I Fell Over During Gaga’s Paparazzi
I am not one for sounding like a current affairs show, but I write this out of the sadness of many venues closing around Brisbane. I started thinking about this topic when one of Brisbane’s leading venue’s, ‘The Troubadour’ closed for business. Being 30, the nightlife social section of my life has dwindled to only going out when one of my best mate’s Ben Preece drags me head and foot out of the door. It’s not that I don’t like going out, but I find myself irritated by the large numbers of overly drunk young people, which I can’t really vocally complain about cause I used to be one of them. The Troubadour and similiar venues were generally a ‘safe haven’ from these types of people in Brisbane city.
But thinking back, I don’t remember it being as bad as it is now. I remember going out with a group of people till 5am with us all limping home before spending the next two days rehashing over the antics. But now when I think back, I think I may have found the answer.
In late 2002, I moved from Brisbane to live in Newcastle in New South Wales, and let me tell you, the nightlife in Newcastle was completely different to anywhere in the country. The first night I went out was with a long time friend Mick Cannon, and the first thing I saw was two girls attacking a guy in the middle of the main street and I was completely blown away by this, because any regular Queensland girl wouldn’t be caught dead being seen like this. The nightlife in Newcastle was actually brilliant, above all the aggressive and crazy behavior. About a week later, I was heading out with a different set of people I had known since I was kid, and before they all went out, they smashed a bottle of bourbon each saying it was cheaper than buying drinks at the clubs as they were too expensive. And this was the reason why everyone that went to Newcastle city, was jumping around like looney tunes.
With the massive hyke on drink prices in pubs and clubs around the country, I believe this is what is happening. People are drinking like mad people on a $25 bottle of scotch before leaving the house, rather than pacing themselves while they are out. Newcastle was the first city in Australia to ban mixed spirits at pubs and clubs, and cut opening times to 1am. In my opinion this is a double edged sword, cause hiking drink prices to stop people drinking, is only causing more problems in the long run.
These alcohol related issues like violence and aggression, is the reason why business owners are becoming increasingly nervous about having clubs in CBD areas. Insurance dramas and contributing to the problem is partly the reason why venues close. They just don’t to deal with problems associated with alcohol related violence.
Don’t get me wrong, I like to drink in moderation, especially socially. Which is why I think, the new trend for venues have been the intimate classy boutique venues. Either way, I don’t think there will ever be an answer to this specific problem, other than raising awareness. Or a punch in the groin.