According to 173-year-old London magazine The Economist, Europe’s clubs are closing due to gentrification, falling drug use and big festivals. The article maps club closures on a handy graphic it composed from data on Resident Advisor and attempts to diagnose the decline in clubs and revenues in the Netherlands, Britain and Berlin. Its evidence includes quotes from EB editor Sven Von Thülen, Berlin club impresario Dimitri Hegemann and Amanda, an American college student living in London who reports that buying alcohol in nightclubs is “really expensive” and that “guys are douchebags.” It also reports that contemporary youth are more “abstemious” than previous generations, meaning they don’t take as much ecstasy —a drug that, it helpfully explains, “makes bonding with strangers and dancing to repetitive thumping sounds far more enjoyable.”
We don’t dispute the claim that gentrification exerts new pressures on nightclubs due to increased rents, more noise complaints and a decline in disused spaces. But we do question the connection between the rise in festivals that book Calvin Harris and the decline in the number of somewhat more underground spaces such as the ones named in the article—a category that includes Tresor, Fabric and De Marktkantine—which probably wouldn’t book him anyway.