It’s that time of year and people are making their dreaded New Year’s resolutions, from aspirations of a dry January to empty promises of healthy eating. We’ve decided to skip all that bollix and focus on what really matters: how we can improve our club culture in the coming year.
We’re five days into the new year, which means that everyone’s New Year resolutions should be well underway, but goals for 2024 shouldn’t be limited to health, fitness, organisation, financial stability, and other banal annual ambitions that are simply rooted in failure.
We get down to the nitty gritty as we look at changes that can be implemented to better our club scene in 2024. Here are 8 New Year’s Revolutions for Irish Club Culture in 2024.
Less Time in the Smoking Area
Our limited time on the dancefloor is a constant source of frustration in Ireland. The standard 4-hour trading hours in venues leaves attendees with little time to settle themselves, get a few drinks, and have a catch-up, while also leaving everything they have on the dancefloor. However, that being said, with such a short window for dancing we’d expect ticket-holders to try to get their money’s worth at shows. Stop rolling rollies and start shaking your hips.
Make the Warm-Up Great Again
This one seems self-explanatory, but somehow in the midst of the 150bpm techno trend that dominated Irish venues in 2023, warm-up DJs forgot to do what they were booked for… to warm up. One of the most challenging responsibilities for a selector is that of the opening DJ, and building up the vibe from zero to the ideal crescendo for the following DJ is a difficult but valuable asset to have as a DJ.
No Flash on the Dancefloor
The sea of phones on dancefloors across the globe has been a growing problem in club culture in recent years. Although many Irish club spaces and parties have implemented Berlin-style no-phone policies, and while this works for many parties, those spaces that choose to not impose bans on photography should try to minimise the damage that phones can have on the atmosphere on a dancefloor. Clubs are traditionally dark spaces that are conducive for people losing themselves within the dance, flash disrupts this atmosphere and can make both performers and dancers uncomfortable.
Less Repetitive Lineups
Ireland’s growing appetite for club music means more opportunities for varied lineups with fresh faces. Ireland has traditionally invited a selection of favourites to play a few times a year across various counties. While there may be a desire to see a certain act, variety is the spice of life and opening up dancers horizons to new sounds should be imperative to a promoter’s job when possible.
Support Young DJs
There has been an explosion of new Irish talent in recent years, and this crop of fresh DJs are clamouring for an opportunity to show off their skills. Ireland has built up a strong roster of local DJs that have helped carve out the contemporary Irish sound, but to keep up quality and vitality in years going forward it is essential that promoters, clubs and parties start taking a chance on younger DJs.
More Collaboration Between Northern and Southern Promoters
Ireland’s club scene has traditionally been dominated by Dublin and Belfast yet over the years there has been very little crossover in terms of collaboration between northern and southern scenes. Ireland’s clubbing community is stronger in numbers and the joining of divergent promoters will only help boost up own talent. We still lag behind Germany, the Netherlands, England, France and other European countries on sheer scale, but we can tighten these margins by intertwining the northern and southern scenes.
Let Locals Play the Closing Set
Irish DJs have commonly been warm-up DJs when playing on home soil, and while this has built an army of high-grade vibe-setters, it somewhat limits our talent and chokes out opportunities for Irish artists to prove themselves in peak-time slots. Changing up the play times in Irish clubs from time to time may be a welcome adjustment; having the headline DJ play at the beginning of the night will attract a larger crowd in the early hours of the club while still providing room for local talent to prove their worth after their international counterparts.
4-hour set’s in Germany and The Netherland’s are somewhat of the norm, yet in Ireland 4 hours is generally the full span of our time in clubs, needless to say this leaves DJs with a fairly suffocated window to express their artistic vision especially when sharing the lineup with two or three other DJs. Allowing DJs to play all-night-long will further enhance the art of DJing in Ireland as selectors will be encouraged to dig deeper. Extended set’s should also have a positive impact on Irish crowds as dancers will be introduced to various sounds while also leaning into the idea that a good DJ set is a marathon not a sprint, not everything has to be so instamatic.