Why legendary discos disappear

Why legendary discos disappear

Oh! Madrid or Atika in the capital of Spain, Up & Down and Dixi 724 in Barcelona, Park Paladium in Sabadell, Ku in San Sebastián … They are all names of famous discotheques with at least a quarter of a century of history that have been forced to close their doors in recent years.

The idea of loud music, dancing, flirting and drinking until the early hours seems to be coming to an end. The generation born in the seventies and eighties of the last century went en masse to the big clubs. But now these have to close their doors or completely change their course to survive.

64% clubs have closed their doors

The decline of the night clubs started during the crisis, although the reasons are no longer purely economic. Before the crisis, there were 20,000 dance cafés and 5,000 discos in the country. Now those numbers have fallen to 16,000 and 1,800, according to data from the Spanish Federation of Nightlife Associations. In other words: 64% of the discotheques have disappeared.

The location does play a role: in coastal areas with lots of tourism still many clubs can be found, but in the depopulated interior of Spain they are no longer profitable.

Legislation also plays a role: stricter controls on alcohol consumption at the end of the 1990s, the smoking ban and restrictions on opening times in many municipalities have also been detrimental to the sector, says Jaime Lecuona of Horeca Digital LAB of consultancy company Nielsen.

New generations: series, Tinder and afterwork

In addition, the fact that the younger generations are smaller in number and have more individual forms of leisure activities, such as video games and series, are mentioned as the reason. Modern technology also makes a contribution: today, young people get to know potential partners through Tinder and no longer in a club.

But perhaps most important is the fact that nowadays people meet each other at different times: an afterwork is normal. The hospitality industry in Spain this year sold 90% of all drinks before 9 p.m. Often in combination with food: the number of restaurants in the country is bigger than ever.

Incidentally, this does not mean that there is no longer dancing and music no longer plays a role: the number of music festivals is also bigger than ever. Young people consume music less often, but much more intensively.


Discos that want to survive renew their concept through dinners, theme parties and live music. And in many places foreigners and tourists ensure that the nightlife continues to sparkle: not only tourists, but also Erasmus students, for example. More than 30% of visitors to night clubs are not local.

Source: La Vanguardia


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