How do you write about the importance of the night club amongst a global pandemic?
Something that seems so trivial in the current climate, where businesses across the country have no choice but to cease trade, a third of the country’s population has been forced into unemployment and the elderly journey to 3 different stores just to locate basic survival essentials only to come home empty handed. How do you convincingly advocate for the retention of and creation of space during these times of social unrest? How do you push for radical development at the tipping point of an economic crash? The importance of hedonism may not feel so prevalent during testing times of survival.
It may seem trivial as I sit in this armchair working from home in the current limbo London has found itself in, but history can tell us that rave culture thrives through and after crisis. The human desire for hedonism and social interaction will be put to test during this time of isolation, when the feeling of sweat brushes against your shoulders as the sticky dew that lingers in the air of the dancefloor is but a distant memory. The notion of freedom that the west so cherishes has been stripped to its core, locking you in the confinements of your own four walls. Your house is no longer a home that you return to for sanctuary, it is now the prison in which you dream of nothing else but to escape. The clubbing community usually enters its quietest season in the summer, but this year we are preparing for our busiest time of the year to follow the un-locking of societal restrictions.
In this time of global isolation, it is imperative to look beyond the pandemic at the world in which we will emerge. Since the lock-down, rave culture all around the world has taken to the screen, to the headset, to laptops, TV’s and home cinemas. Before the lock-down club culture was suffering from the globalisation that came with increased popularity in social media, now it is feeding off it. Although the culture is doing everything it can to stay connected, through live streams and house parties, it is blatantly apparent that the true core of what this culture is about is painfully absent; immersive sound, energy, heat and sweat radiating amongst the crowd, and that physical removal from reality that truly assists the escape from reality.
The virus has deeply impacted how society operates, and it is no doubt that the ‘normal’ we all knew is not necessarily the ‘normal’ that we will go back to. The neo-liberalism that prevailed proved insufficient in the time of crisis, and as these occurrences are expected to become more frequent, it is necessary that society evolves in a different trajectory to which it was headed prior. This will be a time for reform in many aspects of the working world, and I do not believe rave culture will be any different. If there’s any time to radicalise the development of our city, it is now.