Nothing good ever happens after 2 am?
Corona measures have a major impact on society as a whole. The hospitality and culture sectors in particular are hit disproportionately hard by closures. Nijmegen's nightlife has been at a standstill for over a year and a half. This nightlife is seen by politicians as non-essential entertainment. Recreation that we can also do without. This has led to large civil protests like the Unmute Us protest. People are throwing illegal parties and seeking alternatives at home. Apparently, the night does matter to a large group of people. What happens after the sun goes down? Nothing good ever happens after 2 am. But doesn’t it? People come together, to meet, to dance, to drink, to forget the day. What’s so unique about the night that enables us to leave our limited identities from our daily selves at home?
This research, commissioned by Night Mayor Cees de Beer, will focus on all kinds of aspects that make nightlife valuable. The Night Mayor is an independent organization committed to a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive nightlife.
In this research we will look for the value of the night. Is it a meeting place for old and new friends, for lovers? A breeding ground for art and culture? Does it bring people from all walks of life together? Does it help against loneliness and isolation? Is it easier to focus on everyday concerns after an evening of dancing? In short, what is the social and psychological value of the night?
But also: What does a city gain by having a lively nightlife? Does it make Nijmegen more attractive for entrepreneurs and job seekers? What is the role of a club in the development of a city? What social functions does nightlife serve in particular? Which ideologies find their place in the (Nijmegen) night? In short, what is the economic and societal value of the night?
In short, as a member of this think tank, you will conduct research by interviewing important players of Nijmegen nightlife, you will do qualitative and quantitative research into the psychological, social, economic, cultural and societal benefits of the night, and you will translate this into a format that is convincing for politicians.
The kick-off meeting will take place on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 January 2022 in the Dominican Monastery in Huissen. During the weekend, we will get acquainted with the Night Mayor, and you will get to know each other. This is a mandatory part of the think tank.
After the kick-off, weekly meetings will take place on Mondays from 18.30-20.30. The supervisors are present every other week.
A study trip lasting up to three or four days is also part of this think tank. The dates will be determined in consultation with the group.
Dr. Thijs Verwijmeren, assistant professor Social and Cultural Psychology
Jorn ten Brink, programme coordinator RHA