April 01, 2016

The Demise of Clubbing

You may have read the recently published article by The Guardian detailing a survey they conducted indicating young people are opting for a night-in over clubbing. It’s a scary thought for nightlife promoters, but we feel like these kind of debates always come with a potential opportunity. How can you make sure you don’t fall into the trap of providing a night out that millennials are seemingly becoming less interested in?

A big factor amongst those surveyed is the cost of clubbing, particularly in London. Drink prices are often hugely over inflated and quite frankly not justified. Maybe the days of sparklers coming out of Champagne bottles are dwindling and there is an opportunity to keep it a little more simple. Remember, it has become a huge trend over the last couple of years to drink the cheapest beer. Pabst Blue Ribbon is the premium hipster drink in New York, Fosters in London. Trust us, these are not premium craft beers. Take advantage of this and offer some specials on a cheaper beer and try to get people through the doors early in the night. If they like it, then you might just benefit from some extra sales once the cheap beers start to taste a little stale.


Another key finding from The Guardian survey was that Millennials feel the club environment is too impersonal. A lot of younger people who are new to the working world have found that catching up with friends is a lot harder with busy working lives, and spending a night in a loud club where you have to shout to be heard just doesn’t cut it. Why not bring the club to the pub? Pubs are much more inviting for those dedicated catch ups amongst friends and after a few drinks they will ultimately feel like some d-floor action. Pitch your club night to a local pub. You bring the entertainment, the pub benefits from hosting such a cool event, and these Millennials get to catch up with friends,  have a dance and then go home at a reasonable hour. This may all sound a bit obvious, but it might be worth the investment given the findings of this survey.


The Economist also reported on this topic in 2015 and made an interesting point that younger people are opting to spend their money on one or two festivals each summer rather than a monthly club outing. With festivals being in a position to afford big name DJs due to economies of scale, it has made it much more difficult for clubs to book DJs with recognisable names at a reasonable fee. With this in mind, why not brainstorm some current cultural references for themed nights that will attract the attention of younger people? It will save you money in DJ fees and should ignite some interest if you’re on point with your theme (think ‘Justin Bieber vs Rihanna night’ – the kids will love it).


A further interesting point made in an article by The Independent is the introduction of dating apps and the effect they have on people going out. Apps like Tinder and Bumble have revolutionised how singles go about meeting love interests today. Before these apps were in full use, heading to a club to dance and meet a potential partner was fairly standard, but the fact that you now have access to more singles from your smartphone than most clubs could provide is a bit of a game changer. What to do? You know what they say, “if you can’t beat em, join em”. Why not promote the use of the apps for your club night? People who turn up on a Tinder date get discounted drinks or get to skip the queue.  Let’s get the singles back to the club having fun, just like the old days.


Written by Mark Kelliher