With 143 nightlife options, 2 universities and over 66,000 students, Nottingham is renowned for its diverse nightlife.
But for the last few months – whilst bars and restaurants have been able to open their doors somewhat briefly – nightclubs have not.
This has hugely affected how thousands of students are able socialise, take a break from work and meet new people – massively changing their university experience.
For most first year students, freshers week is an important part of their university experience, as it is a time where many become truly settled in and establish important friendships.
In previous years, Nottingham Trent Student’s Union have arranged around 60 events throughout Freshers week for first year students, including many club nights.
Following the Government announcement that Nottingham remains under the restrictions of tier three, restaurants, bars and nightclubs are forced to keep their doors closed, meaning students have little opportunities to meet new people and socialise with those they do not live with.
This is having a large mental and social impact on students, especially first years, who have missed the opportunity to go out and enjoy their first term away from home.
The ongoing closure of nightclubs also raises a dilemma to owners, who are facing the tough decision of whether to open sooner with seated events and under tight restrictions, or wait for a more recognisable return of night clubs.
“sOME CLUBS HAVE OPENED AS BARS…BUT LONG TERM IT’S JUST NOT SUSTAINABLE.”
-aNDY HOE, OCEAN NIGHTCLUB OWNER
Before the first lockdown was announced, Nottingham nightlife was not limited to the weekend, with a different club hosting a student-only night throughout the week.
Ocean nightclub, in Nottingham, is a student only club that open only Wednesday and Friday. Although some clubs did open their doors for sit down events at the start of the term, owner of ocean Andy Hoe says opening with these tight restrictions would ruin the experience of Ocean for students.
“I know some of the clubs have opened as bars and put tables in and that sort of thing, but long term it’s just not sustainable I don’t think- they’re still losing money,” Mr Hoe said.
“A place our size, with tables we’d only be able to get around 250 people in, so the expense of opening is more than we would get in revenue. Also, I just don’t think that’s what Ocean is about.”
Andy Hoe, Owner of Ocean nightclub in Nottingham.
With the decision to remain closed until restrictions have significantly loosened, it’s a case of treading water for Ocean, as nightclub owners and students await the green light for clubs to re-open.
For the most up to date information, Find out the coronavirus restrictions in your local area – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)