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Let the party start: Aberdeen clubs and venues hope to open by Freshers’ Week

While venues in England start preparing for the reopening of clubs and bars, the Scottish Government remains cautious

By: Mireia Jimenez

'Dance-off' by heipei is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As Boris Johnson announced his government’s roadmap to easing lockdown restrictions in England, venues and bars have started to look forward to 21 June. One example is the prestigious Fabric club in London, which is planning a 42-hour reopening weekend on 25 June.

However, the Scottish Government has remained cautious about announcing a specific date for when restrictions will be completely gone.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, “I would love to stand here and say that by 21 June we’ll all be back to normal [...] but I can’t say that with any certainty at all.”

Regardless, some Aberdeen venues are starting to announce new events for the summer months and Freshers’ Week 2021, including Unit 51’s ABBA Disco Wonderland event on 17 September.

The Gaudie contacted some venues to find out what type of support they had received and what their prospects for opening were.

Ross Calder, Entertainment Manager of Tunnels Aberdeen Live Music Venue, said that it is more likely for Scottish venues to start a gradual reopening process “which would allow socially distanced events” such as live band performances.

He confirmed that the events scheduled for March and the upcoming months are being rescheduled and the tickets will remain valid for future dates.

Craig Adams, spokesperson for Krakatoa Live Music Venue and Bar, said that they were planning on reopening as soon as restrictions were lifted.

“We’ve successfully crowdfunded a new ventilation system that will fully change the air in the venue once every five minutes,” he confirmed.

Both venues confirmed that the Scottish Government support and other funds were helpful and effective, but agreed that they struggled at the beginning of lockdown due to the lack of promptness when enforcing lockdown measures.

When asked about Freshers’ Week 2021, Calder said “We would very much hope to have a programme for Freshers’, yes. We'll be looking at bookings for both live and club shows as soon as things become a bit clearer”.

From Krakatoa, Hen Beverly said: “We normally do free admission for students all through September”, although the rescheduling of ticketed events might be prioritised.

However, Adams confirmed that their NEON LOUNGE will still be free from 11 pm to 3 am if restrictions allow.

Until government restrictions become clearer, it is possible to ask for a full refund or to use your tickets for rescheduled dates.


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