A UK government lobby group, the Night Time Industries Association, has released a new report into the state of the country’s nightlife scene. Entitled Forward Into The Night, the report reveals some interesting info about the industry and lists various suggestions aimed to halt potential legislation that could harm the UK’s extensive nightclub scene.
Published ahead of the much-anticipated 24-hour London Underground service which begins in September, the report’s headline is that nightlife in the UK is worth a whopping £66 billion, around $100 billion, and employs around 8% of the British workforce. With various lobby groups trying to tighten the grip on the country’s nightlife, claiming that crime is inexorably tied to clubs and bars, the NTIA points out that “attempting to extend regulation of the night-time economy or curb its activities will do very little to reduce the problem of alcoholism or violent crime,” adding that venues are safer than ever, and most crime is not committed by venues, but against them. The group proposes discussion between the police, policy makers, and venue owners, with the aim of allowing the UK to “support and champion” the industry, rather than attempt to “belittle and stifle it”.
The UK club scene has long faced something of a struggle in terms of stringent licensing laws. While Japan may have recently overturned a 67-year-old ban on dancing after midnight, it’s worth remembering that UK venues are still heavily regulated, with closure and licensing restrictions a constant threat. London’s Ministry Of Sound has only recently won a decade-long battle against closure threats due to noise problems, and other venues have closed altogether, such as Glasgow’s famed Arches club, which closed on June 19 after its late license was stripped amid bizarre conditions imposed by Scottish police, including a five-minute “cool down” period every hour, during which music would stop and the lights would be turned on. It’s clear that venue owners and promoters around the country will be backing the NTIA and their aims.
Read the full Forward Into The Night report here.