Entry costs £5. Cloakroom costs £2. Each beer costs £5 plus, along with the cost of the hangover the next day. All for what? Listening to music I wouldn’t normally listen to, surrounded by people I wouldn’t normally have invited. While I miss the atmosphere of the club scene, what I missed afterwards was my bank balance being an amount I wasn’t ashamed of, following a night I didn’t have only scattered memories of.
Instead, I found the value in drinking with a group of friends, with no pressure for them to be someone they were not, depending on the dynamic which faced them in such a public and sexually charged space. Try making friends in the smoking area of a club – they’ll either be your best friend in the space of ten minutes, or they’ll be someone you’d never wish to know, nor would they be someone you’d want to spend the amount you paid to get in on getting to know, only to never see them again.
What I found in the emotional fragility of lockdown was the need for friends who knew me intimately, friends I wanted to spend time with, friends I’d have paid the same amount as a club to have in my company for an hour, only to have it for free. Clubbing is fun for those who want to meet strangers. However, I’d rather meet strangers in places where we could find some mutuality outside of a love for dance music, smoking, and rehearsed pick-up lines.
I still love dance music, smoking, and the rest of it—the only difference is now I don’t feel the need to enter a world that financially exploits these loves. I know there are indoor alternatives I can enjoy without breaking into my overdraft.