Sit-In Rave and Protest Takes Over Iconic Nightclub in Fight to Save Nightlife Scene

It is not yet known what will become of the space.

Sit-In Rave and Protest Takes Over Iconic Nightclub as Part of Save Our Nightlife Campaign

A group of protesters have taken over a popular nightclub and transformed it into a sit-in “rave” as part of their campaign to “Save Our Nightlife.”

Starbass UK, an organization known for hosting music events in empty venues, has entered ATIK Dartford, which recently closed down, as a way to raise awareness about the struggles faced by the music and entertainment industry.

The group has placed barriers in front of the club’s entrance and adorned the space with flags, a blow-up nutcracker, and a smiley face sign. In videos shared on their social media, Starbass UK claims to have “acquired” the venue through “squatting loopholes” in order to stage a “rave uprising.”

Speaking to local media, a spokesperson for the group, who wished to remain anonymous, explained that their actions are meant to shed light on the challenges faced by young creatives when venues close down due to financial pressures.

“We are seeing a trend of super clubs taking over the British nightlife scene, which limits opportunities for young creatives,” the spokesperson said. “Our goal is to provide growth and opportunities for these individuals, but with the closure of clubs and the rising costs of operating, we risk losing our musical heritage.”

The group says they want to “reclaim” the venue for events and workshops in order to support the community. They believe that the closure of small venues and the consolidation of the nightlife scene into large clubs could lead to an increase in underground, unregulated events.

The spokesperson also clarified that they do not break into venues, but instead find creative ways to enter, such as through open windows or with the help of disgruntled employees. It is unclear how they gained access to the space in Dartford.

Once they have secured the venue, the group says they coordinate with the police to ensure that no illegal activity takes place. They also claimed that it is up to the building’s owner to take legal action and evict them.

While occupying the space, Starbass UK hosts music events, raves, and workshops to bring the community together.

“This is our way of giving back to the community,” the spokesperson added. “It’s not their fault that they are losing their venues.”

Local police were contacted for comment on the situation.

ATIK Dartford closed its doors last week after its parent company, Rekom UK, went into administration due to financial struggles. In a statement, the company’s chairman, Peter Marks, cited the cost-of-living crisis, increased business rates, and rising operating costs as factors in the decision to close the club.

The two-story venue has gone through several name changes over the years and has been a popular spot for nightlife in the area.

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