Two months ago, a Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) survey estimated that less than half of U.K. nightclubs would survive COVID-19 without government aid. Last week, lawmakers announced a £1.57 billion relief package for the arts – but the organization’s chief executive, Michael Kill, has argued that it leaves nightlife institutions in the cold.
In a statement obtained by Mixmag, Kill acknowledged that “there is much to be welcomed” in the package announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak. He warned that “it leaves many in our sector beleaguered,” however. He said:
“Most of our members either can’t open at all due to social distancing, or can only open with reduced capacity resulting in more financial losses. It’s as if the Government are letting us slip through the cracks between the various well-intentioned schemes … A VAT cut when you just can’t open at all is not of any help. Late night venues in towns and cities across the country are facing catastrophe.”
Kill speculated that the prolonged closure of nightclubs has affected more than the establishments themselves. “Left with nowhere to go for music and social entertainment. Instead, we’ll see a further rise in illegal raves and street parties, which present a new set of challenges,” he said, echoing his prediction last month that lockdowns would trigger a surge of illegal raves.
“We renew our call on the Government,” Kill closed out. “You have to help us more with direct financial support.”