The aim of this research was
to investigate the creation of a club space
“The more familiar the situation to you, the more likely you are able to make premature judgements and the more effort you will have to make to avoid them” (Kane 1984:54).
However, I have felt that my
previous experience of the group has been
advantageous to my research. I have
gained easy access to those that I wished to talk to and found it easy
covert in my research approach as my presence was not unusual. I have been able to investigate issues that I
had observed in my life as a
I did not encounter any major difficulties in conducting my research. The biggest problem was trying to talk to people in such a loud venue. The consumption of a couple of drinks certainly helped me to relax and approach people, however, the desire to join in and get drunk was rather strong and was probably one of the most difficult limitations to overcome! As I mentioned in the introduction to this study, finding relevant literature to back up my findings was somewhat difficult. There are not as many references within the study as I would have hoped for, however, I feel the references that I have included illustrate my work well and I have discussed some points which I hope others may research further in the future.
The research undertaken has
highlighted the importance of the feeling of
a sense of place and belonging to the youth involved in the underground
I have demonstrated how music gives meaning to spaces and those within the space and also how those within the space give meaning to the music via their cultural background, thus creating specific atmospheres, as Bennett puts it, “on the one hand music informs ways of being in particular social spaces; on the other hand, music functions as a resource whereby individuals are able to actively construct those spaces in which they live” (2000:195). The music was the most important factor for attracting people to the Bus Stop, the second most important being because friends frequented the venue, this links with the need to belong, to be part of the crowd,
“There is nothing man [sic] fears more than the touch of the unknown…it is only in a crowd that a man can become free of this fear of being touched…as soon as a man has surrendered himself to the crowd, he ceases to fear its touch”
(Canetti, 1973 in Malbon, 1999:71).
This study has shown the
importance to the youth of
It would be interesting to follow the development of The Bus Stop to discover if it looses its local identity and becomes more of a student oriented venue in the future. My belief is that it will not as the owners, and those involved in running the club, realise the importance of being able to provide a space of locals to call their own,
“when the people inside a club feel like they belong to ‘The Club’, a dance event will gain a special quality, which gives a sensation of ‘stepping’ out of one’s ‘ordinary’ way of experiencing the self. A fragile moment of a sense of belonging to a community is thereby set up, which needs protection” (Rietveld, 1998:175).
Rietveld goes on to note how this community can be protected and defined,
“selective advertising and door policy as well as certain choice of space (neighbourhood, accessibility and visual design) and music (mellow or fast and aggressive) can add to the prevention of this temporary community falling apart” (175).
This sort of local community protection does appear to be happening in the Bus Stop at present. However, with new influxes of students each year, this may change. When people move into an area they will always try and fit into certain groups and spaces and it may be that with the new arrival of students in September, they choose the Bus Stop as a space to make their own.
I asked Mitch to give me Tom’s phone number as I know he’s involved in the managing of the club. I then called him to ask if I could do some research there for my dissertation. When I called him, Mitch had already given him a ring and asked him for me. Tom passed me onto Andy, who owns the Bus Stop. Andy said it was fine and we arranged to meet on Friday afternoon to discuss what I wanted to do and meet the staff.
Friday 31st January
went to meet Andy and let him know what I wanted to do.
I didn’t really go into a great deal of
detail because I don’t think he would have really understood. I just told him I wanted to research the club
seeing as it was a brand new venue in
Saturday 1st February
Opening Saturday night. Combination of Flava/Jungle Fresh/Graffiti Beatz.
Free to get in and a free glass of cheap fizzy wine for everyone.
Good mixture of people aged from 18 to about 40. All of the normal crew there. Good atmosphere, everyone was happy. Spoke to a few local people that I knew and asked their impressions so far. Good feedback. The décor is very popular and people were saying that they felt comfortable there. The club is dark with good club lighting. Two bouncers on the door, firm but friendly.
Some cheap drinks, selected bottles of beer and alcopops £1.50. Asked people why they had come, most indicated they wanted to check out the new club.
Friday 7th February
Was a salsa class going on at a cost of £6 per person. The club was very empty, we went down quite early, about . Was told by one of the bar staff that they open up later for a salsa music night. We stayed for a couple of hours and a few people wandered in and out again. Did an informal interview with Tom to find out what the Bus Stop was all about. I decided that next Friday we’d come down a bit later to see if it livened up at all later on in the night.
Saturday 8th February
tonight which is hip-hop. We got down
there just before and already the place was busy. Flava already has a name for itself in
Friday 14th February
went down at about and the club was completely
empty apart from the staff. They told me
that no one had been in all evening. We
sat and had a drink and discussed why they felt tonight was such a
disaster. We came to the agreement that
salsa music was not that popular in
Saturday 15th February
Tonight was Graffiti Beatz. This is a new night run by a popular local DJ. We arrived early at about and the club was really empty. There were a small number of the core locals there supporting their friend but not many others. There was a big night on at the Student Union tonight, but it was expensive so everyone was hoping that it might get busier later on when the pubs kicked out. There were a few girls dancing but not a great deal going on. I spoke to the few people that were there and asked them why they had come tonight. Most were either friends of the DJ and had come to support him or were friends of the staff. We stayed until and the club did not get any busier. The staff told me that they were going to close shortly. I asked all of the people there to fill out my quick survey but only got about 25 completed.
Saturday 22nd February
Fresh on tonight. This is another long
Saturday 1st March
again tonight. Again this was a busy
night, I checked with the bouncers at about and was told that there was
208 people inside the club. Pretty much
the same things going on as other nights.
The core locals were all there again.
I spoke to some asking them if they feel they will
frequent the club
often and was told that they are happy that the club is doing well and
supporting the local music scene.
Tonight, they had local hip-hop outfits performing, The
Gertbiggun. There were quite a few
people from outside of
Saturday 8th March
I have decided to make tonight the last night of my study as I have to write it up and it’s going to take ages! I’ll probably still keep coming socially anyway so if I discover something really interesting after tonight I can always come back.
It was Jungle Fresh again tonight and they had a big guest DJ in, it was the busiest I’d seen the club since it had opened. It was really hot and sweaty, people (both locals and students) told me that is the way a drum ‘n’ bass club should be like. I asked them why they had that idea and was told that it’s like other drum ‘n’ bass clubs they had been to and the dirty, underground feel fitted well with the style of music and the Bus Stop supported that kind of image well. I spoke to people and asked them why they liked certain music and what images/attitudes different styles of music displayed. The locals again highlighted how good it was to have a locals’ venue and how they felt at home there. This really has been the main thing that I’ve discovered, that and how they tend to guard their territory and define their territory. Asked the remaining 25 questionnaires and had a dance!