H/T Jax for this story:
Nearly half the UK’s nightclubs have shut their doors in just 10 years, according to figures seen by Newsbeat.
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), which represents venues, says in 2005 there were 3,144 clubs and this is now down to 1,733.
Chief Executive Kate Nicholls reckons that in some towns “they are gone for good and we’re never going to get them back”.
But people like Rudimental have told us that clubbing trends “go in cycles”.
The ALMR warns the closures will leave the UK worse off “culturally, socially and economically”.
It classes a club as a place meant for “late night entertainment, usually music and dancing”.
Ministry of Sound is an iconic name in clubbing, where many of the great DJs of the 1980s and 1990s made their names.
But its boss, Lohan Presencer, agrees that UK clubbing is in a “challenging place” in 2015.
“I don’t think the number of people going clubbing at the weekend is any different to where it was 20 years ago, but I do think they are going to different places,” he told Newsbeat.
“With the advent of later pub opening hours, the smoking ban, student tuition fees and the squeeze that a lot people are under financially since the recession,” he explains, “I think people are finding different ways and different places to go out.”
At least there’s a recognition that the smoking ban has got something to do with it.
All the same, that half of all night clubs have closed is pretty shocking. But if half of Britain’s pubs haven’t closed as well, it’s probably because many of them have re-invented themselves as restaurants. All the pubs whose gardens I visit these days do most of their business as restaurants. But I don’t know how night clubs might have re-invented themselves.
I was reading Blair spin doctor Alastair Campbell today listing all the good that Blair had done for working people. As I read it, I realised that one of the good things missing from the list was the smoking ban. Not very long ago a lot of Labour MPs seemed to think that bringing in the smoking ban was pretty much the best thing they’d done in their entire lives. And Alastair Campbell was a strong supporter of the ban, as I wrote 6 years ago.
It’s been a while since I’ve heard any MPs crowing about their role in introducing the smoking ban. Maybe that’s because the colossal damage it has done has gradually filtered through to them. Or maybe it’s the dim recognition that the smoking and drinking Nigel Farage wins support from a lot of people precisely because he very ostentatiously smokes and drinks.
Off topic, I’ve been avidly watching a Chinese author called Jung Chang speaking on YouTube. She grew up in Mao’s China and wrote a memoir on her grandmother’s and her mother’s and her own life, called Wild Swans. I came across her completely by chance, not having heard of her before. She’s since written books about Mao and the Dowager Empress Cixi, who died in 1908. All her books are banned in China.
Here’s her talk about Cixi that first captured my attention: