‘Generation Z is not boring, we are just priced out of fun’

Michael Kill, from the Night Time Industries Association, believes the bigger picture is being missed if the decline in young people going out is attributed to a change in people’s attitudes.

“Some of it could definitely be a market shift,” Kill acknowledges. “But I think the overarching view is the inflationary pressures on people. The reality is that because of the cost of daily living, going out, whether socially or culturally, becomes very difficult because people don’t have the money to spend on it.”

According to a 2023 Deloitte survey, the cost of living is the top concern among Gen Zers worldwide. Nearly half (46 percent) admit to living payday to payday and worry about covering their expenses, with 43 percent taking on a part-time or full-time job in addition to their primary job to do so – more than millennials.

For Jack Henry, 26, nightlife is a way of life. It runs in the family: his father owned venues and orchestrated underground raves in the 80s and 90s. After law school, Jack changed careers in 2017 to follow in his father’s footsteps. He is a senior operations manager at E1, a nightclub in East London.

Now he works in clubs “seven days a week, 365 days a year” and when he’s not working he supports other venues. Going out is a big part of his life, but he has noticed a shift among his peers towards seeing a night out as a ‘special occasion’ rather than a routine weekly indulgence.

“That’s something that’s sorely lacking now, compared to even five years ago,” he tells me. “People just went out for the pleasure of going out. Now it has really changed.”