BBC Newsbeat asks ‘where have all the UK clubs gone?’
Some blame changing attitudes, others the financial climate. Whichever way you look at it, the UK’s nightlife has been trialled and tested significantly over the past decade, and the causalities are stacking high. London has epitomized this decline, with such sacred spots as The End and Turnmills disappearing off the face of the earth and even the likes of Ministry of Sound feeling the pressure. BBC Newsbeat recently tapped into the question on everyone’s mind – what is happening to London’s club life and, more importantly, is there light at the end of the proverbial tunnel?
According to the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), the past decade has seen the number of clubs in the UK shrink from 3,144 to 1,733, a figure which echoes the financial and cultural shifts that the UK has seen over the last ten years. Though there is a significant lack of context and justification surrounding their numbers, such as the variation between commercial high street venues and more thoroughbred dance music clubs, the decline is steep enough to prick an ear towards. The BBC’s spotlight piece talks to key members of the city’s nightlife, addressing such high profile brands and advocates as Ministry of Sound, Rudimental and Steve Aoki to the DIY spaces filling the void for London’s somewhat baron clubbing landscape.
For many, the culprit seems to be a simple change in attitude. Whlst numerous sources quote the budding trend for outdoor events and larger-scale-festivals, it is ironically Steve Aoki who champions the need for clubs to remain the tipping for nightlife and the talents that fuel it. Promising yet alternative signs of life are represented by a new generation of daytime festivals and pop-up events now fueling the void once dominated by ordinary clubs, taking consumers away from the traditional dance floors and onto new makeshift party spaces.
Though set in the specific context of this influential territory, the issue is one that all territories need pay attention to, but not take for gospel. The UK’s influx of festivals and successful non-club events (Andy C sold out London’s Brixton Academy in ten minutes just last week) doesn’t spell a dying scene, but more one with some scary numbers that have yet to be equated to an unsustainable turn for UK nightlife.