Durham’s Changing Nightlife Landscape

Why we should stop moaning and start spending

bar Club durham nightlife Studio

We have seen Durham's nightlife has change drastically over the last three years. 

Walkabout closed down and was replaced by Academy, Woolworths went bust and was replaced by Tescos giving students the quick and easy access to cheap booze they crave.

The DSU shut down Revolver on a Saturday and switched PoS to Studio and now Academy. Osbournes opened successfully along with a vastly improved refurbished Fabios. Whiskey River has opened opposite Boathouse. Reform, once a hotbed for cheap trebles on a Monday night before Studio has become the Head of Steam serving an eclectic mix of expensive beers.

Studio has changed management and Klute has changed hands and been refurbished to student’s outrage, although this anger appears misplaced given the initial good feedback. It seems Klute have kept the good bits such as cheesy music and quaddies and made the rest of it nicer simply.

Studio management has changed hands, the old management forced out by a landlord who refused to reduce his rent. The former management have now set up Honeytrap Events with the aim of keeping the set up of Studio nights from years gone by but switching them to Academy on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

This must have been a bitter pill to swallow for Honeytrap, going to work for the enemy, or as one Collingwood 2nd year put it “its like fighting for the British Army and then joining the taleban!”. 

Scott Guy Studio’s former manager said: “we had to do this because we did not know that studio would re open and if it did we would not know who the new owners would be and if they would still keep it student only which our night are”.

It is clear that Honeytrap are sticking with what the format they know and do best, student only nights run with the help of students to give them what they really want. 

Scott Guy went on to say: “moving nights and venues is never easy but with the support of students we aim to make our nights as great as the old nights we ran at studio over the last six years”. 

Jimmy Allens have taken over Studio, with no details as of yet if their plans are to stay for the long term or not. Studio no longer runs student only nights, going the same way as Klute. Many of Studio’s DJs have gone with the Honeytrap management and the club now runs different nights.

Only time will tell whether Studio’s popularity will remain, with Durham students being notably fickle over their choice of club.

One cannot help feeling that the seeming lack of a door policy from the Studio doormen will lead to clashes between drunk students and locals with the police and hospital left to deal with the consequences. One student described the recent atmosphere as an “urban jungle”. 

At least Klute has a ‘dressy’ policy, which should keep out any people looking to cause trouble. Students mix amicably with locals in boathouse and we hope this will continue at both venues.

All this change is due to the squeeze on bar/club profits over recent years. Each club is continuously trying to undercut their competitors through aggressive drinks promotions, much to the displeasure of the police who have seen an increase in alcohol related disturbances since the staunch competition began.

It could be argued that the introduction of Tescos to market square had aided the downfall of our clubs and bars with students shunning drinking as much when out, opting to use predrinks to saturate their blood systems with alcohol and hence saving money. It is hard to really know if this argument bears any truth however.

One thing for sure is that students need to either stop moaning that their beloved drinking ‘institutions’ and favourite haunts are being overhauled to adapt to the new night time environment, or, we need to support our local clubs and bars by drinking less before we go out and spend more when out.

Even a couple of pounds more spent per person each night would make a huge difference to stopping the rot! What do you think?