Melbourne’s night life gets a chance to reset
Lockdown, Coronavirus – we are so over it! This was arguably the worst human disaster we’ve seen this century but the one thing people complained about more than anything was boredom. A lot of people felt that they were coming unhinged. It’s not healthy to stay indoors for so long. To do the same things day in day out and have no human connections. No wonder mental health is said to be the next pandemic.
It was particularly hard for musicians. Creative minds need an outlet, of there isn’t one, it could be weighing heavily on the mind. It’s fine that we had zoom concerts and all but the whole performing without an audience thing felt strange for most people. For a while it felt like we were collectively witnessing a kind of soul death something.
The hardest hit industry during this pandemic was undoubtedly the live music industry. Concerts and festivals had to be cancelled and then the clubs and the pubs followed but worse still, those weekly barbeque and beer sessions with the guys vanished too. There would have been no point in forcing the issue since the things that bring most blokes together i.e. sport like sport got cancelled too.
It took Melbourne 7 months to reopen its night time entertainment venues. There was one sticking point: only 50 people could be in one place at the same time and they were required to keep a distance of four square-metres between each other. This is tricky. Restrictions or no restrictions, people came out in numbers. Clubs had to work out a system of how they could accommodate all the people who came, some clubs work with a booking system whilst others had to let 50 people at a time. People would have to take turns, like they normally would have to in a restaurant. Night clubs had to adapt and change their layouts and the way they work.
One of Melbourne’s most popular dance club is Revolver. It is still the same club with the same vibe, a little subdued, but it is still drawing its usual crowd. The opening hours have changed because of the restrictions. The Thai restaurant inside the club has also begun operations. The upstairs dancefloor is open Fridays and Saturdays. It started with no bookings being necessary which meant a lot of people rocked up only to find that the club had reached capacity.
Clubs like Revolver, that bordered on the scummy had to clean up their acts and become a little cleaner than they have ever been. A night out is less raucous, less noisy but it is still worth something. It feels like we have been given a new lease on life. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. You could still go out and miss out on dancing. It sucks, but if you’ve been following the politics around Australia’s night life that saw Sydney being pushed to shut it’s venues down earlier under lockout laws, you may be forgiven for thinking there was a conspiracy to how this pandemic was handled. How the powers that be finally got to exercise lockouts under Corona lockdown rules.
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