Switch, a popular nightclub in Preston, Lancashire, saw such high demand that people paid £200 for a “VIP” experience. Images form the evening also showed people standing next to each other with no social distancing measures in place.
Preston City Council had previously claimed the nightclub would not be able to reopen lawfully under the Government’s current guidelines.
But on Saturday, the council approved Switch’s reopening in a last minute statement released at 7pm.
Switch addressed the situation in a Facebook post that reads: “You may be aware that Switch was due to open tonight based on guidelines and legislation as a live music venue.
“Due to the announcement from Boris yesterday, we have had to repurpose our operation for tonight into a bar environment.
“We understand that some people might want to hold on for more of a ‘live music experience’.
“If that’s the case, you don’t need to turn up tonight.”
Clubgoers who did not wish to attend Saturday’s event were offered refunds or alternative dates to transfer their entry to.
The tickets were issued with staggered entry times in order to avoid large gatherings of people at the entrance.
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“It is, and has always been our intension to re open and repurpose Switch to deliver a safe and enjoyable experience. We can’t wait to welcome you all back, even if it’s as a bar tonight.”
But many residents expressed their anger at the move, which came after a new string of localised lockdown measures was announced for some cities following a surge in coronavirus infections.
One local resident said: “Utterly ridiculous particularly when we are at risk of lockdown again. Can’t believe the stupidity of this.”
One woman said: “Shocking decision to let this nightclub re-open.
“People cannot attend a funeral of their loved one if they’re not one of their 10 closest family, people can’t get married with 30 guests or exchange rings in some cases, but you can go and get pissed in a nightclub claiming to be a bar.”