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Why Snafu decided to call time on ten years of partying

Why Snafu decided to call time on ten years of partying

It was the news that shocked generations of techno, house and dance music lovers from Aberdeen to Australia.

The second club in the Granite City to close just days after Tiger Tiger, the effervescent club that housed some of the biggest names in techno and house over the past decade broke the news to fans on Thursday that Snafu and sister restaurant The Athenaeum was to close.

Heartbroken fans clamoured to offer their condolences, memories and even pleas to launch a kickstarter fundraiser, but as devastated owner Amanda Christie explains, the decision to close came down to Union Street’s slow demise.

"We can’t pay our way unfortunately any more. And it had to happen at some point – you can only drag it on for so long unfortunately."

Union Street fears

Some have voiced concerns that a luxury apartment development situated on the floors above the nightclub and restaurant may have bought over the site, but as Aberdeen’s main thoroughfare continues to haemorrhage independent businesses, Amanda feels that the club’s site right at the end of Union Street helped to seal its fate.

"No we haven’t been bought over. There have been several instigating factors but [the development] has had an impact on the business," she admitted.

Hoping that once the scaffolding that hid the restaurant and club had gone that the future would look brighter, the owners just couldn't sustain two businesses waiting for the development to open and took the heartbreaking decision to close the doors after a decade of entertaining the masses.

And with other areas of the city attracting diners and shoppers away from the street, Amanda adds: "There is nothing going on up that end of town when everyone goes to Union Square."

Online support

The outpouring of support was something that took the team by surprise – at last count, over 700 Facebook fans had shown their support for the club and over 300 revellers had posted memories and tributes of meeting friends, seeing world class DJs and enjoying joie de vivre in the depths of the basement club.

Genuinely in shock, Amanda explains: "Honestly, totally didn't expect that at all. It was massive, overwhelming, but it has been good to see that [Snafu and The Athenaeum] had such a positive impact on people’s lives."

Reading through the comments together, Amanda adds: "There hasn't been a dry eye in the house. People have met friends for life in the club, this could never be just a job, and it’s much more than that. We do it because we love it."

Techno and tears: Snafu to close after 10 years of clubbing excellence

Read More

Bouncing back with The Big Beach Ball

Although clubbers remain devastated by the club’s demise, rumours that The Big Beach Ball on the Aberdeen beachfront would suffer as a result of the closure are unfounded and in fact, now that the business is coming to an end, the team can place their focus firmly on the Granite City’s biggest music festival.

  (Gary Cruden)
via STV via STV

"The Big Beach Ball is still a big focus, it’s like a full time job and hopefully now we can do it justice that perhaps we didn't have the time for last year and the year before that," Amanda said.

Looking to the future

But of course, it is the memories of ten years on 1 and 5-9 Union Street that have the team hurting the most from the decision and having read through the comments, many Aberdonians are worried that there will be nowhere to turn when the lights go out on Snafu.

"I think the most appropriate comment I saw on the Facebook page last night said, ‘Make sure you switch the lights off’," Amanda adds. "People have said that the only reason they are in Aberdeen is because of the club – where are they going to go now?"

It remains to be seen what will happen to Aberdeen’s nightlife following Snafu’s imminent closure – which, by the clubs admission, could be any day now – but the Snafu team's vivacious hunger for a great party could live on through promoted nights in the city.

But for now, what the team really need is a chance to collect their thoughts before seeing Snafu and The Athenaeum off in style.

"We really just need time to regroup – everyone is in shock after ten years of doing the same thing."

Do you have any fond memories of Snafu and The Athenaeum? Let us know at @STVAberdeen or over on our Facebook page.

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