Is it time for change to Northern Ireland’s entertainment laws which are outdated?
For many of you who may not know, Northern Ireland’s current entertainment laws mean that any club or bar may stay open to 2am at the latest, with last orders for alcohol being served at 1am. For those of you who live in the South of Ireland or across the pond in the rest of Great Britain, you’ll be reading this laughing…
So we ask ourselves, is it time for Northern Ireland’s entertainment laws to be changed? Should we stick to the restrictive laws that are currently in place which is making our nightlife culture suffer? Take a look at a number of these reasons as too why they should be changed, for the benefit of the country.
Prosperity. The money which could be gained through longer opening hours in nightclubs across Northern Ireland would be significant, a significant boost to the economy which is currently suffering in this time of economic depression. With the economy only beginning to rebuild once more, this could be invested for more jobs, more money circulating and the potential for larger crowds. Let’s be honest, you’ve finished work at half 10 / 11 o’clock, and you realise that if you want to go out tonight, this being really early everywhere else, you’ll maybe only have 2 hours to enjoy yourself before everywhere shuts up, so you don’t bother. I’ve been there, done that. Therefore, the bars and the clubs are losing out on trade, which in turn, could easily affect the jobs and current employees.
The tourism which could also benefit such a small country is driven away, because if you want to come here for a good night out, maybe party into the early hours of the morning, you might have a good night but the party is only going to last if you head back to someone’s house at 2am (and then you get done for annoying your neighbours). How many people (after experiencing potential all night parties across the water) want to come to somewhere for a night out when the bar shuts at 1am and kick out time is 2am? Not many. By increasing the time to 3am or granting late night licenses, a lot could be benefited for local restaurants, local hotels, and the local economy as a whole. Is it not worth looking at?
The music. The music industry over here, especially in the clubs is a weird one. If I am honest, we live in the old times where Techno and House still live on as the glory genre’s and the so-called EDM scene hasn’t really broke through yet. Not only this, we still like a bit of the cheesy dance music which was popular in the 00’s. I think that with later opening times, more musical expression could happen, with a greater opportunity, particularly in the clubbing environment, to open up clubbers to new sounds and new artists and also the local talents which will have a better chance of being recognised.
Stop the drunks. Realistically many of us look to be absolutely smashed before we go out because by the time you know it, your in the taxi home at 2am. So before the gang head out, everyone necks a lot of alcohol and is blattered because you only have ex-amount of hours before the bar shuts and it sucks. What if you opened the bars later? What if you opened the clubs later? Would this stop people overloading before they go out because they have a longer time to consume? This could lead to less people crawling around the streets at half 2 because they decided to drink a ten glass of glens vodka before they went out. I am not saying this is true, but it’s a possibility.
And lastly. What about us as a par with the rest of Great Britain and Europe as a whole. Does it not make us look outdated and behind the times, when the rest of the countries are throwing parties to 5am and having the time of their lives? Would I move away if I got to experience a better night life, one which we enjoy more and live for? Yeah I probably would. If the music industry or the night life is something I wanted to get involved with here, I wouldn’t try. I’d rather go somewhere which is less restrictive, somewhere where you can thrive. Northern Ireland currently isn’t that place.
Northern Ireland’s entertainment laws are outdated, our politicians need to move with the times and consider the current laws, look about changing them so that as a country, our night life and our culture can evolve and grow. If they continue the way they are, we won’t have one left.