At some point between 1711 and 1776 Scottish philosopher, economist, essayist, and historian David Hume wrote that ‘Beauty exists in the mind that contemplates it’: Different strokes for different folks, each to their own buzz, one size doesn’t actually fit all… you get the point. In a Four/Four context, not everybody is a fan of Techno, or House, or Tech House, or any other electronic genre under the sun.

Policy makers in Ireland have been consistently ignoring one of the most important subcultures in the country’s history. Is electronic music even a subculture anymore? Was it ever? In the past few years Ireland’s clubbing scene is as strong as it has ever been. Importing acts for Saturday night shows is a testament to the health of the scene but when local residents and collectives are capable of putting on shows of similar stature it’s an unparalleled party time!
Now, we see this more relevant than ever. With our larger capacity venues like Hangar biting the dust and with District 8 due to close it’s doors at some point in the future, we see collectives and small venues creating unique and intimate spaces for some of the most exciting international names on the regular.

The city’s dance clubs could run well past 3:00am if lawmakers wanted them to. What this ultimately boils down to is values. Do we value establishments whose sole focus is maintaining pathetic and insulting Irish stereotypes or do we value venues that contribute to the cultural development of Dublin, its scenes, its population, and those who come from abroad? Let’s stop portraying ourselves as Guinness guzzling leprechauns who want nothing more than cheap drinks and sloppy shifting sessions. I sometimes wonder which of the two approaches gains us more admiration from those we are (apparently) trying to impress.

The only thing more dangerous than legal raves is illegal ones. Allow clubs to open longer. People are far safer indoors than outdoors. Later licenses means more taxis on the roads, later public transport, more people working in restaurants, a safer and healthier transition from the dance floor to home. A more developed nighttime economy makes all the sense in the world. The government have already shown that they agree by allowing certain “hotels” like the ones on Harcourt Street, to run until 5:00am. If there’s something so unsafe with partying until the small hours then shut down the entire city. If not, open the licenses to everyone. Only good will come of it. We cannot keep marketing ourselves as a major European capital only when it suits us and as sweeping all that’s a little difficult under the rug.

Like we said: It all comes down to values. Do we value culture or do we value cheap stereotyping that allows us to make a ‘quick buck’? The government is supposed to represent us. We’re complex, so stop selling us out…

Be nice. We’re all adults. Nobody likes being told what to do. Trust people – They’ll return the favour with respect.


Words by James Kenny

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