Free water rule to raise safety at rave clubs

DANCE clubs which charge sweltering ravers pounds 2 for a drink of water will be closed down under measures to be introduced by Manchester city council to prevent further deaths caused by drug use during dancing marathons.

At least five young people have died in Greater Manchester since 1989 from dance floor dehydration and heatstroke accentuated by drugs such as Ecstasy.

The council, alarmed by conditions in crowded clubs and exploitation of dancers, will next month begin enforcement of a 'safer dancing code of conduct' to which the city's 40 rave and dance clubs must conform, or risk losing their licences. Environmental health inspectors will become rave police, checking that clubs are adequately ventilated and make available to ravers information about the dangers of drug use.

Clubs will be expected to provide seating in quiet and comparatively cool 'chill out' rooms, but the priority of the code, the first to be introduced by a British local authority, will be to ensure dancers have plentiful water to drink, free of charge.

The council, advised by Manchester University and the drugs advisory service, Lifeline, has collated evidence of heating turned up and tap water supplies turned off in some cloakrooms to encourage dancers to buy soft drinks and mineral water from club bars at up to pounds 2 a bottle.

Ecstasy users often do not drink alcohol, so many clubs have set profit margins on soft drinks to compensate for the loss of revenue from alcoholic drinks.

Ecstasy masks the effects of dehydration and heatstroke; high bar prices suppress demand among ravers, many of whom are teenagers who spend much of their money on club admission and Ecstasy. 'The code of conduct was drawn up after we received confidential information about clubs where the cold water supply had been turned off,' a council spokesman said.

'Environmental health inspectors will be visiting clubs without prior warning. There are about 30 to 40 clubs in the city where rave music is played and Ecstasy is available. Thousands of people come into the city to go to the clubs - there are big queues for admission. Clubs will have to aim to provide a chill out room, and they will have to conform to minimum standards of air quality, ventilation and temperature.'

The council has opened a 24- hour telephone service to receive complaints about clubs failing to observe the code. 'There are small, dark clubs where a lot of people are dancing all the time, all night, and taking Ecstasy which makes them hotter,' Alan Haughton, of Lifeline, said.

'It's not unusual to see steam coming off the crowd and billowing out on to the street through air vents. People sweat so much the paint is continually peeling off the club walls. The music is hypnotic, the dancing communal.

'It is almost a sauna and, although most of them are quite sensible, it is not helped by some people wearing leather and rubber clothing. It got so bad at one club that they were thinking of providing a walk-through shower so that people could cool off.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there