Who let the Hound out?
JENNY DELL asks whether Hound’s move from the DSU to Studio is all that good
I’m sure that every Durham One reader has at one point, on revealing their university, had to face the sneers and scorn routinely poured upon the infamous Durham nightlife. So the news that the DSU had decided to ‘outsource’ Friday night’s Planet of Sound to Studio reached my ears with some dismay. After axing Revolver/Bad Habit/ whatever-it-ended-up-being-called-on-Saturdays last year, Durham is now left with no DSU-hosted weekly club night, and another evening where the entire nocturnal population of Durham will be squeezed into the sweat-box on North Road.
Hound was failing to cover its costs, despite being oddly one of the most expensive nights of the week, at a ‘shocking for Durham’ price of £5. The night was projected to lose the DSU up to £10,000 over the next academic year, and so it was almost inevitable that it has been scrapped. I had my first Hound experience relatively late in second term (or was 'hounded' depending on how you look at it). Even then I witnessed the dwindling numbers towards the end of the year, I suppose this comes as no surprise. Still, it seems a shame that we were unable to support our own student union, and are instead lining the pockets of a privately owned club, having put one well loved hot-dog seller out of a job to boot.
According to DSU, allowing Studio to host Hound will bring in thousands of pounds worth of extra funds, which will be used to fund larger and better one-off events for students; already Kissy Sell Out and Tinchy Stryder have been drafted in to boost numbers at the previously questionable DSU freshers’ events. In an attempt to make up for the absence of a club night at the DSU, room hire will now be free for all university club and societies, which will hopefully encourage the colleges to put on their own nights for socials and other events.
I can’t help feeling that losing our last DSU night, regardless of the financials, can’t be seen as anything but a bit of a shame. Yes, there was an element of school disco awkwardness about it, and it couldn’t really be compared to a real night out (friends I once took there from home couldn’t believe that this was actually our regular Friday night activity), but it was run by us and for us, and at least added one more place to the ever decreasing list of venues in Durham.