Annie Mac on clubbing's mobile phone problem

Annie Mac on clubbing's mobile phone problem

Broadcaster and DJ Annie Mac has told Music Week why she believes the modern obsession with mobile phones is damaging the clubbing scene.  

In 2017 Mac, who has developed the Annie Mac Presents (AMP) empire, presented a BBC Three investigation into the UK's nightclub scene, entitled Who Killed The Night?, in response to figures showing half of the UK’s nightclubs have closed down over the past decade.

"[The clubbing scene] is not in a very good way and there's such a myriad of reasons for that," she said. "The way people look at going out has changed, the way people look at connecting with people has changed, the way licensing is happening has changed… It's very sad."

The leading tastemaker embarked on her High 5 tour last November, for which she played five intimate gigs across the UK, priced at £5, for the first time in two years - and noticed a disconcerting trend among clubbers. 

"I noticed a distinct difference," she said, speaking in the new issue of Music Week. "That difference was phones - it was next level. Everything had to be recorded on people's phones, or they were asking me to take selfies... It was constant phones in my face.

"There was this constant kind of need for documentation of the night and it just killed my fucking vibe. I feel like that's a really big problem in terms of clubbing now, because the ultimate idea and goal of clubbing is to connect. It's the same experience you get when you go to a football game - you're all experiencing the same amazing emotional charge together. But if you can't do that because you've got a fucking screen in front of you that you have to record everything on, it really takes away that initial base level of connection.”

Mac pointed to superclubs, like Output in New York and Berghein in Berlin, as coming up with potential solutions. 

"You're either not allowed to bring your phone in, which I think is a bit extreme, or they put a sticker over your screen so that you can't take photos," she said. "I think what will happen moving forwards is that it will become the thing to not have a phone in a club. I hope it will become the norm - I think that would be really good for clubbing in general.”

Mac is interviewed in-depth about AMP and a variety of other industry topics in the latest issue of Music Week, available now in all good newsagents. To subscribe and never miss a vital music biz story, click here

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