“The days of a good night out are over,” says Zoë Grünewald in The New Statesman. A few weeks ago I piled onto a bus in Brixton “with ten other young, drunk people at 2am”. I had been waiting half an hour, alone, for an Uber which had cancelled on me three times “before the price inexplicably doubled”. On the bus, the man beside me “gently drooled onto my shoulder” and no amount of “shoulder-jerking” would shift him. Forty-five minutes later I arrived home, “having spent almost £100”. This, I realised, “just isn’t fun anymore”.
Since Covid, nightlife has changed “beyond recognition”. One in five clubs has closed, and those that remain have become “busier and more expensive”. A “mediocre Latin restaurant in South London” that clears its tables into a “church-hall clump” at 10pm now charges £10 for entry. For that, you get the “sweatiest room on earth”, where “overserved rugby players spill Jägerbombs down your top”. This isn’t just a shame – “it’s a tragedy”. Two years of our youth were swallowed up by Covid, sitting in cramped houseshares, pining for “just one night of dancing and making mysterious, fleeting connections with strangers in dark rooms” . Maybe it is too late for some of us, as our lives move on and responsibilities grow, but I hope the younger generations get to experience a “proper nightclub and an alcopop that costs less than a fiver”. They’re going to need it.