Why Are So Many European Nightclubs Closing?
People in Europe are freaking out about super clubs like Fabric and Pacha, and over half the dance music venues have shut down since the 1990’s. Here’s why.
1. Too many clubs, not enough space.
After the fall of the Berlin wall the 80’s and 90’s were a golden period of clubbing in Europe. Thousands of music venues and nightclubs opened in major cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin and London. Some time between 2000 and 2005 this trend began to reverse and revenue dropped. European countries have less space than in the US, Australia or Canada, and their cities are centuries older. It slowly became more difficult to locate a proper location for a party spot that was not already in use. London had 3,144 clubs in 2005 but by 2015 that number had dwindled to 1,733.
2. Gentrification leads to noise complaints.
As it becomes harder to find a place to occupy, the cost of living increases dramatically. In which case only wealthy, older people can actually afford to live in trendy neighborhoods. When you pay thousands and thousands of Euros every month to live somewhere, you expect peace and quiet. That’s why nightclubs receive so many noise complaints from local residents. They are afraid of the shady characters that the bad influence attracts, and are more likely to become offended by the thought of young people on drugs nearby.
3. Less young people are using drugs.
Despite the liberal laws in some countries, it would seem that less Europeans are using drugs and alcohol. According to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction people ages 15 to 34 years old are less likely to try MDMA, possibly because they fear they will die of heat exhaustion in an alley somewhere. The number of young adults ages 16-24 years old who drink more than five times a week has gone down from 7% to 2%. The figures for cannabis and cocaine consumption vary.
4. Music festivals are replacing nightclubs.
European nightclubs are being replaced by outdoor music festivals. The cold, hard truth is that DJ’s make more money at music festivals than at club gigs. Festival promoters can get away with charging exorbitantly high prices for tickets, parking, food and even water. That makes it more expensive for nightclub managers to book exceptional talent. And if they can’t make a profit on their parties then they have to shut down. In the UK the number of music festivals grew from 80 in 2004 to 250 in 2015.
Source: The Economist
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