Tag Archives: NTIA

Nothing to do with it costing a small fortune, then? Night Time Industries Association push the message that illegal raving is on the rise due to Covid restrictions – but this isn’t the entire story…

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…

As the Night Time Industries Association launch a push to challenge Covid restrictions in Wales, their template email to politicians assert it’s England who have it right – seems convenient for them…

Devolution has been a thing in the UK since the 1990s. The Scottish and Welsh parliaments were launched in 1999 and the Northern Ireland Assembly the year before. These legislative bodies have control over a substantial number of subjects, meaning they can implement different policies to England or even each other.

One example of this is prescription charges. England continues to charge for medical prescriptions, whereas the other three UK nations scrapped them between 2007 and 2011. And there are numerous other areas where the rules vary across the UK’s internal borders – Covid regulations, for example. This isn’t difficult to grasp, yet many in the media frequently do.

The same bug appears to have affected the Night Time Industries Association. Yesterday, they sent out an email at 8am with news, embargoed until 10am, of a campaign to encourage people to lobby members of the Welsh Parliament to change the current Covid regulations in place – such as social distancing, table service and nightclubs closing.

Obviously, no one is saying the Night Time Industries Association cannot lobby on these matters. Their Welsh members would undoubtedly have a right to be annoyed if they didn’t. Yet the standard email provided to send to your area’s local representative is, to use that modern terminology, somewhat problematic.

For example, their identikit email says “The financial support provided to Welsh nightlife venues has hardly scratched the surface of what is needed to sustain businesses, not least without a furlough scheme in place. That the First Minister can resort to such severe measures, out of sync with England and without the needs of industry in mind, is deeply worrying for our sector”.

Hang on a minute. England have resorted – mostly thanks to Boris Johnson’s credibility being shredded with lockdown breaking party revelations over the past few weeks – to doing almost nothing in response to the contagious Omicron wave. Nightclubs are open with vaccine passports in place, and they only got through thanks to Johnson relying on opposition MPs.

Whilst asking questions about the Welsh approach is fair – and this blog has certainly done so – who on earth is the Night Time Industries Association to say England has got it right? Frankly, this kind of attitude borders dangerously close to colonialism – and the NTIA hurts its own cause with such thinking.

Besides, try using the line “we should do what the English are doing” in Scotland and see how far you’ll get…

Do they never learn? Fresh from sending emails on Sunday night demanding replies by Monday lunchtime, the NTIA start #LetUsDance campaign to save England’s New Year celebrations – on Christmas Eve!

Cast your mind back to the summer months. You might remember a campaign targeted at Prime Minister Boris Johnson to #LetUsDance. It was a campaign launched by the Night Time Industries Association and utilised elsewhere – in particular by Save Our Scene UK.

Since July 19th – the date nightclubs across England were permitted to reopen, with Scotland and Wales opening them the following month – the campaign has been put into a long hiatus. But it turns out it wasn’t a permanent one. Yes, it’s made a comeback – and not a very grand one at that.

An email arrived in my inbox just after 9am on Christmas Eve from the NTIA telling me all about it. The news was embargoed until 11am to give everyone time to write stuff ahead of time. Which is an utterly terrible idea because most journalists working on Christmas Eve are up to their eyes in work already.

That’s why you’re only hearing the news on this blog today. Do they seriously think people, bar possibly journalists scheduled to work through the festive season, are going to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day writing about their campaign?

Then again, what did I honestly expect? These are the people who previously sent an email out at 11pm on a Sunday to get replies for a survey by noon on Monday. I know this is all time sensitive, but this is just ridiculous.

I was hoping for a quiet week on the blog. Fat chance…

Sending emails out at 11pm on a Sunday night demanding a response by noon on the Monday: it’s only the latest farce by the Night Time Industries Association…

I never fail to be annoyed in life at the number of people who seem to think they can send a message to your phone at any hour of the day – or night, come to think of it – and expect an almost immediate response. And when they don’t get one, they get all shirty about it. (for readers based outside the UK, substitute R in that word for a different letter and you’re in the right area)

And these people can be found in all walks of life. You might be friends with one, you might be related to one – and one of them appears to work for the Night Time Industries Association. At the moment, they’re terribly concerned – much like many of us – that another lockdown to deal with rising Covid cases in Britain is looking likely. This means they’re trying to collate the opinions and experiences of their members, many of whom work in hospitality.

This is a fast moving situation, so a certain degree of urgency is understandable. Hence why at 11pm last night – a Sunday, let’s not remember – they sent out a survey to their members asking them about this. And sure enough, it had a deadline attached. What, after all, would be the point of closing the survey on January 5th when the decisions would have already been taken?

However, there’s urgency and then there’s being in a blind panic. I say this because I was sent the email at 11:04pm last night and the deadline is… midday today.

As of the time of publishing, anyone wanting to fill it in has just over two and a half hours to do so. Which begs the question – why could this survey not have been sent out late last week?

They could hardly be accused of trying to skew the results in their favour, after all. All the way  from big cities such as London to my own local town, I’ve heard no end of stories over the past few days of cancellations and hours being cut in the sector – all due to people panicking over the new Covid variant. There’s no danger of it coming back as anything other than damning.

But a word of advice to the Night Time Industries Association – you might want to at least give the perception of being a little more professional in your operations than the government you’re trying to lobby…

Who does the Night Time Industries Association represent – night life or themselves? And have a guess which old favourite of the blog is involved…

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to announce later today whether England can remove the last set of restrictions in place next Monday. Judging by leaks to newspapers over the weekend and his comments at the G7 last Friday to ITV’s Robert Peston, the smart money says it won’t happen.

We shall find out later today exactly what the decision is, but that hasn’t stopped the Night Time Industries Association from going a bit crazy over the weekend – even before an announcement is made. A quick glance at their Twitter account reveals many posts and retweets about the contribution of the night time economy to Britain. Rightly so.

But who are the Night Time Industries Association, or NTIA for short? Their Who We Are section on the website tries to fob us off with guff about what they do, but nothing that answers their own question.

So, where do I go in these situations? My first port of call frequently is Companies House, and it nearly always delivers the answers. Just like it did this time. 11 officers are currently listed as being involved with the company. And seeing NTIA can’t be bothered to list them, I will…

Obi Peter Asika – A Nigerian entrepreneur with numerous businesses and ventures in the entertainment industry.

Sarah Clover – A solicitor who deals mostly with licensing and planning matters.

Michael David Allan Grieve – Associated with the Sub Club Limited in Glasgow, and a number of other companies dedicated to supporting the arts.

Michael Christopher Kill – The man in charge of the Night Time Industries Association.

Silvana Carmen Kill – Has over 20 years experience working in the entertainment industry  starting her career at Harper Collins in the late 1990s. Currently director of operations at the Night Time Industries Association.

Sacha John Edward Lord – Owner of the Parklife Festival and the Warehouse Project in Manchester. He’s previously sued the government for keeping hospitality in England closed when non-essential retail were allowed to reopen in April. Highly connected and uses the power of Twitter to push for reopening the economy.

William Hamilton Mauseth – Currently the company director at Brighton Music Conference.

Lisa Dawn Rose-Wyatt – The real name of Lisa Lashes, a DJ who made her name in the hard house scene. Her next gigs are scheduled for July, including one in Prestatyn, north Wales. Wales has not said when it plans to allow such events yet.

Julie Tippins – Her LinkedIn profile revealed she has worked in the hospitality trade in the past. Now works for DHP Family, an events company based in Nottingham.

Norris Edmund Windross – If you’ve ever been interested in UK Garage, you’ll know him as Norris “Da Boss” Windross. A quick search reveals he’s currently scheduled to do the UKG Big BBQ on June 26th, literally days after the original date of lockdown lifting.

There is no suggestion of any kind from me that any of the people named above have done anything wrong. Being passionate about the industry you work in is not a crime. However, when you see how much vested interest some have in seeing lockdown restrictions removed, it does lead to questions. As the Secret DJ said last night…

It’s hard to disagree…