At times London’s nightlife seems to be endured rather than engaged with by institutions of power, and something that everyone we spoke to brought up was the need for greater availability of late-night licenses. What use will the Night Tube be if there’s no clubs to travel to after all? Perhaps the most important aspect of the Night Tube, then, is the potential it has to de-stigmatise ‘the night’ by shining a spotlight on the extent of night-time activity. “People's work, life, eating, drinking patterns are completely different to the 20th century, but sometimes are still being governed as if we were the previous generation,” says Dan Beaumont, owner of recently closed nightspot Dance Tunnel. “The fact is the 9 to 5 experience has been totally disrupted and people live and interact in a completely different way now. We need to embrace all of the things that happen at night, and as a result that can have a civilising effect, and it can actually make us more prosperous, safer, and more interesting. There's no need to be afraid of the night,” he adds.
Union Club in Vauxhall, host of many afterhours events which begin in the morning and run through to the afternoon, provides a setting for many of the Londoners whose lives have progressed beyond traditional daytime hours. “Many of our customers work in hospitality and they aren’t turning up at ours having been out all night, they are turning up at ours straight from work. We aren’t freaks, we are just people who don’t wish to be tucked up in bed by 11 o’clock every night. There is nothing wrong with wanting to go out all night and the more normal this is seen to be the better it is for everyone,” says the club, “one of the big things we see coming out of [the Night Tube] is a greater degree of legitimisation of late night culture.”
"We aren’t freaks, we just don’t wish to be tucked up in bed by 11pm" - Union ClubTweet this quote
If nightlife becomes accepted as an important aspect of the UK’s economy, this could spark a review into the city’s licensing laws, and lead to change in the biggest scourge currently facing clubland. “There are too many ‘I’ve had my youth so pull up the draw bridge and leave me in peace’ attitudes at work among those who object to the night-time economy,” says Ian Gough, co-owner of Brixton Jamm. “The argument that, for every person complaining about a night club, there are five people inside enjoying it, is often lost and is certainly difficult to make in council licensing chambers, I would say that the results of the number of passengers using the Night Tube will tend to validate all aspects of the night-time economy and the justification for it, and be a useful statistic to use in protecting the night-time venues.”