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“The Irish nightclub is dying” – Irish Times

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“The Irish nightclub is dying” – Irish Times 14th January 2019

A report in the Irish Times has found that leisure sector in Ireland is changing and nightclubs are bearing the brunt.

In the article, the Times cited the closure of three prominent clubs, The Wright Venue, Lillie’s and the Tivoli saying these “are merely the highest-profile victims of an extinction event rippling across Irish clubland.”

The Times report said “The downfall of the Irish nightclub did not drop from the clear blue sky. Instead it is the product of a unique concurrence of events: the property crisis, indifference at official level to Ireland’s late-night culture and an unlikely outbreak of puritanism among twentysomethings.”

Speaking about the closures, a local promoter is quoted saying: “People are looking for more of an experience nowadays. You can’t just have the trifecta of a smoking area, dance floor and a bar. You have to do something that entertains,”

The article found that Ireland isn’t alone in seeing clubs die off. “In the UK a parallel cultural shift from all-hours boozing has resulted in the “afterwork economy” declining in value by more than €200 million in the past five years, with once-prestigious rooms reopening as gyms or food markets.”

The report found that “as nightclubs slouch towards their obsolescence, other night-time options have proliferated. Dublin, in particular, has seen the opening of dozens of boutique bars and upscale cocktail lounges – viewed with a degree of hostility by club promoters who caution against “gentrification”.”

The demise of traditional nightclubs and the rise of other types of night-time venues has largely been attributed to many people in their teens and early 20s are more conscious of health, being more aware of the impact of going out and getting completely drunk every weekend.

Archaic licensing laws in Ireland has also been blamed.  

“Our licensing system is so archaic it doesn’t just need to be re-examined or revamped,” says Jamie Behan (DJ and promoter). “It needs to be completely overhauled. We have the shortest nightclub opening hours in Europe, when we could be a vibrant hub for electronic music. People are going elsewhere, to Berlin, London, Amsterdam – cities which have demonstrated that 24-hour licences for clubs can work rather than result in the absolute moral decay of society due to alcohol abuse – the argument to which conservative naysayers repeatedly return.”

Source: Irish Times

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