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.theguardian - 29 days ago

‘I’m not ready for other people’s sweat to drip on me’: will clubbing survive the pandemic?

With mass events on the horizon, nightclubs are getting ready to welcome ravers again. But is there such a thing as a Covid-safe crowd – and will it be as fun?Robert remembers the first time he went to Fabric nightclub in London. “It was a few months after it opened, in 1999. I remember looking down from a balcony at the crowd below and being mesmerised by it all.” As the mass of people throbbed, he found “the darkness and that damp-earth smell of sweating bodies, skanking and grinding” completely intoxicating.The particular joy of big clubs, Robert argues, is that despite their size (Fabric can hold 1,600 people), they are made for close contact. “They are about as far from social distancing as we can get with our clothes on,” he says. Now 48, Robert used to go to Flesh, one of the UK’s first gay club nights, at the Haçienda in Manchester. “As a gay man in that period, you were hard pressed to find space and acceptance. I felt I could be myself on that dancefloor. Clubbing became a form of self-expression. It was about being close – physically and ideologically – to others who were having the same experience. I’ve missed that a lot,” he says. In recent years, clubbing has become a less frequent occurrence for him: “But before the pandemic I’d go out at least once a month.” Continue reading...


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