Before anyone comes at me claiming I’m a Tory stooge, let’s get this out of the way. I hold no truck for Boris Johnson. I think he’s the worst Prime Minister in living memory. Infact, I first said four months ago that I believed June 21st wouldn’t happen.
However, I also believe in the idea of personal responsibility. Take a look at the United States, where clubs have now mostly reopened. Only the other day, 5 Magazine posted about the reopening of Smartbar in Chicago. They’re very excited about it – and it’s nice to witness.
There’s just one little detail. Everyone who wants to go to the club must be able to provide evidence they’ve had both doses of a Covid vaccine. A source in Chicago tells me “Yeah, everyone just wants to hit the club again now. And if getting vaccinated is how you make it happen, that’s what you do. I haven’t come across anyone who’s complaining.”.
Such a contrast to the UK, isn’t it? This week, we have the truly disgraceful scenario going on where the likes of Camelphat and Solardo are publicly talking about holding illegal raves in defiance of England delaying lockdown changes. And the dance music press says nothing. You will not hear a peep about this in the likes of Mixmag – readers are entitled to ask why.
Nor does anyone within the scene. For example, if Sacha Lord had any principles whatsoever, he would immediately announce Solardo’s removal from the Parklife Festival lineup, stating that such behaviour was totally unacceptable and in contrast to his own publicly expressed view.
But he won’t. And nor will anyone else who is either rewarding this bad behaviour or ignoring it, hoping it’ll go away and no one will notice.
The dance music scene has also failed to challenge the numerous anti-vaxxers in its ranks. The likes of Camelphat can reply to a tweet asking whether they’d get a Covid vaccine – the one way we have out of this that doesn’t involve tens of millions dying – and one of the two guys replied with…
And this is essentially why Boris Johnson is happy to talk to Andrew Lloyd Webber to see what they can do to help with his threatres, but he won’t talk to clubs about reopening. It’s because other sectors of the entertainment industry are led by grown-ups, who are prepared to get together and campaign in an intelligent way.
The clubbing sector is a joke in comparison. No one collaborates because they somehow think it would threaten their own positions. Unless they’re old mates, they won’t work together – and even when their own friends do wrong, they lack the courage to speak out.
Whilst the Johnson administration are unquestionably to blame for holding off putting India on the red travel list because they were sniffing around for a post-Brexit trade deal with the country, there has been a terrible failure of leadership from the night time industry.
They refused to contemplate having mandatory proof of vaccination before going into a club. That bastion of free capitalism, the USA, has no such qualms – yet the British clubbing world prefers to listen to crusty old has-beens like Danny Rampling and his paranoid, unfounded drivel.
And he’s far from alone in trying to apply a 1988 mindset to a 2021 problem. As we start coming out of this pandemic, it’s time that the people running this scene got called out for their pathetic failure to show leadership and courage when it was most needed.