UK promoters Keep Hush have shared the findings from their community-led clubbing survey, U Going Out?
The survey was launched in May, in response to troublingly low ticket sales for club events in the months after British venues reopened post-lockdown. The survey's findings point to a marked decline in overall demand for nightlife and associated events, with 25% of Gen-Z respondents, aged 10-25, saying they were less interested in clubs now than they were before the pandemic. This figure falls to just 13% for millennials, aged 26-41. You can see the full findings in the Instagram post below.
The team behind the study pointed to the so-called "early retirement theory", which proposes the near-two-year closure of venues had brought forward the point at which people decide they no longer want or need to attend events. However, some who participated in the research reported a preference for nightlife centred on pubs and the homes of friends over clubs, and difficulties persuading others to join them at late night events.
There were also findings relating to drinking and drug culture, with the most common reason for going out less frequently being signalled as a reduced interest in consuming alcohol and other substances. Gen-Z participants also cited financial concerns. Additionally, the survey found that 24% of Gen-Z respondents and 31% of millennials said they are now less likely to buy tickets ahead of an event, with discount and cheap tickets the least important point of consideration when deciding what to attend.
It's worth noting that this result could be part of the fallout from successive months during the pandemic, when club nights were announced then cancelled due to various COVID-related causes. This may have put some off making plans far in advance. This is backed up by Keep Hush's own anecdotal evidence, with the team's report stating that: "friends have said they are less organised and more spontaneous after the pandemic."
On the more positive side, the survey found the most common reason to attend a club night across all ages was so people could hear "music they like". For Gen-Z, spending time with friends was the top motivator, while millennials ranked experiencing a good venue as the most important factor.
In response, Keep Hush have listed a number of things promoters and ravers should do to support the scene. For the former, these include making the most of the new last-minute mindset, building communities, and focusing on depth and quality rather than headline status for line-ups. The latter, meanwhile, should expect less high production events as organisers try and mitigate financial risk, and, where possible, buy advance tickets.
An open invite has now been issued for more people to get involved in the next stage of the U Going Out? project, which aims "to uncover answers that could benefit the entire dance music ecosystem."