Northern Ireland based nightlife advocacy group Free The Night launch their first nationwide survey on the night time economy. Spearheaded by a group of passionate volunteers, including Give Us The Night founder and DJ Sunil Sharpe and renowned DJ Holly Lester, Free The Night is a non-profit organisation advocating for a safe, progressive and culturally rich environment for nightlife in Northern Ireland. 

Aiming to gain a better insight into the overall experiences and perceptions of nightlife in Northern Ireland, the survey data will also serve as a useful tool in advocating for progressive licensing policies. Other areas such as safety, transport infrastructure, social mobility and the importance of late-night culture are also highlighted. 

The survey is part of a larger body of research work being undertaken by Free The Night and Queen’s University Belfast PhD candidate Ciara Power, with the group hoping that the outcome will be a catalyst for further progression and positive changes in an upcoming licensing review panel, due to be set up by the NI Assembly later this year.  The review will examine the impact of licensing including areas such as economic impact, hospitality and tourism post-pandemic, the impact of additional operating hours/drinking-up time, policing and public health. 

The organisers are encouraging participants to use this as an opportunity to make their voice heard and ask that the survey is circulated via social media and amongst their network. In particular, the group wishes to hear from those who regularly use and/or work in the night time economy (between the hours of 6pm – 6am). The survey is anonymous and should only take around 5-7minutes to complete.

Speaking on the survey, Holly Lester, local DJ and Free The Night co-founder says; ‘This is a really important opportunity for those who feel like they have not had a say in issues affecting the night time economy to step forward and make their voice heard. We hope that the outcome of this survey and the larger body of research that we are undertaking will pave the way for a more progressive, diverse and equitable landscape in Northern Irish nightlife.’

Before taking the survey, please take some time to read this information sheet which explains how data will be stored and used.  This survey is anonymous and you are not required to provide any personal information such as name, address, contact number, etc. throughout. Please note, however, that some questions ask for information about your age range, gender and which district you live in, which we consider important in our analysis.

The survey takes between 5-7 minutes to complete and will close in two weeks on the 24th of August 2022.

You can take the survey here.

If you would like to stay up to date with Free The Night you can follow their Instagram or join their mailing list here.

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