Booze-free club night offers no trouble fun

Liam Brown and Terry Hughes, the pair are part of a team organising Blackpool's first dry club night - an event offering everything you'd expect from a night out, minus the alcohol
Liam Brown and Terry Hughes, the pair are part of a team organising Blackpool's first dry club night - an event offering everything you'd expect from a night out, minus the alcohol
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Blackpool is set to welcome a new club night into its bustling scene, offering something very different – no alcohol.

Blackpool is set to welcome a new club night into its bustling scene, offering something very different – no alcohol.

Sahara – so called because ‘it’s hot and it’s dry’ – will be one of the country’s first dry club nights.

Organisers promise everything revellers want from a night out; enlisting the services of the world renowned DJ Woody and Blackpool’s own Ed Mahon, joined by vocalist Louise Spiteri, to play the best dance tunes.

It’s to be held in Underbar, an historic venue in the heart of the resort, and is already attracting the kind of characteristically diverse crowd you’d expect in Blackpool.

The only difference is that no alcohol is served.

“We’re going on the premise that people don’t actually need a drink to have a good time,” said organiser Katie Upton.

It follows on from the successes of venues like Brink in Liverpool and Sobar in Nottingham, dry bars offering employment and training for people in recovery.

Katie, who is a Gazette journalist, joined Steve Hodgkins, a serving police officer and CEO of a unique social enterprise based on recovery, to set up the event, to be held on Friday, May 29.

Mr Hodgkins runs Jobs Friends and Houses CIC, a building company at heart that runs deeper to offer training and employment to people in recovery, as well 
as offering them some good housing and a positive group of friends.

He said: “All our lads are tee-total, but after a week’s graft and with hard earned cash in their pocket they want to let their hair down and enjoy the weekends just like anyone else.

“But to do so in an environment where alcohol, and maybe drugs too, are readily available is a risk to their recovery and everything they’ve achieved.

“So they’re helping to create a venue where they can have fun, unspoiled by alcohol.”

Liam Brown, 27, and Terry Hughes, 42, proved inspirational for the pair.

The duo, both tee-total, still like to party, but struggled to do so in a town that so many associate with alcohol.

The event is aimed at more than just Blackpool’s vibrant recovery community, however.

Katie said: “More and more people are choosing not to drink or wipe out a day with a hangover, as they pursue fitness regimes, family routines or even religious beliefs.

“That means there’s an untapped market there of people who still enjoy dancing and socialising, just not drinking.

“And everyone knows the discomfort of a run in with a too-drunk person on a night out. To be able to eliminate those less savoury factors without losing the atmosphere of a night out is great.”

Joining DJ Woody, a world champion scratch DJ, DJ Ed Mahon and Louise Spiteri 
are dance troupe Freefly 
Crew.

Sahara is being held in Underbar, on Bank Hey Street, Blackpool, on Friday, May 29, from 8pm.

For tickets, at £6 early bird or £8 online, visit: www.facebook.com/JFHEvents or www.skiddle.com and search ‘Sahara Blackpool’

Tickets available on the door.