Although the majority of visitors do not realize, the night scene is an important part of the world economy, moving billions, generating jobs and having an enormous cultural importance. It is a creative industry that provides a unique experience, helping to define behavioral trends and being the scene of new ideas in music, art, fashion, cuisine as well as an important factor in world tourism.
A study by the British organization Night Time Industries Association, before the pandemic, revealed that the night scene of that country moves about 66 billion pounds a year, which represents about 6% of the economy, is responsible for 8% of jobs in the country, directly or indirectly, and helped in the recovery of degraded areas, improving the community's quality of life.
Before the pandemic, Brazil appeared as one of the countries with the best nightlife, alongside Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany. It is important to remember that when it comes to nightlife, it includes concert halls, clubs, theaters, bars and restaurants, among other establishments.
Knowing the importance of this sector, more than 40 cities in the world have a public figure responsible for nightlife. Known as Night Mayors, Czars, or DON’s (Director of Night Life), among other names, are individuals selected by the cities to facilitate the connection between establishments, citizens and public authorities.
“I try to be the link between these groups because they speak different languages, but they need each other, and sometimes they have problems communicating. I became Night Mayor by understanding these differences and establishing that communication, ”says Merlijn Poolman, Night Mayor of the Dutch city of Groningen.
Among the functions of a mayor of the night is the concern with the quality of nightlife, which includes, for example, improvements in public transport, security, lighting, etc. A mayor of the night must also be aware of laws and regulations that facilitate activities and promote good coexistence with the community, and also serve as a mediator between the various sectors that are part of this complex network.
Poolman says that today Night Mayors are part of a group where they talk about how to manage nightlife, and this exchange of information has become even more important with the difficulties imposed by the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, which paralyzed activities all over the world. “What unites this group is the struggle to maintain nightlife, and the cultural sector,” says Poolman. "We are working on several models that can guarantee the existence of nightlife after the pandemic."
Among these efforts is the creation of the Cosimo Foundation, which works with private companies to raise funds, and Nighttime.org, which among its actions, launched last year the Global Nighttime Recovery Plan, a practical and collaborative guide for cities that are trying to design and execute a safe and viable strategy to reopen and reactivate their creative and nighttime savings.
Merljin Poolman, who participated as a speaker in the 2019 edition of SIM São Paulo, gave us an interview in which he talks about the responsibilities of the Night Mayors, the importance of nightlife and the challenges of the post-pandemic future. To watch the entire interview, click here.