The leaders of night life in the UK would have you believe that they’ve provided exemplary leadership throughout this crisis, and that it’s the government that has let them down at the last minute. The part about the government is true, but that’s as far as it goes.
If you want to see real leadership, look at New York. A while ago now, New York’s clubs were allowed to reopen at full capacity – and entry was conditional on either a negative Covid test or proof of being fully vaccinated. From what my source in New York tells me, very few people complained about it. They just got on with it, because they accepted this is how it had to be for the moment.
The vaccine programme in the state has now been so successful that they’ve removed that requirement entirely for clubs with a capacity of less than 5000. Only at really massive clubs and festivals will those rules stay, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be for a lot longer either.
Had nightclubs across the UK collaborated on this, nearly all of them could be open again with no restrictions. But no – they caved in to that small, vocal minority who think that having to show you’re vaccinated is somehow against their human rights. Not a concept that most of them pay any heed to, normally – and yes, I’m looking at you, Danny Rampling.
You don’t even have to pay for the lateral flow tests required, either. You can order a pack on a government website and you’ll have them within two days. So there isn’t even a cost involved – you just have to fill in a form and they’re posted to you. And many shops sell them if you need one in a hurry. Which isn’t that bad considering how much you could spend on a night out – drinks, taxis and so on.
And because the night time industry failed miserably to work together to make this happen, they’re closed for until at least July 19th in England and goodness knows when elsewhere in the UK. The leaders of the night time industry should be on the back foot, forced to defend their actions.
They employ a lot of people who do a great job, and many other people depend on places like bars and clubs for work – taxi drivers are needed to take intoxicated people home, for example. But because we have a useless, supine media – and a particularly deferential one in the case of dance music – they won’t.
Few are asking the hard questions. And everyone is losing out because of it.
The Six On Saturday column returns next week.