It’s been almost a full year since we have been able to drink and dance the night away in a room full of flashing lights and loud music, and now, as many as 80% of nightclubs across the UK may be facing permanent closure.
Clubbing scene on the verge of ‘extinction’
There’s no feeling like getting into an exclusive nightclub, but it seems that soon almost every nightclub might become exclusive as 80% of them are facing intense financial troubles.
Thanks to COVID-19, nightclubsacross the UK have been closed since March. Now, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has warned that the scene could be as good as extinct if the government doesn’t offer substantial help.
After surveying more than 100 clubs, the NTIA found that 50% of venues claimed to be more than three months’ rent in arrears. Meanwhile, 88% were in two months’ worth of rent arrears and a further 86% have been forced to make redundancies due to financial shortages.
Out of all those who had to make redundancies, 65% of them have had to lay off over 60% of their staff. The NTIA has blamed a lack of government support for the nightclubs’ financial crisis, with 43% reporting that they never received any form of grant support, including Egg London and East London's The Pickle Factory. Jo Splain, who works across The Pickle Factory and Oval Space revealed:
If spaces more closely aligned with authentic club culture have for some reason been overlooked by this fund, then there simply must be alternative financial support made available to them.
She then continued to highlight the importance of clubs in the cultural scene, being the first venues for many groundbreaking artists:
The effect of losing venues such as these will damage the cultural landscape of our cities immeasurably and will be felt for generations to come.
No clarity on reopening of clubs
Not only are many nightclubs suffering financially, but the NTIA has also revealed that there has been a ‘lack of transparent exit strategy for reopening the sector in line with the government vaccination rollout.’
CEO of NTIA, Michael Kill also revealed that recent law changes could also mean that owners could be kicked out of venues. Recently a new change has been proposed that could see landlords, turn their spaces into housing. Kill warned last year that once the forfeiture moratorium comes to an end (the COVID law which prevents landlords from evicting tenants that can’t make rent), nightclub owners could be thrown out on the street in favour of landlords turning their properties into housing. He added:
Throughout this pandemic and the restrictive measures levied against the sector, it is clear that these businesses are being systematically eradicated from society.