It seems there’s now yet another reason to add to the already long list of reasons not to go to a nightclub – there aren’t any. This might sound a little drastic, but it’s an increasingly real situation in the UK right now, judging by the results of research by the Night Time Industries Association.

They did a survey across England, Scotland and Wales – did they forget Northern Ireland is also part of the UK? – and found that the number of nightclubs across Great Britain is the lowest it has been in decades. There are now only 1130 left, compared with 1418 just before the first Covid-19 lockdown arrived in March 2020.

When you combine spiralling debt levels due to being closed for over a year to more recent factors, this is hardly surprising. But what did pique our interest at Ears To The House HQ was this graphic accompanying the BBC’s report on the subject…

This has turned one of our assumptions on its head entirely. We somewhat assumed nightclub numbers would have peaked around 1999 at the height of the superstar DJ era, then started to decline from 2000 onwards – following the disaster which was New Year’s Eve at the turn of the millennium. But that isn’t how it panned out.

Nightclub numbers peaked at nearly 3000 as recently as 2006, it turns out. The recession from 2008 brought closures, then a steady decline ensued during the 2010s. If this pattern continues, there could be fewer than 1000 nightclubs across Britain by 2024.

For a culture which places the nightclub at the heart of it, this should be deeply concerning. Yet the dance music world has a sense of inertia about the whole thing. Hardly encouraging…