International Nightlife Association: Nightlife scarcity will increase illegal parties
While the majority of nightlife offer around the world continues to be paralyzed, “socially starved” clubbers are in need of going out after being locked up for over three months in most countries around the world. This uncertainty and the scarcity of nightlife offer around the world has caused an increase in illegal parties with little to no health or safety measures and for the increment of antisocial behavior. For instance, as many of you know, even though England is currently on lockdown, this past weekend thousands of people attended “quarantine raves” in the Greater Manchester Area that ended in tragedy. The balance of the event ended in a suspected death due to a drug overdose, a rape report, and 3 separate reported stabbings. Authorities in England have already announced that they are finding it difficult to keep up with the rising number of illicit parties.
Need for nightlife
Nightlife plays an important role in modern society and is one of the main players in the entertainment industry, allowing for new experiences with art, music, performance, fashion, and food. Nightlife is key to making cities vibrant and full of light at night since there’s “always something going on” creating a sense of safety when daylight businesses are closed. In the past decade, due to its increasing demand, nightlife has evolved all around the world creating unique experiences for guests to escape their everyday lives and express themselves. Studies have shown that dancing is a very important part of socializing and has been proven to psychologically make people feel more connected reducing anxiety and stress an obtaining a sense of well-being. This only adds to the fact that clubbers are “starved” and in need of a place to escape the harsh moments that the coronavirus pandemic has caused.
From the International Nightlife Association, we would like to warn governing authorities about the great risk that comes with not having nightlife offer since we predict that this will only increase the offer of illicit parties and raves around the world. These illicit parties like the “Quarantine Rave” that took place in Manchester this past weekend are a hub for insecurity and tragedy since these activities are not regulated by governing authorities and the corresponding health departments. Not to mention, there was a suspected death due to drug overdose, one reported rape and three recorded stabbings at the aforementioned event, this not taking into account that we are in suffering a global pandemic due to the coronavirus outbreak putting all the people present and their relatives at risk for the disease.
It has been said that these raves that took place were charging up to £ 30 for entry creating unfair competition for most nightlife venues that have shut down and haven’t received any aid from most governing officials. This is also unfair competition for venues that have been allowed to reopen since each government has applied strict measures, measures that have to be fully paid for by nightlife business owners who also have to pay rent, workers, security personnel, insurances, licenses, just to name a few. All of the aforementioned are not paid for or even contemplated in illegal parties also putting the attendees at high risk.
Joaquim Boadas, Secretary-General of the International Nightlife Association has stated, “It’s just not the right way to do things, we have members in Spain that are having to invest large quantities of money even though the loss they have recently suffered due to the crisis without any economic aid from the Spanish Government. All the measures are being applied just to be able to open venues with a very reduced capacity, we cannot allow for events such as the ones in Manchester to happen again, it’s only putting people and their families at risk not only due to the lack of safety at these events but also allowing for a coronavirus outbreak to occur”.
We would also like to take the chance to show our full support to the Night Time Industries Association and the statements made by their CEO, Mike Kill, who demanded that the companies who rented out stages, generators, and sound systems for the illegal rave should be “blacklisted”. We consider that there needs to be a stricter control and sense of social responsibility for supplying companies who rent out this equipment since they are part takers in the celebration of these events.
Considering that illegal raves and parties take no precautions in terms of safety hygiene and health, nightlife venues are deemed to be safer spaces than these parties. By not allowing venues to reopen, clubbers are attracted to illegal events because they have nowhere else to go.
As you know, since the beginning of the pandemic, the INA started to work on the creation of the “Sanitized Venue” seal for nightlife business to gain the trust of clients and staff and protect them from the COVID-19 and started to provide the necessary tools for its implementation. We began studying the specific necessities of nightlife venues and chose a name that defines the purpose, which is having nightlife venues as clean and disinfected possible. As we recently announced, Pacha Barcelona and Opium Barcelona are some of the venues that have obtained the Sanitized Venue seal. Precisely, nightlife venues in Barcelona are able to reopen tonight with 1/3 of its capacity. Nevertheless, the situation is not the same in all of Spain, since for instance in Ibiza the government has just announced that they won’t let large clubs open this summer.
International nightlife reopening
We have been able to detect that some countries are allowing for nightlife activities to open most with restrictions and measures applied.
2. New Zeland
3. Hong Kong
4. South Korea
The International Nightlife Association asks for governmental cooperation
The nightlife industry’s turnover worldwide is around $ 4,000 billion, employs more than 150 million workers, and moves more than 15.3 billion clients a year worldwide. Not to mention that it is a first-class tourist attraction for many countries in the world. Despite this, it is a global industry that is not taken into account and should be more respected and should receive more aid than it does, since for the moment it’s not receiving much.
From the International Nightlife Association, member of the United Nation’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) we want to make a global petition for governments worldwide to take the nightlife industry more into account in economic and social aspects, since governments are the ones who have forced nightlife venues to close, most of them have been closed for over 3 months. This will cause many nightlife venues to not have any other choice but to shut down. Apart from this as we have mentioned already, the need for nightlife will cause a rise in illegal parties and raves, since clubbers will have nowhere else to go, which we consider can be much worse for the spread of the coronavirus than a nightclub that has applied strict measures.
Our member association in Spain, Spain Nightlife, has estimated a €10 billion economic loss in the industry and is planning to solicit aid together with the Italian Nightlife Association (Silb-Fipe) to the European Union through the European Nightlife Association, whose President is Maurizio Pasca, also President of Silb-Fipe and Vice President of the International Nightlife Association.