The ‘gradual cultural erosion’ of Ireland’s nightclubs is denying young people the same rites of passage enjoyed by those that came before them.
That’s according to Irish Independent Entertainment Correspondent Melanie Finn who was speaking after popular Dublin nightclub Tramline closed its doors for the final time.
The venue, which opened on D’Olier Street seven tears ago said rising costs had made the business unviable.
It follows a string of closures in Dublin in recent years – with campaign group Give Us The Night estimating that more than four in five Irish nightclubs have shut down since the Year 2000.
On Newstalk Breakfast, Ms Finn said there were around 522 nightclubs in Ireland 23 years ago, with around 85 currently open.
“It’s really sad what is going on,” she said.
“It’s a kind of a gradual cultural erosion of spaces like these – you know, amazing dance clubs and discos.”
She said many people “kind of took nightclubs for granted” at the turn of the century.
“They are areas that we kind of took for granted growing up,” she said. “In my area alone, there must have been at least five discos and nightclubs.
“They are really, really important for young people. It is where you have a lot of rites of passage. It is where you make some of your best memories both good and bad and I would be very concerned about the number and rates of nightclubs closing around the country.”
Announcing its closure yesterday, Tramline pointed to, “the pandemic together with the costs now associated with running a business in Ireland”.
“Nightlife and dance have been a crucial element of growing up in Ireland that has helped the development of relationships and promoted real social interaction,” it said.
“It's been a rite of passage for so many but now, unfortunately, yet another one of Ireland's nightclub's dance floors has held its last dance.
“The failure of successive governments to reform both licensing and the insurance industry price gouging practices has made a great business unviable in today's economy.”
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Ms Finn said the Government must step in with an initiative to support nightclubs and venues.
“It doesn’t have to be somewhere that sells alcohol,” she said.
“There are a lot of people who really like just going dancing and I think people really need to reimagine those spaces and reimagine those club events and nights out to get it going again post-pandemic because it is nothing like it was before.
“It is prohibitively expensive to run a nightclub now - and staff it as well.
“I mean maybe people have moved on but there is definitely still a nostalgia factor in all of this.”
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