The End of the 5am/6am Rave?

I saw the above heading in the Evening Standard a few months ago, this was at the time when Printworks (a former Daily Mail-printing-press-turned-superclub) was launching. The main attraction for Printworks was that it was going to be open during the day (from 12pm to 10pm) as opposed to the all-night sessions, like all other superclubs, past and present.

A lot of people (especially within the DJ/nightime community) were on either side of the arguement with the article – citing that with recent closures of late-late night venues in London, extra policing/staffing costs, etc – that people looking for an ‘all-nighter’ experience was dying out.

I’m going to give two perspectives on this – firstly, here’s a number of reasons, I think, why it is indeed dying out:-

As many have said, the point could be said that young people in London are a lot more health-concious than ever before – the amount of apps/tech that is out there, makes many young people more conscious than ever of how many steps they’re taking, what food they’re eating, etc. The mere mention of ‘an all-nighter’ has many declining due to their body-clock, family and work commitments taking precedent.

In addition, back in the day, an all-night rave was a substitute for not really doing much. Nowadays, young people are totally spoilt for choice – endless hours of Netflix, online gaming, etc – are more appeasing to those who would rather stay home (and save money) and do that, rather than spent late hours dancing in a dark, sweaty nightclub.

There is also now a distinctive lack of venues offering a place that allows DJs/clubbers to play until those early hours. Compared to the rave-day 90s – where these kind of raves used to happen seemingly everywhere & everyweek – now only a very select few venues can/want/will stay open till that time, save the special events that are on billposters/sign posts (normally Drum’n’Bass/Garage raves, that specifically promote that they’re open from 10pm-6am) that happen around once a month – there is a steady decline in that.

However, that being said, there is still an appetite for those kind of nights. There are always a group of people who will stay at a venue until the very, very end (the so-called ‘hardcore’). They know the venues, they know most DJ sets peak around 12am-2am, and the following hours are spent playing chilled-out/down-tempo house, to which some people are content with to see the night out – for an ‘all night experience’

There are also venues – while limited – that do have those kind of hours available to those kind of clubbers who want it. Not forgetting that these nights normally entice headline DJs to come on from 2/3am onwards, so clubbers will intend to stay for the whole night. They might be open weekly (The Egg, Fabric) or occasionally (Great Suffolk Street), but they are open till the early hours for that purpose & crowd.

So in short, while the choice of venues for this kind of nights are in decline, there are still people out there with an appetite for that late-late night experience, and there are a few venues that will still cater for that kind of experience – so I don’t think it’s dying out, just yet, but something that is in decline…

(This is all based on my experiences/views in London – by the way – in Germany, Amsterdam, Spain, etc, they have places that never close!)

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