Will big nightlife venues survive this global lockdown?
As we all know; the year 2020 has been train-wrecked by a global pandemic which has affected millions of people.
Worldwide industries in all shapes and sizes have dropped into near non-existence and the UK clubbing scene has not been able to dodge the Covid 19 bullet.
What will the light at the end of this mask-wearing tunnel look like for live music and nightlife venues in the UK and around the world?
We are all now accustomed to online streaming events and mini digital festivals taking place in DJ’s kitchens; it was fun to compare house plants during June, but that novelty wore off pretty quickly. Nobody was immune to the shutdown and it’s now becoming clear that venues are struggling to adapt.
We have venues across the UK that happily hold 2,000+ people on a Friday and Saturday night standing empty. Without going deep into the economics it’s obvious that this can’t continue, but what can be done?
Let’s look at a recent Camelphat live set at the Printworks.
The “show” had been penned to show solidarity to the entertainment industry and nightlife venues who are suffering from our continued lockdown measures. Eerily, the abandoned and blank Printworks setting reflects the situation we face. No lasers, bare walls and exposed bricks create a depressed image. To top it off, Camelphat themselves look out of sorts without people to share the love of music with.
People, no matter whether they are performers, dancers, venue owners, promoters, bar staff or audio/visual technicians miss raving and this show of solidarity reminds us how bleak the situation is.
Aside from this recent show, other clubs are looking at alternative options to highlight their need for people to return.
Some clubs now offer their booths up for hire; allowing DJ’s the opportunity to perform in a club environment for a fee. Lights, full sound systems and camera operators are included in the package. A great promo tool and use of the space in this down time, but not a long term solution as nobody can be sure how long the downtime will be.
Smaller venues, usually the pre club bars have been able to offer their services throughout the daytime but a combination of banned live music performances, social distancing and a 10pm curfew has put the brakes on any sufficient rebuilding plans.
The big question remains;
What is next for our nightlife venues?