Liverpool has become the envy of the UK’s nightlife scene after around 3,000 clubbers were given the green light to return to the dance floor.
Revellers, aged 18 to 20, all had to produce negative coronavirus tests but didn’t have to wear face coverings or maintain social distance as they partied at the First Dance event on Friday night.
It’s hoped the mass gathering – the first of two taking place on consecutive nights – will pave the way for clubs across the country to reopen their doors without enforcing tight Covid restrictions.
The city’s director of public health Matt Ashton hailed the experiment as a “glimpse of the future” post-lockdown, adding that it was “wonderful” to see the looks on people’s faces as they flocked to the Circus nightclub.
But while scenes of the festivities have been met with joy and jealousy from scores of social media users, others have lambasted the move as utter madness.
Still, the doubters did nothing to put off club-goers, who were seen hugging and kissing each other as they piled into the Bramley-Moore Dock warehouse for the night.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast on Saturday, DJ Marea Stamper, aka The Blessed Madonna, said that there had been an “incredible energy” at the event, and it had also been “incredibly emotional”.
She added: “I think we felt excited but also proud to be a part of creating the protocols that would lead to the reopening of all kinds of things, from football matches to any kind of event, it doesn’t have to be a big rave.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden described the event as a “huge moment on the journey back to normality” but stressed that further loosening of restrictions will be led by the data.
He said: “Although this may seem like life getting back to normal these are science-led events, gathering valuable research as we leave no stone unturned to help us get back to the things we love this summer.
“We’re testing a range of settings, event set-ups, and systems to find the safest way to welcome back crowds. We are making good progress but we have been clear that decisions on reopening will be led by the data.”
Wonderful to see the joy on young people’s faces at the first club night in more than a year as part of our Events… https://t.co/delJ9cfVA4