Lovers of banging music and human sweat are growing scarcer. A third of nightclubs have closed in the past five years. The value of the industry has dropped from £1.8 billion ($3.6 billion) to £1.4 billion in the past eight years according to Mintel, a consultancy. The biggest nightclub firm, Luminar, which owns Oceana and Liquid clubs, went into administration last October. Old hands saved it, buying 66 of its 79 venues in December; only 55 remain open.
Club owners have turned to social media to stave off decline. They recruit promoters—the young and popular, mostly—to post links to their club nights. “Guaranteed banger tonight,” writes one. Friends can add their names to a list for discounts. After a night out, photos of revellers appear on friends’ Facebook feeds, branded with the club’s logo. Peter Marks, head of Luminar, says 1.2m people view these pictures every month.
Return of UK Garage?
The distinctive battle cry of UK garage is unforgettable. But, says Kate Hutchinson, it's more than just a distant dancefloor memory. Whether it's futuristic sounds or old school anthems that you'll hear in London's clubs, garage is back for good.
Dust down those Moschino shirts and polish up your loafers: UK garage – or UKG, as it is commonly known – is back in a big way. The sound that, along with jungle, defined London’s underground nightlife scene in the mid-’90s has returned to inject some smooth, high-energy and shuffly 2-step nostalgia into the capital’s clubs.