The impact of lockdown 2.0 on Newcastle nightlife

Both venues and employees struggle as lockdown 2.0 unfolds across England

Dominic Lee
10th November 2020

Newcastle's nightlife scene, famous for being one of the best in the UK, is once again being forced to turn off the speakers and pack away the decks as the UK transitions into a second national lockdown

The enforced closure could have a wide-ranging effect on the regional economy, the prestige of the city and the appeal of Newcastle as a student hub.

“Following on from the 10pm curfew, which trashed the income of late-night venues, a lockdown obviously means zero income with still relatively normal levels of expenditure", says Newcastle University student Jack Smillie.

“Staff may be on furlough but that still requires a small contribution from the venue, plus the obvious rent, building maintenance, stock costs.

"For pubs, gallons of beer, cider and ale have been poured away”.

"The 10pm curfew trashed the income of late-night venues"

Jack Smillie, Newcastle University student

Jack, a manager at promoting company Loosedays added: “We’ve had to change so much and be flexible in our approach. It hasn’t been uncommon for changes to be announced with imminent affect, such as the surprise 10pm curfew".

However, looking beyond economic losses for the venues themselves, bar, promotion and events planning staff also face reduced incomes.

Aiden Copland, a professional DJ based in the North East tells The Chronicle: "My career is Djing, that’s what I want to do. I have worked hard to build up what I have for years and it was all taken away at once".

With the second national lockdown now in place and extra restrictions having been enforced for the majority of the academic year so far, concerns have arisen surrounding Newcastle’s status as a nightlife hotspot.

However, manager Jack says that the area has still been leading the way in terms of nightlife and events despite the setbacks.

When asked whether Newcastle’s status as a student city was under threat, he said: “Definitely not, bizarrely. If anything, it might strengthen it. Look to other cities across the country and nowhere matches Newcastle".

He continued: “In Manchester the students are getting fenced in. In Scotland, students are banned from leaving their accommodation.

“We’re genuinely lucky that there’s been a greatly diverse selection of nightlife (or, evening life) on offer for students this year in Newcastle.”

Featured Image: Unsplash

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