Nightclubs in Scotland (along with Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, France, Portugal, Greece, Germany and your pick of any number of other countries) aren’t best pleased with the hand they’ve been dealt with recently. And I honestly can’t say I blame them if they’re collectively feeling very annoyed.
But one club you won’t hear complaining at all about its current plight is the Sub Club in Glasgow. Infact, they actually closed their doors before Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed they’d have to do it – and I understand this decision was partially reached because the numbers coming to the club had fallen drastically.
Is there anyone else wondering what’s going on here? Only in April last year, Sub Club’s owner Michael Grieve – who also runs the Night Time Industries Association up in Scotland – wrote a letter in his capacity at NTIA which said “Our sector is drowning in a sea of debt as rent and other costs keep being incurred… There is despair that not only don’t we have a road map to reopening, but we have a cliff edge at the end of April when what little financial support there is comes to an end.”
He continues, saying “We need more financial help and we need it to continue until we can fully re-open. The nature of our businesses means that we can’t operate sustainably with any form of social distancing and restrictions. We take no pleasure in setting that out. But it’s a commercial and economic reality that has to be faced”.
Stark words indeed. Yet since Scotland announced back on December 23rd that nightclubs in the country had to close from December 27th for at least three weeks, there has been total silence from the Sub Club. And I can find no public statement whatsoever from Michael Grieve on the subject.
Why the radically different approach this time? I’m not sure – and Sub Club haven’t responded to my request for comment at the time of going to press…