Young Brits can’t wait to get back to the dance floor according to research by the UK’s largest late night club and bar operator, REKOM UK, which operates Play in Hereford.

The REKOM Night Index, a quarterly survey that tracks changing consumer habits relating to the UK’s late night leisure sector, reveals that 94% of 18 to 30 year olds plan to head back to late night leisure venues once final lockdown restrictions are lifted on 19th July. Of these, more than a fifth (20.74%) will return as soon as possible, and more than half will return within a month of opening.

These very strong figures highlight the huge demand amongst young people to get back to enjoying themselves in clubs and bars across the UK following a difficult 17 months. They also reflect that previous lockdown lifting measures have arguably not accounted for the social needs of those aged under 25, who have continued to feel restricted in their sense of freedom long after measures began to ease in April 2021.

Of those surveyed, more than one in five have never been clubbing due to being under 18 when the pandemic first shut clubs down in March 2020. Both this cohort and those who had previously enjoyed going out clubbing before lockdown, are most excited to spend time with friends, feel a sense of freedom and relieve stress.

Play’s general manager, Chris Green said: “Young people have spoken; it’s clear that there is huge demand for clubs to reopen so that they can get back to enjoying themselves after all this time.  This is reflected in our ticket sales, as we have sold out many of our nights and have laid on extra events to cope with demand.”

More than half of all respondents (51.2%) said they will feel comfortable going to a club that operates in line with government guidance. And 94% of those surveyed said they would adhere to government guidelines and measures if the implementation of these ensured the reopening of and continued opening of nightclubs.

When it comes to deciding on where to go, more than a third (37.9%) said they will consider venues’ safety measures before going out (37.89%) and four in 10 (38.84%) said they will book ahead more frequently.

Chris added: “It is clear there is a high demand for nightclubs to reopen again and that young people, many of whom have been hit hard by Covid restrictions whilst at university or entering the job market, are excited to enjoy a night out after all this time. 

“The report shows that consumers are keen to take a responsible approach and will take Covid-19 safety precautions into consideration when planning a night out – such as booking in advance which will enable venues with Track and Trace requirements. This shows more than ever that nightclubs can open both safely and responsibly in the current climate and we are delighted to receive the go-ahead from UK government.”

Importantly, the report also emphasised the crucial role that the late-night leisure industry plays in contributing to local economies, with 84% of respondents saying they will spend money locally in preparation for going out. 

“There’s no doubt that the reopening of Hereford’s late-night leisure sector will give a much needed boost to the local economy in terms of revenue and job creation,” concluded Chris.