In January 2019, many people were shocked to read reports that UK nightclubs are struggling to keep the doors open. This decline in nightclub popularity has led to a loss of approximately £200 million in the nightlife sector over the last five years. Reports also reveal that many nightclubs closed in 2018 because of the struggling health if nightclubs overall.
As nightclubs had once been a popular hotspot for young people, many wondered why on Earth this was happening. Was the waning popularity random, or evidence of a shift in habits and tastes?
Why Are Nightclubs Suffering?
According to one write-up on the issue, nightclubs are suffering because young people are going in search of alternative and less “hedonistic” nighttime activities than going out and partying the night away. Some of these alternatives include enjoying food with their friends, such as by hosting casual dinner parties or going to foodie markets where they will get to try new cuisine. Many are also turning to bar games like darts, quizzes and even bingo. Part of this is due to the familiarity and low effort of these games as less organization is required to get friends round for some board games and drinks, and most people know how to play already. You don’t need to leave the house to play games like bingo these days either and no deposit bingo deals and offers make it easy for even newcomers to get familiar. It’s not hard to see why people would pick games like bingo over going to a nightclub when the former can be accessed with freebies like free bingo cards while going to a nightclub mandates that you buy a round of drinks.
And, speaking of money, cost is also an important part of it. Many of the alternatives mentioned are far more affordable than going out clubbing. Millennials are getting savvier when it comes to spending money and realize that a few quiet bevvies with friends at home is a lot cheaper than putting up with expensive pints of beer and overpriced cocktails that have been mixed with water. Likewise, you don’t need to go to a club and spend a lot of money on an entry fee when you could throw your own house party and control your own tunes. In fact, music streaming services offer millions of songs meaning you could play all of the traditional club “classics” and put together a better mix than any nightclub DJ could.
How Can Nightclubs Appeal to Young People?
Based on the above information, it may seem as though an out and out price cut would make nightclubs more popular with young people. Surely if they are turning to cheaper, alternative methods, then cheaper drinks and more affordable entry is the way to go? Perhaps, but it’s not as simple as that.
Millennial interests seemed to have shifted, they just aren’t interested in going to nightclubs (as much as they once were, at least). This means that it will take a lot more than just becoming cheaper to get back on top.
Instead, nightclub owners will want to consider using their space to host alternative events and niche nights. Sure, young people aren’t interested in just drinks and dancing, but what if events became more specific than that? What about a vegetarian meet-up event? Or a board games night where people could enjoy cocktails, beers, and soft drinks while they play Dungeons and Dragons? Parties based on themes, e.g. dress-up nights where you show up as your favourite TV or movie character could also prove popular – especially if millennials are already hosting their own events where they watch TV and movies with their pals.
Nightclubs are still popular even despite this decline. The industry still rakes in millions of pounds in the UK alone, thanks to those expensive drinks and entry fees. However, the industry may struggle to grow and appeal to young adults as they come of age if it fails to appeal to them and their interests properly. It could also mean that nightclubs, within the next few years, cease to exist altogether if they are unable to adapt.