Is sober clubbing the future?

Sober clubbing has been becoming more popular in recent months. Is this an going to be a continuingn trend?

Alexander James
20th February 2023
Image Credit: Flickr
Sober clubbing is something of a contradiction in terms – yet an increasing number of people are embracing going out dancing, and clubbing without the aid of alcohol.

The trend has emerged as a response to the UKs traditionally excessive drinking culture, in which 2.5 million individuals have been found to drink more than 14 units of alcohol on their heaviest drinking day. At university cities such as Newcastle or Leeds, renowned for their nightlife, previous surveys have found 58% of students consume alcohol at hazardous levels on a weekly basis.

There appear to be very few nightlife options that don’t revolve around alcohol -  thus sober clubbing is a response to the damaging effect of excessive drinking on one’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Those involved in the trend report feeling more comfortable with themselves on a night out, and much decreased anxiety the night after. Everyone should try it once, it might make you see the clubbing scene in a very different life.

 

Those involved in the trend report feeling more comfortable with themselves on a night out, and much decreased anxiety the night after

There are movements devoted to finding alternative ways to socialize and have without enduring the negative effects of alcohol. Sober clubbing events are a case in point –  organisers prioritize wellness, self-expression, and community building, and can be found in many major cities around the world. They take place in nightclubs, community centres, and outdoor spaces, featuring DJs or live music.

One issue with sober clubbing that brave adopters might find is that they are much more aware of the levels of intoxication, noise, and general chaos and commotion of a typical club, and find it difficult to enjoy themselves because of this. Sober clubbing events like 5Rythems, a UK-wide sober dance event that allows participants to try mediative movement practice based on different worldwide traditions of dance and music to encourage creativity, connection, and community. Newcastle University’s sober socials society organises social events for its members without the pressure to drink. Some other options for sober social events organisers in the northeast are Non-alcoholic Newcastle, Sober Butterfly Collective, and Bee Sober CIC.

Ultimately, sober clubbing is a positive trend that more people are coming to embrace – it is also now possible to still enjoy the same beverages without the added alcohol. The low and non-alcoholic beverage market is expected to grow to £450 million by 2024, having increased 180% in revenue in 2022 – non-alcoholic drinks are becoming increasingly more palatable and a preferred option for pub and restaurant outings, for those who want the taste but not the effects.

A range of bars in Newcastle now offer excellent mocktail selections, and some bars operating in London are completely alcohol-free

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