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Photo credit: YOUTHOPIA/CALEB LAU

Clubbing returns to Clarke Quay, but additional charges dampen youths’ excitement

Clubs like Zouk and Yang Club saw some decent crowds upon reopening on Apr 20.

Harshiyne Maran
Harshiyne Maran

Hidden talent: Knowing the lyrics to every High School Musical soundtrack by heart.


Published: 21 April 2022, 10:00 AM

For the past two years, Clarke Quay has been like a ghost town at night. 

But all that changed on Wednesday night (Apr 20), the second day of the reopening of nightlife businesses, as clubs like Zouk and Yang Club finally reopened their doors. 

As Youthopia took a stride into Clarke Quay, the atmosphere mirrored the aura of throngs of pumped up youths, excited to conquer the night scene. The gradient hues of green, yellow and purple lights, coupled with the booming beats of club music that carried on into the wee hours of Thursday morning, brought Clarke Quay back to life.

@youthopiasg Are you ready to doomzi doomzi?💃🏻🪩🕺🏻 #SGNews #fyp #tiktoksg #foryousg #clubbing #nightlife ♬ Yacht Club - MusicBox

For a majority of youths we spoke to, this marks the first coveted taste of adulthood after two years of being cocooned up at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At the entrance of Zouk, clubbers were milling about in anticipation along with the thump of beats from inside the club that could be felt even in the alleyway outside.

 

Zouk no longer accepts walk-ins, and instead sells tickets online on a first-come-first-serve basis. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/CALEB LAU

 

Some were making their way to the antigen-rapid test (ART) queue to get tested before entering the main queue for the club. 

Hannah, 20, had waited in line with her friends to get their ART before heading inside Zouk for quite some time. The lengthy wait did little to dampen her excitement at finally getting to experience the nightlife in Singapore.

The student said: “After two years, I am finally able to club! I am really excited to experience this with my friends after all the excitement and waiting. 

“It feels like we have been robbed of the chance for so long, so I am definitely going to visit different places within Clarke Quay and try a little bit of everything. I will be on my best behaviour tonight!”

She also shared her hesitations about going clubbing for a second time, because of the charges. The ART set her back about $15, which was on top of the entry charge of $35 for ladies. 

“If they were to lower the current pricing of $15 and make it more affordable for students like us, I would definitely consider visiting again,” she said.

 

The acoustics from a nearby live performance reverberated through the air, with occasional shouts and giggles from patrons getting themselves hyped up for the club. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/CALEB LAU

 

Deeper inside Clarke Quay at Yang Club, other youths also shared other sentiments they had about the clubbing experience. 

One patron in line was 22-year-old Andrew, who had clubbed before in the past and was accompanying a friend who was going clubbing for the first time.

He said: “It’s been an eventful night of fresh revelations, much different from the previous times I’ve been clubbing. 

“I was pretty shocked that this club opens two hours later than it did last time, at 11pm.  And there’s no more guest list now, only pre-booked reservations to get inside the club. Also, the scenes I see outside of such places now are pretty tame, compared to my other times clubbing where people would be splayed on the floor, passed out.

“There are also fewer choices for clubs than before. Some other night spots like Club Secret and Club Illusion are still temporarily closed.” 

 

Even as restrictions ease, many clubs and nightlife businesses are still yet to reopen. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/CALEB LAU

 

Another patron in line was 23-year old Marc. The office worker shared his excitement of meeting up with his friends after a long wait. 

He said: “As we progress into our twenties, our priorities shift from going clubbing every night as teenagers to excelling at our chosen career paths.

“I’m just very happy to reunite with my clubbing friends whom I have not gotten to see for the past two years. The feeling is like having butterflies in my stomach.”

 

Singapore’s nightlife hotspot finally saw some decent crowds after two years. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/CALEB LAU

 

As the night turned to the wee hours of the morning, there seemed to be no sign of clubbers retreating.

The strains of music such as 2020 Billboard hit Boy With Luv could still be heard even at the taxi stand at the edge of Clarke Quay, and clubbers continued to show off their dance moves as they shimmied to the music, hopping from one club to another. 

It’s safe to say that even though the pandemic might have snuffed out the vibrancy of the nightlife scene for a while, it is ready to come back like never before, powered with a sense of euphoria from Gen Zs who have been waiting to seize this moment.


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