Today in “smallish countries raking in boatloads of cash,” a UK lobbying group called the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has reported that nightlife is responsible for £66 billion dollars of the UK GDP. Or, as of today, close to $104 billion. In other words: raves are lucrative as hell.
The NTIA’s Forward Into the Night report took into consideration the income of clubs as well as pubs, restaurants, and bars to conclude they generate 6% of the UK’s overall income. Apparently, the report was generated to prove to naysayers that the regions’ “night-time economy” is not “a seedy, unpleasant cousin to the day-time economy,” according to a Telegraph article hilariously entitled “Clubs and bars are vital revenue generators for UK economy, not hotbeds of bing drinking and drug abuse.” So get that image of menthol-laden surgical masks and LED-fingertipped drug gloves out of your mind: boozers and ravers—or “night-time economists,” if you will—are supporting that country’s income in the form of cold, hard quid.
All jokes aside, this study and its efforts are actually notable, particularly their goal of attempting to clear up the demonization of club culture. In London especially, there is a long history of targeting the music culture and people who fuel such clubs—often racially motivated—a phenomenon that’s gone so far as to force a constant shift in genres just to avoid being targeted by the cops. The NTIA also notes that overall crime is down by 38% since 2002 (The Year Grime Broke).
Further, the report could help curb the phenomenon of gentrification that is crippling London as well as many cities in the West, by emphasizing the economic importance of clubs and bars by citing “rising alcohol duty as a barrier to growth, and claimed that by designating parts of England and Wales as areas where no new alcohol licenses will be granted, the Government is stifling “smaller, unique venues.”
For a very rough Stateside contrast: a recent NEA report showed that arts and culture—a sweeping category including performing arts, broadcasting, retail, and movies and video—generate $700 billion for the whole of the US—that’s about £480 billion. Raves lucrative.
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