'Not cool': New breed of freshers ditch binge drinking
- Credit: Clarissa Place
Students are heading back to bars and clubs in their thousands this month - but they're not getting bladdered.
Ticket sales for Norwich welcome events have spiked 110pc this year compared with 2019 as two years' worth of students experience freshers' week for the first time.
But despite data from ticketing platform Fixr showing pent-up demand students aren't using a return to the clubland to binge drink.
"It's no longer cool," said Keir Slater, who is the manager at Mr Postles Apothecary, in Tombland, and runs student night Get Loose at Karma Kafe on Wednesdays.
"Eight or nine years ago there was this real culture of binge drinking but it's kind of frowned upon now.
"I very rarely have to throw people out for being too drunk. I think some of it is down to what people see in the press about women being attacked when they're drunk and they don't want to make themselves vulnerable.
"In years gone by we've had issues with sports teams being banned from city clubs. There's none of that now, if there's an issue we speak to the committee and it's sorted straight away."
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He added that for the first time students are asking for alcohol-free drinks as part of promotional events: "I'd never considered it before but recently an event we held with NUA we saw a lot of people asking for their promotional drinks as mocktails."
He was echoed by Richard Chisnell who said students are coming into his cocktail bar, Sherbet Lemon, in Prince of Wales Road, but are not buying drinks.
He said: "I look around and it's really busy but the takings are way down. People are turning up to hang out with friends and take pictures, but they're not buying drinks and if they are it's often a soft drink.
"It's a new breed of fresher. It's the people in their 30s and 40s that are buying the drinks"
He added that those who are drinking sometimes don't even set foot in a bar: "I see the same groups of young people walking up and down the street.
"They nip into a shop or off license and get booze but then they just sit on a bench and drink instead of paying entry to get in somewhere."