Photo by Brayden Law
In this constantly evolving situation in the entertainment and nightlife industries, it’s best to manage our expectations. Similar to what is happening in the restaurant industry, it seems that some of the smaller establishments are able to pivot faster than the larger ones. The smaller the club, the easier it is to more to more of a lounge format and still keep the doors open. Large clubs that rely on big experiences and big numbers to be profitable, are having trouble navigating the pros and cons of reopening or staying closed. There is no sense in opening your doors and rolling the dice when you will lose more in operating expenses than staying dark.
The BC Government has done a good job handling this health crisis and has worked with industry to come up with detailed approaches to safety to allow them to weather this economic storm. In doing so, they’ve monitored these uncharted waters and made adjustments ever since the first establishments started to make a go of it again. After a good percentage of Vancouver’s clubs reopened over the past few weeks, the health authorities saw some areas of concern and have rolled out additional regulations to ensure the safety of staff and patrons. In doing so, a few of the bigger clubs in town that reopened have decided to turn the lights off again. Others scheduled for opening in the upcoming weeks have decided to push back their dates further. Whether for economic or safety concerns (probably both), they have come to an unfortunate conclusion.
It’s just not worth it.
The additional regulations putting a pin in the reopening plans for some businesses are as follows:
- No more bar self-service
After realizing issues with crowding and people ignoring social distancing measures when lining up for bar service.
- Live entertainers must be 3 metres away from patrons and behind a barrier
- No more dancing
At all. Patrons must remain seated. Initially the authorities encouraged dancing within your group (maximum of 6) or by yourself (like no one’s watching obv) but have encountered issues (like people dancing on tables), so they’ve put the kibosh on that idea.
- Live entertainment must end at 11pm
I think this was the kicker and impetus for clubs staying closed or deciding to shut down again. Most of these new regulations make it even harder to do business, but this last one makes it really tough. After all these are “night” clubs we are talking about. However, there is a bit of a grey area for providing background music by DJs and live musicians at a lower volume to extend service beyond 11pm. Some club have already adapted to this new measure and could be successful due to the lack of competition right now. I wish them well for grinding at it through all this uncertainty. Good luck peeps!
These new rules came into effect mainly because of an uptick in cases. We are helpless to the data that the health ministry uncovers and most reasonable people accept this as our fate. If our numbers had continued a downward trend or levelled off, then we probably wouldn’t be seeing the authorities tighten the net. I think we all get it, and as much as us DJs and the like want to get back to doing what we love, we don’t want to compromise our health or the health of others.
It’s just not worth it.
JT James is a DJ, producer and writer based out of Vancouver, Canada. A veteran of the DJ and recording worlds. he has produced several projects in the genres of hip hop and electronic music under aliases such as James Divine, Track Nicholson and Sandy Villanova. When he’s not on the decks, in the studio or staring into a blank word document you can catch him at the beach, hiking through the forest or telling people how much yoga can change their life.