Established just over a decade ago, Give Us The Night has long fought the good fight for Ireland’s nightclub industry.
With the latest wave of high profile closures in the sector (District 8, Hangar, Lillie’s Bordello), the group is stepping up its efforts to engage with legislators and members of the business community on the importance of posting a vibrant, responsible night-time industry.
As those involved with the Irish nightclub sector will know, the industry is currently without representation – the Irish Nightclub Industry Association having been dissolved in 2014.
Grasping that particular nettle, Give Us The Night will be announcing a series of meetings in the coming weeks, which will raise awareness about the campaign and also promote discussion on the value of the night-time economy. These kick off next Monday (21 January) in The Sugar Club, Dublin.
Thanks to all for the very positive feedback to our mandate. To push things on now for Irish nightlife, we have set-up meetings in Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford (in that order). All are welcome. Event pages here: https://t.co/LUh2oQRiq3 pic.twitter.com/gTvb8nZ49s— Give Us The Night (@GiveUsTheNight) January 16, 2019
In the meantime, it has relaunched its website, www.giveusthenight.com, with new branding, and published a lengthy mandate to ‘highlight the economic value and societal benefits of a diverse and vibrant Irish night-time industry’.
Among the key points discussed in the mandate are calls for the establishment of a ‘Night Mayor’ (Maor Oíche) in Irish cities, to act as a liaison between stakeholders in the night-time industry, akin to the creation of similar roles in London, Manchester, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris and New York.
This, the group suggests, could be supported by the formation of licensing boards within city and county councils, to assess licensing application decisions, in the process devolving more power to local authorities to make decisions related to their own night-time economic needs.
The group also calls for the abolition of the Special Exemption Order (SEO) system for late bars and nightclubs, saying that a 2008 increase in the cost of said orders, from €220 to €410 per night, has actually led to a fall in exchequer revenue of around €5 million, and contributed to the closure of venues nationwide.
‘A late-night venue in Ireland that would choose to open 6 days a week would pay approximately €128,000 per year (plus legal fees for each monthly court application) on SEOs,’ it notes. ‘This is in addition to rates, rent, insurance, running costs, wages etc. A venue in the UK will pay around £2,000 per year in late licence fees, with more hours of trading each night possible.’
Give Us the Night also calls for the introduction of a designated ‘night venue’ classification in planning and licensing law, with the possibility for said venues to stagger closing times, avail of soundproofing and other sound system specifications, and work in conjunction with local police, fire and council services on a venue management plan.
We at 909originals wish them all the best on this noble, and timely, venture.
You can read the full mandate (and get involved) here: www.giveusthenight.com