Traders speak out after Horsham nightlife slated

Andy outside the Dead Parrot bar SUS-180727-160136001
Andy outside the Dead Parrot bar SUS-180727-160136001

Horsham venues have spoken out about how to improve nightlife in the town.

Last week a BBC survey rated Horsham’s nightlife as zero out of ten for those under 26.

The results sparked fierce debate as residents took to social media to suggest how to improve going out in the town.

Now, two Horsham venues have spoken out about the report.

Andy Harrod, owner of the Dead Parrot, said: “I can understand the result, there are only five maybe six venues that trade until 1 or 2am.

“Comparing us to Brighton is ridiculous as it has more bars per square mile than any other city in the UK; of course it would trump sleepy Horsham.

“I’ve been to Worthing and I fail to understand how they beat us.

“I think the main issue we have here is this younger generation have a much shorter attention span as they’ve grown up in the super fast internet age with smart phones acting as a massive distraction.”

Andy told how he thought the pressure of social media was forcing younger people to ‘one up their friends’ by constantly trying new bars, clubs and restaurants.

He added: “The modern consumer wants something new and exciting.

“I think this is the start of the big brands having to change their image to fit this new type of consumer and hopefully a fresh flourish of independent bars and restaurants will open up.”

Graham Kempster, who runs the Rec in Horsham park, said: “We’ve opened a live music venue that caters for all genres of music and as such the choice for a top night out featuring live music is immeasurably greater than was the case prior.

“Larger bands/musicians are now playing regularly in the town which already had a good live music scene; albeit it more of a pub and small festival scene.

“There are at least three events per week in our venue and that number is growing, whilst the quality of acts being booked can now be judged by looking at their album sales, with some stretching into the millions.”

Graham explained how the Rec Rooms was designed to be accessible to all and said the venue was flexible in catering to demand.

He added: “If we feel there’s interest from the local area for an artist then we will do our best to get them on stage.

Graham added that there was something to be said for the ‘perceived lack of facilities and activities’ in the area.

He said: “The town is slowly changing (for the better we feel), and the inclusiveness does need to improve, but this needs to come from all, including the under-26 age group.

“If we at the REC Rooms can in some way be facilitators to improving the situation (and statistics) then all the better.

“We are always open to new ideas, have a welcoming attitude to new ventures and a great building for numerous forms of entertainment.”

A spokesman for Brewhouse and Kitchen added that its gin tasting events and brew experience added variety to the nightlife in Horsham.

To contact the Rec Rooms email contact@therecrooms.com