It’s not just Fabric. The nightclub is dying

Club attendance has dropped 34 million in the past five years


After years of being the hub of socialising, from disco in the 70s to dance and DJs in the decades that followed, the nightclub is dying out.

Hot on the heels of the closure of London superclub Fabric, new figures show that the numbers of people clubbing has plummeted by a quarter in the last five years. Late night pubs offering cheaper drinks and no entry charge are fuelling the death knell of the previously after-hours club scene.

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The UK’s renowned clubbing sector has lost its rhythm as admissions fell drastically from 149 million in 2010 to just 115 million last year (2015), with revenue falling by more than a fifth in the same period.

According to the new research from market researchers Mintel, the steady decline is set to continue as attendance is forecast to fall below 100 million by 2020. Many Brits are avoiding the dance floor entirely, as over a quarter claimed to have never even visited a nightclub.

The top three issues steering potential clubbers away were pricey door entry, expensive drinks and crowding, while almost half of consumers find it difficult to find a place that plays the music they like.

More than 40 per cent of clubbers prefer to go to bars with dancing areas, with the same number admitting to visiting at least one bar or pub before hitting the nightclub. Londoners were the most likely to support the cause, with 16 per cent claiming to visit a club at least once a fortnight, but the recent closure of popular venue Fabric could hit the capital hard.

Rebecca McGrath, Research Analyst at Mintel, said: “Fabric’s recent closure, alongside other high profile closures in recent months, highlights the increased regulatory pressure faced by nightclubs, as well as the competition they face from late night bars and pubs.”

She added: “Total UK nightclub revenue is also in decline as nightclubs are unable to compensate for declines in admissions through an increase in average spend per admission.

“High entry fees and drink prices are having a negative impact on people’s clubbing experiences, with many opting to purchase alcoholic drinks in other locations, including at home, before they get to a club. To combat this, nightclubs can concentrate on further integrating smartphones into the promotion and booking process, as well as in-club behaviour, as this holds particular appeal with key younger age groups.

“More event nights, live music and immersive experiences can also help reinvigorate excitement around visiting a nightclub as they will help an evening feel more unique.”