Bodmin’s nightclub bucks the nightlife trend

A nightclub in Cornwall is bucking the nightlife trend of closures and losses by rebranding itself and updating the décor. Eclipse Nightclub in Bodmin reopened its doors last Saturday trading under a new name, ‘Neon’.

Neon nightclub was almost sold off as a residential development at the end of last year before one of the doormen, Phil Turner, brought the club. Under his ownership the club has slowly started to turn back time and pull locals back in, the number of partygoers returning to Bodmins only dancefloor prompted the club to start opening on Fridays again. Live bands such as DM Street, a local Ska band, have also returned to Neon harking back to the 80s when bands were a regular feature to ‘The Drum Major’ as it was known at the time.

In a statement released on the nightclubs Facebook on the 8th of April the club confirmed it would be rebranding and changing their name. The statement read: “as of next week (13th April) the club will now be known as Neon.” The statement then confirmed that a series of changes would be taking place starting on Saturday 13th April including a new carpet in the not-so-distant future. The nightclubs announcement ended with a thank you to staff and customers reading: “Once again, both myself and staff would like to say thankyou for all your current support, we love seeing you all every week and with a bit of luck we will have a club to be proud of and a successful future.”

The announcement was met by both excitement and sadness, many locals are happy to see the club undergo changes bringing it in line with modern nightclubs. However, some locals have expressed sadness over the name change as the nightclub has been trading under the Eclipse name for over 25 years and has been the staple of a nightout in Bodmin. Many took to Facebook to reminisce about the clubs past. Colette Wilson was quick to comment about the longevity of the nightclubs carpet saying she was: “Not one to split hairs but that carpet has been around almost 25 years. Had 8 years of cigarettes being stubbed out on it to before the smoking ban came in July 2007. Great wear and tear considering it was brought from Trago in 1999!”. Others replied underneath the comments reminiscing about several chocoholic and foam party nights where the carpet had survived.

True to the new owners promise there were changes to see from opening night. The club was adorned with UV paint paint murals which brightened up the black walls of the club. The dancefloor had new lighting and the smoke machine was back in use. On the far wall from the entrance of the club lies a bright neon sign with the bodmin nightclub’s new logo on it. Behind the dancefloor there is a tribute to the clubs past with an eclipsed sun rising over the Bodmin beacon monument leaving a small nod to the previous incarnation of the nightclub. The bars are now serving wine by the glass with house wines available at a discounted price.

The reception to the changes on opening night was clear from those who were there. Taylor Morgan, a regular to the nightclub, said: “It’s nice to see money going back into the club, even though only a few things have changed you can tell the club is on the right path and I look forward to seeing Neon evolve in the future.”

Research from the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) shows nearly a third (31%) of all nightclubs in the UK have permanently closed their doors since March 2020. On average two nightclubs drop off the map every week in the UK. A spokesperson from the NTIA exclaimed: “The closures of nightclubs transcends mere economic repercussions; it represents a cultural crisis endangering the vibrancy and diversity of our nightlife” furthermore they advocated that nightclub served as “vital hubs of social interaction, artistic expression, and community cohesion making their preservation imperative.” The NTIA has called on the government to “take immediate action to provide financial relief to struggling nightclubs.”

Only Time will tell if Neon continues to buck the trend, with an ever present cost of living crisis effecting peoples disposable income.

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