Whatever has happened to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland over the past few years? We’ve been short of all kinds of things – lorry drivers, Covid tests, petrol, and evem ginger nut biscuits at one point after flooding in the north of England. And now, yet another thing has to be added to the seemingly endangered list.
That thing is, apparently, nightclubs. Some number crunchers have been examining figures from the Office of National Statistics and have worked out their numbers are in freefall. In 2010, 10,040 nightclubs were registered across the UK. At the last count, that number was down to 6,985. That’s 3,055 nightclubs which have disappeared in that period – a drop of 36%.
There’s little doubt that’s grim – and I’d be surprised if this figure doesn’t fall further. This blog has been contacted by a number of clubs who say their financial situations are dire, to say the least. But the end of the report contains this line, which has been clutched onto for dear life by the music press…
“With 6,985 registered clubs in 2021, from a high of 10,040 in 2010, it’s entirely possible that the UK will soon have less than 5,000 clubs, especially if COVID disruptions continue and capacities do not reach their maximum potential in the years ahead.”
No evidence is explicitly presented to back up this strong claim – although if current trends continued, the number would be reached by 2028. Which would be terrible news for the culture and a damning indictment of the country which was the first to truly fall in love with dance music.
That said, the lack of evidence for this statement isn’t stopping the dance music press from going predictably apocalyptic. Perhaps they could explore questions such as why so many have closed, and what is making the UK such as unfriendly place to set up a nightclub. Unless I’m very much mistaken, that’s their job – and as much as I try, I’m only one guy.
Another one to file into the “keeping an eye on it” category…