How the night can lead Cities’ recovery from Covid? whatshot

Chapter three of the Global Nighttime Recovery Plan, highlights how the pandemic presents a chance to reconfigure our cities at night for the better.

“It is time for the world to pick up the examples in this chapter and to adapt them; to create their own solutions that can be shared amongst the growing number of cities worldwide that realise that the night is not to be feared. Nightlife is in fact a shared competitive edge, a point of difference as well as a point of coherence, something woven into the very DNA of who we are.”

-Alistair Turnham (MAKE Associates),
GNRP Chapter 3 Lead

Why now?

With second-wave curfews and lockdowns proliferating across the globe, cities must urgently explore innovative ways to reopen safely in the context of COVID-19. 

As the Global Nighttime Recovery Plan (GNRP) explains, a key part of the solution can be found after dark. 

Those in the emerging field of night-centric planning, design and policy are uniquely positioned to offer alternatives to unsustainable curfews and lockdowns, or present a route out of them when appropriate. 

When space for social distance is in such high demand, urban strategies which address the temporal opportunities of the night hours can decongest valuable space and offer economic and social opportunity. 

What’s included?

GNRP Chapter 3: Innovating for Safe and Welcoming 24-Hour Cities explores case studies, challenges and possible solutions for welcoming citizens back to their cities at night, presented in three key sections:

i) The activation of our streets and urban spaces in the nocturnal hours

ii) Foregrounding the undervalued but critical role of illumination

iii) Developing more inclusive approaches to movement around our cities after dark

Ideas addressed within these sections include means of increasing access and mobility for night workers, communication campaigns and diverse offerings to entice citizens back to city centres, flexing regulations to unlock the night hours and enable business pivots, using light to create identity or encourage physical distancing – and plenty more. 

What happens next?

Whether your city is in lockdown or edging towards recovery, now is the time for urban innovation and improvement. 

The GNRP is a launch point: industry stakeholders, urban planners, academics and nightlife participants alike are encouraged to engage in this solutions-oriented global discussion, then take action within their own communities.

We invite you to…

1. Circulate the GNRP within your professional network.

2. Sign up to a Meet the Authors conference call on to discuss the chapter further and meet with its creators.

3. Determine opportunities and challenges in your city through 1:1 consultancy sessions 

4. Develop a 24-hour action plan unique to your city 

Who is behind the GNRP Chapter Three?

The GNRP project is a global collaboration of nightlife experts and advocates, led by nightlife advocacy agency VibeLab and hosted on VibeLab’s nightlife news and features platform, Nighttime.org. It aims to provide all members of the night-time ecosystem the tools and inspiration to aid their industry and city in planning and executing a responsible re-opening. 

Chapter 3 is led by Alistair Turnham (MAKE Associates) and Leni Schwendinger (International Nighttime Design Initiative).

Contributors: ElsaMarie DSilva (Red Dot Foundation) and Carlos F Pardo (despacio.org, NUMO)

Interviewees: Cornelius Harris (Underground Resistance) and Dimitrios (Jim) Mastoras (Arlington County Police), Chrystel Oloukoï, PhD Candidate, Harvard University

GNRP editing and coordinating team: Michael Fichman (PennPraxis/University of Pennsylvania) , Richard Foster (Worm, Rotterdam) Lutz Leichsenring (VibeLab), Mirik Milan (VibeLab), Diana Raiselis (Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation), Andreina Seijas (Harvard University) and Jia Yuan (PennPraxis/University of Pennsylvania).

NSW State Government announces plan for 24-hr city, in a push to reinvigorate Sydney nightlife.

Sydney CBD at night (Photo: Patrick McLachlan, via Pexel)

The State government of NSW, Australia has announced a 24-hour economy strategy to reinvigorate Sydney’s nighttime industries and culture.

The strategy’s recommendations include appointing a coordinator-general to oversee Greater Sydney’s 24-hour economy, fewer restrictions on liquor licensing and live music, extended opening hours for cultural institutions and more late-night public transport options.

The strategy states:

“At its core, our objective is to create a 24-hour city that is world renowned for its vibrancy, diversity, safety and access to amenity right throughout the day and night. To compete on the world stage and create jobs, we must have a fantastic afterdark experience and 24-hour amenities for all to enjoy.

Our status as a 24-hour metropolis is critical as we continue to expand our economy to cater for the needs of a growing population and reinforce Sydney’s position as a truly global city, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which requires us all to reimagine how we use space and increase productivity throughout the 24-hours of each day.”

The announcement shows a positive shift in state government attitudes towards Sydney’s nighttime industries, which have suffered under years of draconian lock-out laws, hostile policy and rhetoric, and are currently in crisis due to COVID restrictions.

In further good news, Sydney City Council has also recently announced plans to help hospitality businesses spread outdoors in order to stay financially viable whilst complying with physical distancing regulations. The vision involves pedestrianising large sections of road in the inner city, and streamlining permission and licensing schemes for outdoor entertaining.

The Sydney plans mimic the al fresco drinking and dining experiments that have been successfully implemented in many northern hemisphere cities this summer, as explored in the Global Nighttime Recovery Plan’s first chapter.

Good vibrations: how Bandcamp became the heroes of streaming

Bandcamp favourites … Ana Roxanne, Björk and Dam Funk. Composite: Tammy Nguyen; Getty Images; Clayton Andrew Rasmussen

Chal Ravens writes for The Guardian about the virtues of Bandcamp.

After speaking to Founder Ethan Diamond, the ” CEO of Bandcamp about what it means to put artists before listeners, and how Bandcamp became the rarest of Silicon Valley stories; a slow burn success.

“They waive their fees, raise cash for Juneteenth and champion everything from vapourware to eco-grime.

‘Artists have to come first’ … Ethan Diamond, founder of Bandcamp.

“A lot of independent labels waived their fees as well. Some gave to food banks and other organisations. Those labels aren’t big corporations … that was amazing to see”

Read the full article in the Guardian

What is the future of partying in a post-pandemic world?

In some countries, clubs are cautiously reopening. In others, people are hitting up illegal raves. Gabriel Szatan explores what the dance music landscape will look like in the immediate aftermath of coronavirus.

“Everywhere you look, clubland is thawing and green shoots of recovery are sprouting.”

Read full article on Dazed here

Licence freeze lifted on pubs and nightclubs in Sydney after 11 years

The state government has scrapped a long-standing freeze on new liquor licences for pubs, clubs and bottle shops in Sydney’s CBD and Kings Cross, in a push to reinvigorate the city’s night-time economy once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

The changes, which take effect on December 1, mean venues will be able to apply to open without having to purchase a liquor licence from an existing venue, which had created a competitive and expensive market for licences.

In Kings Cross and some parts of the CBD, the freeze had been in place for 11 years. As part of the 2014 lockout laws it was extended across the whole CBD.

Read more about it here

+++UPDATE: Beirut’s Nightlife Survived Civil War. Can It Withstand Pandemic?

Old concert and show posters lining a wall on Geimezei Street

Vivian Lee, writes for the New York Times on whether nightlight in Lebanon’s capital can withstand the pandemic. 

In Beirut a night out is considered a “sacred right, due to a point of pride, the party has never stopped,” even throughout the 25 years of civil war, the summer of 2006 (where war erupted between Hezbollah and Israel), and last autumn anti government protests the bars and clubs remained open. 

However. “the bar hopping neighborhood of Mar Mikhaël, which used to vibrate with the clip-clop of high heels and the car-stereo beat of Western and Arabic music every night from Tuesday to Saturday — and sometimes Sundays and Mondays, too — went mute” 

“When you live in a place where nothing is stable and the ground is shaking under you all the time, you live in a state of urgency,” said Charbel Haber, 41, a musician, giving the usual explanation for why the nights here can go on for days. “You have to live in the moment.”

Although Lebanon as a whole appears to have dodged a mass outbreak, “the government is starting to announce a staggered reopening for businesses in the coming weeks, yet not all will be able to come back. Due to the fact that the Lebanese pound buys less than half of what it used to, imports and drinks will cost more”. 

Concerned club owner:  “Joe Mourani, the owner of Ballroom Blitz, a popular alternative electronic-music nightclub, found it harder to foresee when people would dance in a crowd again. Clubbing, it’s really all about proximity,” Mr. Mourani said. “It’s the opposite of social distancing.”

To read the full featured head to the New York Times

+++UPDATE: Italian Club Donates Space to Emergency Services

Milan club Social Music City has offered its space to be used by Italian emergency services until the end of April.

In a statement released this week, it was revealed that the club’s 20,000 square meters would be made available to emergency services in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which much of the space being modified into accommodation for 

Head to DJ mag to read the full statement

+++UPDATE: Australia: Nightclubs are turning to live-streaming to ‘keep the party going’ and ensure DJs are paid through the coronavirus shutdown

POOF DOOF DIRECT – FROM MELBOURNE TO THE WORLD LIVE STREAM.

Following the closure of nightclubs across the world, business owners have turned to live streaming. Business Insider Australia spoke to One Six One and Poof Doof about their new live-streaming initiatives.

“Jane Slingo, executive producer of Australia’s Electronic Music Conference, and a board member of Music NSW, told Business Insider Australia via email it was “fantastic” to see the community so motivated and quick to keep their creativity alive online.”

“By nature, those in the electronic music community are digital natives,” she said. “In this part of the music sector there’s already a history of live streamed events well before COVID-19 – global streamed events from the likes of Boiler Room, Cercle, Worldwide FM events. So it’s not surprising how quickly DJs and club nights have made a significant imprint on our feeds as life moves more permanently to online.”

Check out the full article here.

+++UPDATE: Zurich’s nightlife has the virus

Alexander Bücheli writing for Hello Zurich looks at the difficulties facing Zurich’s bars and clubs:


“Zurich’s nightlife scene is hoping that politicians will start to act more decisively and provide it with more support than was the case at cantonal level when this crisis began. Politicians cannot leave it up to organisers to decide whether or not to hold an event with up to 1,000 people. If you love Zurich’s nightlife, why not support your favourite club by buying vouchers or supporting a crowdfunding appeal? Together, we’ll all get through this crisis. And afterwards we’ll all dance together!”

Read the full article in Hello Zurich

+++UPDATE: More Than 100 Touring Industry Professionals Unite to Form Independent Promoter Alliance

Promoter Dave Poe of New York-based Patchwork Presents, and Jessica Gordon from Broadberry Entertainment Group  in Richmond, Virginia, have come together to form the Independent Promoter Alliance in light of COVID-19 and its dire effects on the live music industry

“At the end of the day, Jessica and I wanted to organize something so it gives people a place to go,” Poe tells Billboard. “It is really for the promoters and talent buyers and venue owners who don’t talk to other entities and are doing it on their own. Maybe it will help them just a little bit to hear other people who are all in the same boat and what everyone is doing to weather the storm, because it is going to be rough.”

Read the full article in Billboard

Independent promoters, venue owners and talent buyers can register for the group here with more information to come.