Clubbing together to save the industry
As we tick off the nth month of Covid-19 (who’s still counting??), one thing we can all agree on is that we can’t all agree on the precise rules and regulations governing our nation’s response to the pandemic.Bad enough for the population as a whole. Ten times worse for anyone involved in the hospitality sector: distancing and hygiene rules, restrictions on numbers and opening hours, bans on loud music, dancing – you name it, there’s something in place to make you scratch your head and wonder whether there’s any point in carrying on.
Soon it won’t be a matter of choice. Virus infections are climbing in the predicted manner – predicted by all except those running the country, it seems – and levels of restriction are coming at us quicker than dishes in a tapas restaurant (remember those? They used to serve food and drink before..oh, you know). There have been plenty of sorry tales of pubs, bars and restaurants closing their doors for good, with the consequent loss of community facilities and, more vitally, jobs and livelihoods.
Sure, the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme provided some sticking plaster over the open wound but one sector which has been left untreated is nightclubs.
It’s just not happening, despite the best efforts of club owners and operators to meet Government demands. Plenty have tried, turning their clubs into lounges with quiet music and careful monitoring of distancing and noise levels. And no dancing, of course. But the ill-conceived 10pm deadline is proving too much of a burden and the fact remains that there has been no nightclubbing anywhere since March.
Not that the industry is taking things lying down. A ‘Save Nightclubs’ campaign has kicked into action, bringing together venue bosses from all over the country including, in an impressive show of solidarity, more than a hundred in London.
Venues want some help and support to get then through the bad times, so we can all enjoy dancing to Good Times on the other side of this pandemic.
A hard-hitting video showing the human impact of club closures has been vacuuming up the views online and a broadcast report backed up by an online article from ITV News has brought the issue further into the spotlight.
We all understand that health and wellbeing are paramount right now, but that wellbeing extends to mental health and nightclubs have a really prominent role to play in that area. As the Save Nightclubs video explains, the industry generates £3 billion a year and employs more than 45,000 people in the UK. All these venues want is some help and support to get then through the bad times, so we can all enjoy dancing to Good Times (or something more contemporary) on the other side of this pandemic. And what could happen if that support isn’t forthcoming is that – eventually – the nightclub industry will go underground, with no proper licensing, no regulation and endless unnecessary problems.