Hardcore music linked to nightclub violence

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By Andrea McCallum

HARDCORE dance music has been blamed for violence in Scotland’s nightclubs.

A study of city centre nightclubs found that more fights took place where there were pumping dance tunes.

Researchers spent four months secretly monitoring punch-ups at eight late-night venues.

And two venues playing hardcore dance tracks had more violent incidents than all the other clubs combined.

The report highlights growing concern over drink-fuelled violence in and around nightclubs.

Dr Alasdair Forsyth, from Glasgow’s Caledonian University, compiled the report.

He said: “Music is more than just entertainment – it’s a form of crowd control and it’s surprising that the power of music to establish order in nightclubs has been largely overlooked.

“Although it can foster an enjoyable night out it can also have a dark side – one which, if not properly managed, can result in problems.

“Advice on music policy should become an essential component of nightlife violence reduction strategies.”

Figures released by police in Edinburgh show one venue was visited by officers almost 250 times within 12 months.

And in some cases clubs have been shut down after repeated visits from police investigating alleged assaults.

Paul Smith, executive director of Noctis which represents late-night venues, dismissed the link between violence and particular types of music.

He said: “There are plenty of clubs playing hardcore dance music where people feel safe and violence isn’t a problem.

“There has to be a balancing act and if we get rid of all the harder edge dance clubs it will only drive the scene underground.

“If a venue encounters problems it will have more to do with the doors not being managed properly than the music being played.”

Chief Superintendent Bob Hamilton of Strathclyde Police, said: “There’s a clear link between alcohol and violence and tackling alcohol-related disorder remains a priority.

“We continue to work with our partner agencies to address this problem.”