Looking for wild island nightlife? This island has little of Waikiki's after-hours decadence, and the club scene can be quirky, depending on the season and day of the week. But Maui will surprise you with a big-name concert or world-class DJ, and local block parties are always entertaining. Outdoor music festivals are usually held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, or even a randomly scouted performance space in Hana.
Block parties in each town happen on Friday, with Wailuku leading the pack. Main streets are blocked for local bands, food vendors, and street performers, and it’s a family-friendly affair. Lahaina, Paia, and Kihei are your best bets for action. Lahaina tries to uphold its reputation as a party town, and succeeds every Halloween when thousands of masqueraders converge for a Mardi Gras–style party on Front Street. Kihei has more club venues for live music but can have something of a rough-and-rowdy crowd in parts. On the right night, the towns stir with activity, and if you don't like one scene, there's always next door.
Outside Lahaina and Kihei, you might be able to hit an "on" night in Paia (North Shore) or Makawao (Upcountry). Charley’s in Paia is the go-to venue for mainland and international DJs looking to play an intimate set. But, generally, these towns are on the mellow side. Your best option? Pick up the free Maui Time Weekly, or Thursday's edition of the Maui News, where you can find a listing of all your after-dark options, island-wide.