When I was around 15 years old, I was sat in English class one day – and the task that day was to compare and contrast arguments for making women’s boxing legal. One of those arguments that by keeping it illegal, it would only push the activity into the world of the unregulated underground.
I don’t recall Michael Kill and Sacha Lord of the Night Time Industries Association being present that day, but they must have had the same lesson at some point. Because, with one or two minor tweaks, this is essentially the argument they’re using now, if this Mixmag article quoting the two men is anything to go by.
Night Time Industries Association CEO Michael Kill claims restrictions will “see a ramping up of house parties and illegal events”, and those who “don’t agree with COVID passes”, saying they will “channel it into different settings”. This is presumably a reference to house parties and illegal raves.
And Sacha Lord – also no fan of vaccine passports – says they “kill the spontaneity of going out. People will still go on the big night out, but I think we might see them stay local and then, say six times a year, go for the big one they’ve bought tickets for and planned months in advance.”.
Do they raise a valid point? Almost certainly. Like others, this blog is uneasy with vaccine passports – mostly because I don’t think they work. As a Spanish court pointed out a few months ago, they can lull people into a false sense of security and potentially increase transmission. The fact almost no Covid clusters have been traced back to nightclubs also undermines their case.
But I can’t help but think the Night Time Industries Association are being disingenuous here. Now, I admit to being a little bit rusty in this area, because I haven’t been on a night out in many years. Living in a rural area and having three small children tends to have that effect, apparently.
From what I remember, however, nights out can be incredibly expensive. For starters, if you don’t have something decent to wear, you’ve got to fork out there. Then you’ve got to actually get there – and seeing most nights out involve alcohol, this requires either using public transport, taking a taxi or getting a mate to give you a lift.
Once you’re there, you might need to pay admission at the door. For example, tickets to a recent Warehouse Project show were £29.50 online and almost certainly a little more if paying on arrival. You then have to pay for drinks – prices start at an eye-watering £2.50 for a 500ml bottle of water. If cocktails or shots are more your kind of thing, expect the cost to rocket very quickly.
Afterwards, you might need some food to soak up all that alcohol and reduce the effects of tomorrow’s impending hangover. Oh, and you need to get home at the end of the night – which in most cases means a taxi, as public transport doesn’t run that late into the night in many areas.
Now, I’ve noticed when doing the weekly shop that some prices in the supermarkets have gone up over the years. So it seems inconceivable to me the same hasn’t happened elsewhere – and since everyone has to eat, I’d confidently wager that taxi fares and the rest have also gone up. Tickets for nights out certainly have, mostly due to big name DJs having avaricious appetites for fattening their bank balances.
I have to be clear here. This blog has no time for illegal raves. Whilst some are undoubtedly well run, far too many are badly managed and are used as fronts to fund criminal activity. But when a legal night out seems to cost a three figure sum, is it any wonder the cheaper illegal scene is making moves?
The legal industry really is its own worst enemy sometimes…