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Bar WarsContesting the Night in Contemporary British Cities$
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Phil Hadfield

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199297856

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199297856.001.0001

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Paradise Lost: The Rise of the Night-time High Street

Paradise Lost: The Rise of the Night-time High Street

(p.39) 3 Paradise Lost: The Rise of the Night-time High Street
Bar Wars

Phil Hadfield

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks in detail at the ways in which the night-time economy in Britain has developed since the late-1980s, from a context of repression and marginality to its current position of centrality to the political economy of British cities. In particular, it traces key shifts in the governance of urban spaces after dark and in nightlife cultures. The chapter documents the emergence of a new ‘night-time high street’ and its increasing dominance by the branded pub chains who exploited legal loopholes in the pre-2003 licensing system to acquire prime locations. This entrepreneurial agenda is contrasted with the repression of unlicensed ‘rave’ events and the repackaging of ‘dance music culture’ by the drinks and leisure industries, linked to the creation of new alcoholic drinks products and lifestyle branding, targeted at the young adult consumer.

Keywords:   night-time high street, commodification, repression, de-regulation, licensing, rave, lifestyle brands, pub chains

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