Brighton’s seaside clubbing scene is dead

Digital

Is the recent announcement of the takeover of Brighton clubs Digital and Bermuda Triangle by commercial venue Shooshh the final nail in the coffin of Brighton’s once vibrant seaside club scene? What once was an animated party spot has slowly been dissolving into something without any sort of character.

The closure of the aptly named Life may have been the first sign of things to come. Followed by Digital, and late night venue Bermuda Triangle which had only been around for about 7 months, it now seems inevitable that Brighton’s alternative seaside nightclubs will be moving in a more commercial and bland direction.

I spoke to some of Brighton’s promoters as well as nightclub attendees and asked them what they thought of Shooshh’s newest acquisitions. One disgruntled raver said “they’re trying to make Brighton Beach into the Malia strip. They’re renaming it [Digital] Asylum. That says it all really”. A promoter was particularly hostile when the topic arose in conversation. “I don’t want to talk about it – it’s ridiculous.”

There is something about the takeover and Shooshh‘s brand of clubbing which leaves a bitter taste. After what felt like hours of conversation, one quote stood out for me. “I’ve only been to Digital a few times but lets be honest, Brighton doesn’t need another Shooshh”. So what does this mean for Brighton’s seafront night-life, and what are the negative connotations surrounding Shooshh?

We can expect to see more of this type of night following the takeover. (Credit: Shooshh)

We can expect to see more of this type of thing following the takeover. (Credit: Shooshh)

Brighton’s Digital, who’s sister club in Newcastle was named the 12th best nightclub in the world, was primarily a student spot and it didn’t shy away from that. I don’t know if Asylum will maintain this, or will instead try and go for a more ‘classy’ image, transforming the seafront into a breeding ground for Brighton’s wannabe elite ‘socialites’, whilst bumping up the drinks prices and refurbishing with a cheap white décor. A VIP area? Bubbly? Sean Paul? Yeah you’re probably fucking right. I’m clearly not the only one expecting this to happen and although I was by no means a Digital regular, the cheesiness and casual atmosphere were the reasons I enjoyed it. Digital and Bermuda Triangle were part of a dying breed of nightclub which don’t have to rely on gimmicks to get their name out. Reality TV Cast members and ladies who hammer nails into their face may soon become a more common sight on Brighton’s seafront, and I really question everything about these ideas.

All I can hope for is that not too much changes following this takeover but sadly I can’t see this being the case. Brighton’s seafront clubbing scene is a sinking ship.

• Read both clubs’ statements on the takeover below (Click for larger images).

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