- Words: Patrick Hinton, Megan Townsend, Gemma Ross, Aneesa Ahmed, Becky Buckle | Art Direction: Vassilis Skandalis
Punctuated by ‘Freedom Day’ earlier in July, England went from lockdown blues to head-on hedonism in a hasty midnight second, shortly followed by Scotland, Ireland and Wales as they took turns returning to the dancefloor
UK nightclubs haven’t gone through anything quite like 2021 before. Granted, it was an indulgent second half of the year, but as the UK settles back into a more regular clubbing routine, it’s prime time to look forward to more special moments. And while we praise the nightclubs that made this year one to remember as we partied through a global pandemic, let’s also remember those we lost along the way.
If you have been before — we promise you’ll fall in love all over again
From new clubs opening in the Midlands to the re-introduction of 24+ hour parties at fabric, this year has been promising for British nightlife. In the list below, we’re celebrating the clubs that you absolutely can’t miss out on in 2022.
Liverpool is growing stronger as hub for dance music, and when it launched the first pilot clubbing event in the UK after a tumultuous 13 months without a single solitary dancefloor boogie, it grabbed the attention of onlookers from every corner of Europe. 24 Kitchen Street is a thriving haven for electronic lovers in the city. With an always-eager crowd and an enormous disco ball to match, the low-ceiling sanctum isn’t just an after-hours nightclub. During the day, Kitchen Street opens up as an exhibition space to present documentaries, artwork, and more, and, earlier in the year, doubled up as an exhibition space to showcase the UK’s AIDs quilt.
Previously known as Mick’s Garage to Hackney residents and London frequenters, the venue had a name change to Colour Factory earlier this year with a shiny new reboot to its interior ahead of Freedom Day. The gargantuan space, which features high ceilings and an overhanging mezzanine deck, manages to whip up a heady atmosphere, with people dancing across different levels and cutting about the dancefloor. Nights from Brainchild’s warm-up event, Inferno’s queer parties, and London-favourite Pxssy Palace continue to pack out the Hackney Wick nightclub. It also introduced the ‘Colour Garden’ in April where the party continues outdoors. This venue is certainly not to be missed in 2022.
Old faithful. Corsica Studios has still got it. The Elephant and Castle venue got a bit of a makeover while we were all in lockdown. In Room One the decks have been moved to the centre — in a move that has changed the flow of the venue for the better and allowed for some magnificent light shows. Its rough-round-the-edges charm and booming soundsystem are second only to its impeccable programming — hosting events like Peach Party, Origins, Rhythm Section and Trance Party. If you’ve never been before — head down there for a good time.
22 years strong, fabric is one of London’s most integral nightclubs. Sizing up its Berlin competitors this year, club co-founder Cameron Leslie made the decision to ban photography and videoing inside the club to bring it back to its 90s roots, and in another attempt to do the same, brought back regular 24+ hour parties to London’s Farringdon. The idea was to give it that in-the-moment feeling while returning to a handful of marathon events, and it certainly did the trick. On its re-opening night back in July after lockdown, fabric’s electric atmosphere confirmed why this nightclub is an inescapable party — now hosting queer nights Sylvester, FABRICLIVE events, and a sprinkling of Sunday hedonism with Frame’s Planet 9 parties, and more.