It’s 11.45pm. It’s loud and dark, and the floor is a tad sticky. I’m surrounded by people chatting, dancing and laughing, which is new. I’m in a real, non-digital, in-person *drumroll please* nightclub.
Perhaps it’s melodramatic, but part of me never thought I’d be in a nightclub again. Whether that’s because a majority of them have shut down, or because I wouldn’t feel safe inside, or because my levels of social anxiety have tripled over the past 18 months, I’m not sure. But, finally, I was there. It wasn’t exactly how I’d remembered it; people were dancing slightly more apart, some masks were on. Hand gel had a simultaneously reassuring and ominous presence. But, it felt like a sprinkle of some much-needed normality.
We have entered a new era for nightlife. That’s not to say a worse era, just different. Venues must simply adapt to help make people feel safe inside. Testing requirements are at the discretion of the club (from September, only double vaccinated people will be allowed in venues). Nonetheless, the specific event I was attending made extra special care to help people feel safe whilst attending. A verbal “I’m negative” or a physical lateral flow test were not enough for entry, it had to be logged in the app. Your negative notification was your real ticket into the event. Of course, a level of risk is always involved. People can lie, copy and paste or forward a false text. So, clubbing cannot and will not be close to being inclusive for a long while. But, it’s a collective effort to keep them open and running.
The Guardian recently released a guide on what people can do to help keep themselves, and others, safe whilst clubbing. Viral immunologist, Dr Zania Stamataki from the University of Birmingham shares tips on the most effective ways to prevent transmission. However, there will always be risks and that cannot be avoided. The guide focuses primarily on the preventative measures before attending an event; however, whilst in the nightclub, it is important to remember to pop that mask on when heading into especially low ventilation areas (such as toilets or cloakrooms) and to keep it on when ordering a drink at the bar - the events cannot proceed and the clubs cannot open if staff members contract the virus. Remember they are putting their well-being on the line to provide these opportunities, so show them this respect.
To read the full guide follow this link: