The End of Clubbing?

Thomas Anderson·18 April 2016·7 min read
The End of Clubbing?

Walk through any city centre on a Friday night, and it’s clear that us Brits love to party. Clubbing is a huge part of many people’s lives, and has been going on for decades.  From the swinging jazz clubs of the ’30s to the dingy warehouse raves of the ’90s, the club scene is always changing and evolving as a reflection of the times. Being a young student in a UK city, you’re now in the depths of the current scene, where a whole new mysterious world of music and clubs await you. After all, with new technology and an array of new music, there is no better time to party than now, right?


The End Of Clubbing?


Maybe not. Or, at least, that’s what a growing number of people are saying. Insight into young people’s clubbing habits these days is starting to suggest that this generation doesn’t party as much as the last.

Now, this is obviously very hard to determine, and I personally think that a lot of the evidence to support this isn’t great. Though to be fair, with something like this, anecdotal evidence is the only real way to get any sort of real truth on the matter.  As a student who’s lived in two cities and (regrettably) has a lot of experience on this subject, I’d like to give you my own insight on the topic. I’ve also stuck in some opinions from other people I’ve met along the way, most being ‘best friends’ I’ve made at 3am in smoking areas.


It’s Too Expensive!

This seems to be one of the huge reasons that people are choosing nights in over nights out these days. I wholeheartedly agree with this to some extent. Yes, nights out are horrendously expensive. But that’s just the price you pay for a good night, really. Most clubs are very commercial, and therefore are purely structured to drain as much money from people as they can. It’s hard to have a cheap night out, even as a student. However, many student clubs understand this, so in the student scene, I don’t think this is really as much of an issue.


Ben, 20, club photographer and Leeds university student said: “Yeah, a night out is really expensive in most cities. A lot of nights in Leeds are charging a tenner just for entry, and then the drinks are watered-down and overpriced. Clubs are just a business, so they will try and get as much money out of you as they can.”

“But, it’s all about where you go. As soon as you get to uni, you get hundreds of advertisements through your door for overpriced student club nights. Of cause, you’re going to get ripped-off if you go to the ones they tell you to. I only really go to Mint club  and a few other DJ nights now, and that’s because it’s designed for everyone to have a good time, and not just to make money.”

So is it more about where you go? I personally think it is. Sure commercial clubbing is dying out, and financial troubles are a huge reason for this. However, people still want to party no matter what, so if you look deeper into the club scene, you’ll find that many new clubs are arising, where everyone can get their fix of weekend messiness. This leads us on to the next point…


Clubs These Days are Rubbish?

From personal experience, this statement is very true, but again only to an extent. Walk along any city centre high street and the majority of clubs will be blasting out over-played tunes every night, with no variety of atmosphere. However, as I’ve observed, dance and electronic music is back on the rise, just like in the ’90s and ’80s. There’s also a growing scene of live music clubs, especially in the north of England. I think that this scene, although still a little underground, is on the rise, as people are starting to move away from commercial clubs toward something new.


Lydia, 19, a student at Sheffield university said: “I’ve tried nights out, but I much prefer a night in. At least then I can control the music, and the people that I’m with.”

Karl, 24, owner of a drum and bass club in Sheffield, had an opposing viewpoint: “People just don’t try hard enough to find the good nights. It’s very hard to market the better clubs to students, because they get trapped in a little student scene of boring clubs.”

“If you’re a student, you should scout out some nights with good music on Facebook events, you definitely won’t be disappointed. There is hope out there!”


Too Impersonal

I do think that social media is starting to revolutionise the way we get together with people. However, at the same time, it’s killing how we connect with one another.

Ryan, 25, a philosophy student at Teesside University says: “It’s ridiculous, everyone just wants to look good. Dance floors now are just covered with with people with there heads in their smartphone. It’s supposed to be a way of connecting with one another, which is why I decide to just chill with a few drinks at my own house now.”

It is very true that constant online connection has created a society of very distant people. This should really not be the case on nights out, but it seems it sadly is these days, and I think it’s just a sign of the times.

On the other hand, maybe it’s just because most clubs are generally pretty generic. I’m going to re-iterate this point once more… It’s not a fact that clubbing is dying, it’s more that society as a whole is changing, and you just need to go to the right nights that suit your values.

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So in Conclusion…

Sure, maybe clubbing is dying out on the surface, however people are still crying out for a better club scene. I feel the city streets are started to deliver this, with new nights and interesting music on the rise. We’re just at a transitional stage at the minute, but soon the commercial scene will die out and the better nights will rise into the mainstream. However, history repeats itself, so again I feel people will just get bored of the mainstream again. Then of cause clubbing will die out a bit again and we’ll find ourselves in the same situation. Don’t worry though, another scene always comes in to make up for it.