London’s clubbing landscape has been marred by gloom for much of the last decade. Gentrification has spread aggressively across the city like the Great Fire of 1666, except the Pudding Lane bakery is a board room at an Abu Dhabi-based investment firm, and beloved nightspots such as Plastic People, Rhythm Factory and Dance Tunnel have crumbled in its wake.
But a new light shines on the horizon with the Night Tube launching this month. The English capital’s lack of round-the-clock infrastructure has seen the vitality of its nightlife lagging behind 24-hour cities such as Berlin and Amsterdam for too long, but now the addition of unrestricted weekend travel to the city arrives with the potential to transform its clubbing scene.
New areas of the map that have previously been sparse of parties due to night-time accessibility being limited to expensive taxis could now serve as prime locations away from the strict constraints imposed on densely populated areas. “There are plenty of non-residential areas which will have the type of old industrial buildings which make for amazing clubs in the right hands,” says Nic Baird, promoter and DJ behind the popular Make Me and Darkroom nights, while Enzo Siragusa has confirmed he’s began looking further afield for spaces to host his FUSE parties, revealing: “We've looked up and down the Central and Victoria line to see what there is, and looked further into North London and further out East. There could be really cool warehouses available in some of these slightly more industrial areas which are serviced by a tube station, and having 24-hour access makes them more accessible.”
"We need to embrace all of the things that happen at night" - Dan BeaumontTweet this quote
Not only will the Night Tube enable cheaper travel, but it will also provide a safer option than hanging around remote bus stops in the early hours in order to get home which will see an increase in people willing to make lengthy journeys for smaller scale nights and help London’s underground to thrive. Samantha Nelson, co-owner of Dalston-based DIY space Hub16, says “there's a huge divide between North, South, East, West, and I think [the Night Tube] will heal it.” She notes many of the conversations she’s had about the impact of the Night Tube have been with women who feel it will aid them to “travel more places and get home safely.” This increased security will have the knock-on effect of helping London’s DIY scene to grow and improve the standing of fringe communities. “So much of DIY culture is rooted in giving a voice to marginalised groups and giving a free space to groups who really, really need it,” says Samantha, “I think [the Night Tube] will slowly encourage people to meet up more and that could give people confidence that they can actually put something on.”