Like many others with a stake in the Night Club industry Live Music Management watched last nights Undercover Boss on Channel Four, featuring Oceana/Luminaire Head Honcho Peter Marks ,with interest. Peter Marks came over as a reasonable, good humoured Chief Executive with concerns for his staff but the most telling part of the show was his reaction to the 80p drinks and three for one deals being touted in his Night Clubs. His claim to be surprised at these deals seemed disingenuous, at best ,as these kind of deals have always been on offer throughout the Luminaire estate (and wider industry) even prior to the current reccession. That his own young promotions guy down in Swansea said he felt ashamed to be offering 80p drinks just about says it all.
Peter Marks did make a good point though when he said that alcohol could be bought cheaper in any Supermarket. If you speak to any Live Music Management DJ they will tell you about “ front loaded ” punters getting out of taxis at midnight already sozzled from drinking vodka at home. This phenomenon began in earnest around the time of the smoking ban and the relaxation of the licensing laws which led drinkers to thinking they could go out later and still be assured of entrance to a late night venue. It has continued and increased during the recession.
The world would be a much better place if the Government would face this challenge by introducing a proper minimum pricing rule for take out alcohol. In fact if they were to introduce a law banning supermarkets from selling any cheap alcohol or indeed any two for ones on unhealthy foods and encouraged them to offer the discounts on fruit , veg and other healthy staples the UK would benefit in a massive way.
Nighclubs and pubs, at their best, are places of community where people meet to dance , chat , share ideas , forge new movements. They are vibrant , joyous places.Places where you can see great live music provided by quality bands and DJs. They shouldn’t be drinking barns where the battle to offer the cheapest deal is the only defining factor. They should be palaces of entertainment where our dreams are made and fulfilled not places where we go to top up on three for one shots after drinking half a bottle of vodka at home.