Skip the real party; it’s all about the after party.

May not make sense, but for some it is not the club that attracts the hype, but the hot spots party-goers hit after an enjoyable night.

What’s called the “Let Out” on the East Coast and “Traffic” in parts of the Midwest, has extended party time and sometimes take it to another level. The “Let Out” is what happens when people who do not go to the club or attend a party get dressed up and linger at the after -parties that erupt in the parking lots outside clubs or any other popular hangout spot such as a 24-hour restaurant.

Why would anyone get dressed up to go to a party that’s already ended or a club that’s already closed?

The college students who populate the Let Out and Traffic say the reasons are economic and social. Economic because they can’t afford the cost of a night in a club – anywhere from $10 to a $100, depending on the entertainment and the season– and social because the after-parties are ideal for meeting friends and creating a party of their own.

“Sometimes the after- parties are hotter than the actual parties,” said Chenise Farquharson, a student at George Washington University. “For the most part, everyone is relaxed and just socializing but you always have your group of people who act as though they are still at the club,” Farquharson said.

The threat of violence in a large crowd discourages some people from joining the Let Out.

“I don’t like to hang out at the after -parties sometimes because a fight always seems to break out,” said Kory Jordan, a student at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. “I always have a feeling in the back of my mind that at any time, someone is going to start shooting.”

Recently, Prince George’s County officials shut down nine night clubs due to their alleged reputations for violence erupting outside the clubs. Jordan did not find the county’s action disconcerting. When it comes to boisterous crowds – including people who have been drinking– loitering, trouble is likely to occur and everybody, including the police, is aware of it, Jordan said.

The Let Out crowd is sometimes hard to control because there’s not much club security workers can do to reduce the number of loiterers.

“Once they’re off the property of the club, there’s not really anything we can do about it,” said Shyne Thurston, a bouncer at Cornerstone in College Park, Md. “We can call the police but sometimes they don’t come out unless there is a history of violence at the club. Otherwise, they don’t really care.”

Thurston also says that alcohol is a major factor in the reason why violence occurs. “I watch everyone gradually go from sober to drunk in a short period of time and they have no tolerance and are careless with their actions,” he said.

In the Midwest, weather can be a calming influence if it’s cold. Waffle House, White Castle, IHOP, Denny’s and Steak-n-Shake are popular spots because of their late hours of service. The “Traffic” announces itself in cars with the music blaring, creating a party scene. People walk from car to car. They talk. They flirt. They drink. And they do all these things until 3 or 4 a.m.