Naomi wrote:Hmm. Well, 'vibe/atmosphere/intention/purpose/people' etc, but that doesn't really quantify anything. I guess the most basic & describable difference is that one is more like a nightclub for people to go clubbing whilst on skates, and possibly fancy dressed & but definitely dressed for clubbing, and the other is somewhere to go and skate. I have no idea if this was a good or valid answer to that question at all. Maybe someone else could do a better job.
No, it's not a very good answer. Not sure I can do any better though. Actually, it's half a good answer but doesn't tell the whole story.
Thing is, roller discos are all different and they each have their own vibe and ethos. For me your description fits Vauxhall well (which is why I don't like it much) and to a certain extent Bagleys (which got part of the way to being good but didn't quite make it). Wembley is different though, it's still a night club atmosphere but the skaters are there to skate in the same way that they are at a rink, it's not about office outings and fancy dress and drinking. For me that's the best of both worlds.
Size isn't everything either but shape is very important. It's nice having a full size rink to blast around but small places can work too. Vauxhall is OK if you just want to dance on the spot but even the larger room doesn't work for skating along as it's too square so you end up literally just skating in circles. It wasn't too bad originally but then they moved the barrier for the bar area out into the room and spoiled it. Bagleys was better but still not ideal.
Wembley isn't very large but the shape is long and narrow which works well, and it's got a lovely inlaid wooden floor as it's an old dance hall. You tend not to skate fast as the end turns are fairly tight but you do get long straights to do all the dancing-while-moving-along stuff which is what I like about rinks and roller discos. There's also room in the middle for dancing on the spot and practicing stuff. And for me the music and the vibe just hits the spot especially on a Tuesday night which is the more mellow and laid back session. Friday nights are busier and more clubby but it's still all about the skating.