Darlington has recently become known as a small, crumbling, market town. Some say it died years ago, but when night falls – out come the party people. Out comes the party atmosphere with a town full of vibrant bars and clubs. Enough to take anyone’s fancy. Rumour has it that Darlington`s Skinnergate strip has more pubs and nightlife in one street than any other town in the UK.
Of late there have been three different nightclubs in the town, each with its share of success and controversy.
“Inside Out” is the only nightclub currently open in Darlington, with three rooms playing mainly dance and RnB music, and is quite popular with young adults. We enjoy this club, but the rooms are cramped, with one often dangerously overcrowded.
There was an incident in the past where a guy died following an altercation with bouncers however we found this club to be safe, and the bouncers have always appeared relaxed and friendly towards customers.
“Mish Mash” club is currently closed and has had more owners than I can remember. It was previously known as Cactus Jacks, then controversial gentleman`s club, The Lounge and Purple Zebra – where saucy dancers were all the rage.
Despite the controversy this club was always full of life; whether it was the dancers, the rodeo bull, or the sports bar with pool table – either way the club had an exciting vibe and everyone had fun. A strict code of conduct was in force. Maybe this is what made the venue a partial success; however the club always ended in closure, then by a new owner.
Escapade was the lower class club which was always subject to criticism and controversy, and will always have a dark cloud over its history. The management of this club were far too lenient, which lead to the death of Andrew Gibson following a club assault, by an underage boy who had been allowed entry into the club. This caused its closure around a year ago.
The club was always popular and had 3 rooms playing a range of music. Its lenient policy often left the club wide open to underage drinking, and the cheap drinks offers often lead to blue WKD sick splattered on the floors. The numerous fights seemed to be a weekly occurrence here.
Despite the violence and management leniency, the place had character. There were regular theme nights and tribute acts, all helping create a popular meeting place.
The club is soon to reopen under new management.
Wonder if any lessons have been learnt?