For anyone who loves a night out, London’s contemporary underground club scene is as creative and vibrant as at any time in the capital’s history
“I have a social disease,’ Andy Warhol once famously declared. “I have to go out every night. If I stay home one night, I start spreading rumours to my dogs.” He’s not alone. For many of us, nothing beats a good night out. And they’re not just fun – nightclubs are vital, not only to creative communities that inhabit them, but the wider community beyond, as London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has underlined when he speaks about the importance of clubbing to London and the city’s cultural fabric.
That said, the past 15 years has seen an unprecedented number of UK nightclubs close down. In London, fatalities include some of the city’s most iconic spaces: 333, Dance Tunnel, The End, Herbal, The Joiners, Peoples, Plastic People, Madame Jojo’s and Turnmills to name but a beloved few. The reason? Everything from people preferring to meet partners on dating apps instead of dancefloors to licensing changes, rent increases and an increased number of festivals to party at instead has been blamed.
Look beneath the surface, however, and British club culture is alive and well. A new generation is out there finding its community, exploring and expressing its identity, and simply letting loose. In London, a new wave of club collectives is emerging, creating spaces for people who were not always safe or centred in mainstream venues, and they’re championing the power of a good night out. Here, we spotlight five of them.
Bodysuit, Moncler Genius x Richard Quinn
Bodysuit, Adam Selman from Browns
Coat, Feng Chen Wang
Shoes, Stuart Weitzman