're right, the hype is terrible, it totally blows my friends band got horrible treatment and they were dishonest with negotiating the band's profit. so in conclusion never go to the hype, it is possibly the worst place ever. Oh and the drinks were to expensive I mean really $3.50 for a coke, a freaken coke damn it what the hell and it tasted like horsepee.
Dale / March 1, 2006 at 04:50 pm
Tomek.......I don't know what Venue where you paid $3.50 for a drink, but it can't be HYPE. I'm the bartender there and we don't charge that and we don't treat anybody horrible. You must be mistaking our venue with another place.
Britnee / March 6, 2006 at 09:42 am
I went to the Hype this Saturday oddly enough seeing a pretty damn good cover band of AC/DC and someone help me out, cuz I have NO clue what they're called or if the drummer I chatted with and took "live drumming" photo shoots of on the stage was telling to just check out abcd.com or if they're somewhere in the listings of that website.....so hype employees or owner, help me out
And while I'm here, I have to say that blonde runner girl was extremely sweet and the bartender was great too.
Perhaps it's because an hour before going I was paying $7 a rye and coke at the Foxxes Den, 5.25 didn't seem half as bad. My friend wasn't satisfied with the chocolate martini, but didn't really care too much. I never really even noticed the bouncer at the back....I'm told he was laughing when Jess and I were dancing like fools to some slow song by Guns and Roses....and again it might just be us, but more dancable rock songs would be great. Or a variety of music after the band. Sure some people will hate a song...then love a song....then kinda like one, but there's nothing funner than shooting an arrow into the blank sky and hoping it doesn't poke someone in the eye.
I don't know much about the owner...except that he hustled us out and looked very displeased with something we didn't do....I hate getting hit on by really drunk waaaay older men, but thoroughly enjoyed the rocker vibe...because i feel wrong going into other places where girls are dressed like they want the trailor trash award, and i noticed there's always one sleazy guy...who hits on about 4 different girls and goes home after finishing his beer with no one in every bar.
Bartender or owner...make fun of him for me...i'd love you forever.
Joe / March 6, 2006 at 07:16 pm
The band is called BACK IN BLACK
and it's probably the best AC-DC
Tribute out there.
Joe / March 7, 2006 at 06:37 am

what did the owner look like ?

Dale / March 7, 2006 at 04:17 pm

The owner(s) are two wonderful people. They are husband and wife. They have a Scottish accent. They are always working on the bar at the end of the night. I believe everyone is mistaking the owner with one of the doormen. I believe everyone is confused with the dude with the gray hair in a ponytail being the owner, but he's absolutely NOT the owner!!!
I hope this helps!
Dale / March 7, 2006 at 04:29 pm
Well, I'm glad to hear your experience at HYPE was overall positive. I don't believe I served you because I never had an order for a chocolate martini, so I think I'm the other (dirty) blonde hair runner. I'm believe I know the dude you are talking about because he was hitting on me all night too! There is usually always one in every crowd but don't let that stop you from coming in to our venue again. Just feel sorry for guys like that because they do end up leaving the bar by themselves.
Joe / March 14, 2006 at 12:19 pm
check this site . . .


HYPE / April 16, 2006 at 09:58 am

ziomal / May 12, 2006 at 08:20 pm
I donno guys, what i actually have 2 say is that ALL the clubs in Brampton suck, just as Mississauga's do. This is THE worst place I've ever partied in and leaves me devastated in my perception of "having fun" here. No Fucking house/trance clubs at all, all the same bullshit some frickin' r'n'b good for gay-guys, wherever I go i am sooo bored.
Rose / May 16, 2006 at 04:13 pm
There was a STABBNG at the Hype a few weeks back..........NICE!! I won't be going back. The Hardball sucks so we thought Hype was 'okay' for awhile until it turned into every other bar out there. Screw that. I'm outta there! Bouncers ARE jerks too, I agree!! They powertrip! Hey buddy, how much do you make an hour? Is it REALLY worth it????!!!!! Give it up already!
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justine / August 22, 2006 at 10:50 am
here's the deal. ive played at hype a few times with my band. there were times when i was treated very poorly by some of the staff there, ie rude bartenders/ bouncers, but the majority of the time i havent had any troubles. lets face it, no matter where you are, there will be nice people, and assholes. chances are slim to none that you'll ever experience a night in which every single person at the bar will treat you as though they were carol ann and greg brady. chances are also slim to none that indie bands get the chance to play in a decent bar venue that bends the rules to make it all ages. but hype makes it happen. just realize that not everyone enjoys theyre job, and maybe working all night around noisy obnoxious music makes them cranky. dont take things so personally and enjoy yourself and the music.im just thankful that i have a place like hype for my band to play at! speaking of which, we'll be there next sunday, august 27th with cancer bats, the end, dear jane i, and a rockwell resolution, so come on out to this great venue!

justine, the love and terror cult
Halo / September 23, 2006 at 11:22 am
Antique / September 23, 2006 at 12:25 pm
Thanks for the mention.
Furniture / September 23, 2006 at 01:25 pm
Discounted furniture
Cyril. / October 3, 2006 at 02:00 pm
Thank you again.
Kay / October 3, 2006 at 03:49 pm
I go to Hype most weekends to watch my son's band and overall it seems to be ok. I have not experienced rudeness. I agree that with an all ages venue there has to be a designated drinking area and I don't think it's too much to get your drink and move to that area. Hype is giving the opportunity to young bands to be able to perform and build a fanbase. I think its fabulous. They also make great chicken wings. Cudos to Hype for promoting Bramptons Young Musicians - other bars in the area should perhaps give this a try and give the kids a place to see their fav bands and keep them out of the parks and off the streets.
NOt IMpORtAnT / November 2, 2006 at 10:54 am
Well i must agree that the initial write on HYPE is as accurate as anyone could have written. When my band played there, there was no heat in the whole bar (and it was winter just to clarify) so they had 6 or 7 micro furnaces scattered throughout the bar (kind of pointless, but hey, it was a grief effort)..... We packed the house and had record bar sales that night, yet the band got one free pitcher of beer and a measly $120 each. I ordered some wings just before the kitchen closed and they made the order wrong, then they ran me down for the 8 bucks for the wings..... All because we brought hundreds of eating and drinking patrons into the club that night ---- lets hope to pay for their frikken overdue heating bill!! The 'dressing room" was the basment/storgae space which, well, no comment there........ ALl in all, hype is just that -> "hype"....... it sucks......
Lorne Ould / November 2, 2006 at 11:33 am
I am a member of an AC/DC Tribute that has played the opening at HYPE, we were treated wonderfully, the audience had a great time, all of our guests were allowed in free, we were paid well, free drinks and food, the bar staff were all very friendly, none of the bouncers gave anyone a hard time, I am personally happy that the dance thing is working for the owners, because they treated me and my band so well, they deserve to do well,
What's all this negativity.
Jamie / November 3, 2006 at 03:47 am
You have got to be kidding!!!
It never ceases to amaze me how stupid
people can really be.
Have you owned a bar ???
Do you have any idea whats involved??
You hire staff thats expected to act
accordingly, but like human beings they might screw up on occasion.
So, patrons of the bar , who are driking ,are exempt from screwing up ???
I have played in hundreds and hundreds of bars over the years , and have met some really great people.
I have also had the misfortune of meeting a truck load of assholes.

Does it really matter if your walking into a bar? Working in a bar? Walking down the street? ...And you run into an asshole ?????
You don't know what there all about ;
they don't know what your all about.


We're all here for a good time ; not a long time.

Frank and Wilma are trying to do the best that they can.

The fact that they don't have bands any more means it wasn't working.
At least they tried !! God Bless Them !!




Jake York / November 9, 2006 at 08:27 pm
Was at HYPE the last two week ends. New door staff presence is obvious. A very much needed improvement. Will definitely be back. Friday nights are getting better and better. The club has a very friendly overall atmosphere. I encourage anyone who has not been to the club recently to give it another try!
sailboats are white / November 18, 2006 at 10:44 pm
we just played club hype tonight. we drove in from hamilton and played in front of at least 50+ people and got paid a measley $15 total. the bouncer wouldn't even let us in the club when we arrived and the show was well underway. we had to be okay'd by the promoter first. then when our bass player didn't buy a beer he was told he was loitering. i don't think we'll be playing there again anytime soon.
LOLOL / March 5, 2007 at 08:26 pm
Christina / June 2, 2007 at 01:22 pm
I must say all of the bouncers and doormen working there are complete a-holes. But like anything else in life you have to assume its for a reason. Since its an ALL AGES show, there are probably enough kids that tie their nerves in knots, trying to deal with wasted, cocky little minors is not easy, and it must be hard to keep up that friendly attitude Im sure they all possess :)
Pink Diamond / June 27, 2007 at 03:14 pm
I am impressed by how well the music is on a friday. The new dj and his short indian mc they do a great job. The bartenders are lazy and old, well not us not say one is so fat wow, who would make some one bartend like that. There was a pretty white girl who no longer is there and now they have this sexy off the chart east indian/spanish/flip girl wow she is always smiling and great attitude. the blonde older lady with her is as pleasant as can be, but hun it is time to retire. sorry... we need hot good looking bartenders and young ones like that girl now. I love the wings... music on fridays is great... sundays is crazy. You need a total revamp, cover those windows do you know how many people look in and walk away... revamp the bar, get dancers, get nicer bouncers these ones are rude and horrible. The owner is great he is a good man and his wife is very very quiet. but please advertise this place and clean it up i remeber the days when we were so hot in there and now it is so cold so cold .... i want to keep going but please fix it up and it will make money .... see you this friday with z103 and the staff look forward to going with my mom and aunt...
Pink Diamond / June 27, 2007 at 03:14 pm
I am impressed by how well the music is on a friday. The new dj and his short indian mc they do a great job. The bartenders are lazy and old, well not us not say one is so fat wow, who would make some one bartend like that. There was a pretty white girl who no longer is there and now they have this sexy off the chart east indian/spanish/flip girl wow she is always smiling and great attitude. the blonde older lady with her is as pleasant as can be, but hun it is time to retire. sorry... we need hot good looking bartenders and young ones like that girl now. I love the wings... music on fridays is great... sundays is crazy. You need a total revamp, cover those windows do you know how many people look in and walk away... revamp the bar, get dancers, get nicer bouncers these ones are rude and horrible. The owner is great he is a good man and his wife is very very quiet. but please advertise this place and clean it up i remeber the days when we were so hot in there and now it is so cold so cold .... i want to keep going but please fix it up and it will make money .... see you this friday with z103 and the staff look forward to going with my mom and aunt...
"old" bartender / July 1, 2007 at 01:35 pm
The music on Fridays is good but the Z103 thing just isn't working. The customers have drop on Fridays & it has nothing to do with the staff or the appearance of the club!!! I really think people should think about what they write before they make an ass of themselves! I work at HYPE. I'm not sure if you even mention me or if I'm classified as the "FAT" bartender...but I personally wouldn't consider myself "lazy" or "fat". I work at the "shooter" bar & although I have a few extra pounds....I'm not disabled!!! No one is making anyone bartend...we're there because we choose to be there. I'm actually the oldest bartender they have & I can't & don't want to "retire" because need the extra money & I actually enjoy seeing my customers every week. I actually have customers that come in on Fridays because they like the staff and the atmosphere...NOT THE MUSIC! I had a customer last night (Saturday) tell me that I'm the friendliest & happiest person that he's ever met & how do I still keep smiling when some of the customers are so rude to "me". I will agree with two things you've mentioned & that is the "sexy off the chart" bartender has a great attitude & the "owners" are awesome. As for the bartenders being "lazy and old"...I DON'T THINK SO! The "BLONDE OLDER LADY" that you quote, is the best bartender you could ever have. She's the fastest & one of the nicest people you could ever work with. Her & I have worked for the owners for along time & I must say that we work there because most of the customers are awesome & appreciate what we do for them! I must say that it's the attitude from customers like you that make us want to QUIT! We've had "younger bartenders" but you don't see them anymore because they aren't as dedicated to their jobs & the customers like us. Most of the youngers ones don't want to work. They're just looking to count their tips at the end of the night!!! As for "revamping the bar" this is a joke!!! Come Monday morning the owner fixes & repairs items in the venue that "CUSTOMERS" break. These things are not breaking on their own & staff isn't breaking them..."CUSTOMERS" are breaking them. Maybe if people had respect for things that are theirs....maybe there would be money to "revamp" the club. The "bouncers" are the best that we've ever had too!!! Did you ever stop to think that maybe it's some of the customers that may cause their "rudeness". The "bouncers" are there to protect the staff, customers, & the night club. They have alot on their plate...did you ever stop to think about that??? As for going with your "mom & aunt"...it sounds to me like they would be too boring for the "old" bartenders at HYPE...maybe they should go to the "bingo" hall & we'll continue to do what we enjoy!
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When I was a youngster," complained the frustrated father, "I was disciplined by being sent to my room without supper. But my son has his own color TV, phone, computer and CD player."
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Happy April Fool's Day!
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