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Is the daytime disco craze exactly what Aberdeen city and its over-30s need?

With daytime discos proving hugely popular in Aberdeen and across the country, what are the benefits for people over-30, especially women, and the city itself?

Aura Nightclub in Bridge Place, Aberdeen, is hosting day discos for over-30s. 
Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson.
Aura Nightclub in Bridge Place, Aberdeen, is hosting day discos for over-30s. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson.

Days are the new nights, runs the tagline for Aura nightclub in Aberdeen, which launched its Disco Days events for over-30s in March.

Its sister venue, Club Tropicana, has also been allowed early opening, while an over-30s Saturday evening slot is launching in a smaller venue underneath it.

Club owner Tony Cochrane says he has been pleasantly surprised by the “massive response” to Disco Days.

“People want a nice day out. You don’t have to be out till 3am to enjoy yourself,” he says.

Tony Cochrane runs a number of venues including in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Image: DC Thomson.

Disco Days are a particular draw for women

He estimates the crowd is 90% women on a day out with their friends.

“They seem to be saying, instead of going for coffee, let’s have a bit of a dance.”

“We hear that when they leave, the pubs are getting a surge of people for one last drink before they go home.

“And the restaurants are getting a spin-off because they are then going for dinner with their friends.

“You can see they’ve set out for a good day, with their hair and nails done and the new outfit.

Afternoon disco for over-30s hailed huge success in Aberdeen. Image: Rebecca McGregor.

“I think it’s good for the city centre again. It’s 1,200 people coming into the city on a Saturday afternoon.

“It’s a very happy atmosphere as well, they are really enjoying themselves.

“There are lots of groups and across-the-board age wise, with anybody from 30 to 70.

“I think, as well, it’s a safe space. They get to enjoy their drinks and dance and not get pestered. It’s pure fun. The guys are at the football and the girls are at the dance.”

Disco Days give over-30s their own space

Tony explains the “over-30s” description was really to “keep the youngsters out”.

“We thought 30 was a nice breaking point. Nobody is saying, ‘you’re 30, you’re past it’!

“The age is just to make sure they’re not infiltrated with youngsters. Keep them away and let you guys have your own space and fun.

“Nobody in the building is going to look at somebody and go, ‘oh you’re too old’.

“It’s not even an issue. Everybody just mixes.”

The queue outside Aura nightclub in Bridge Place, Aberdeen. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson.

Day discos could be just the start for over-30s and the city

Does Tony think the city should have more options for this demographic?

“Well, you go to any coffee shop and you see young women that age having a catch up.

“We don’t want people to think when you hit 30 you can’t have fun anymore. Just enjoy and there’s some space for you to do that.

“You can see some of them have really been building up to this for years. When they realise, ‘I can hit that dancefloor again’, they go for it.

“They are probably having more fun than the young ones.”

Feedback from customers is “it’s great”. Ticket sales speak for themselves, with 600 sold in the two days following an event for the next one.

Daytime disco revellers at Aura in Aberdeen. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson.

Tony adds: “Everybody gets that spin off. You hear doom and gloom about the city; things closing, shops being boarded up and the traffic situation.

“Then suddenly people are going: ‘What’s this about? Let’s have some fun,’ and everybody is smiling again.

“It’s a really smiley, happy day. People are having a drink, but they’re not getting drunk-drunk because they are there for the dancefloor.

So, when should you hang up your dancing shoes?

“Oh, there is no age!” Tony says.

Soulsa founder is all for daytime discos

Mum and grandmother Karen Gibson, 43, is so determined to get everyone up and dancing in Aberdeen, she launched her own dance workout brand, Soulsa.

How important does she think it is for people, especially women, in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and even 70s to go out and have a good time?

Soulsa founder Karen Gibson believes that dance and music is key to wellbeing. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson.

“I think it’s hugely important,” says Karen, “I mean, my stress relief in life is dance and music. It heals my soul. After all, that’s why I created Soulsa.

“For me, music and dance is everything. It keeps me not physically and mentally well.

“You could be in any kind of mood and if you go for a walk, have a dance, or just listen to your favourite music, I feel like you’re instantly lifted.

“However you felt before, you’re always going to feel better after a wee dance or exercise, or listening to music.”

“I only see benefits with something like daytime discos.

“Also, you’re socialising and meeting new people. So I think it can only be a positive thing for any age, for sure.”

Hitting the dancefloor at an afternoon disco in Aberdeen. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson.

Music has the feelgood factor

Karen says music makes you feel good, even if you’re just in the car.

“I’ll often just drive around. My daughter will call and say ‘are you still driving?’ and I’m like, ‘yeah, I’m listening to music and driving along’.

“I was brought up with soul music. My dad was into soul and Motown. I’m definitely a soul girl.

“But I generally love all types of music, depending on the mood I’m in.”

Music can bring benefits to any situation, says Karen. Image: Shutterstock.

Music and socialising are two benefits of daytime discos, but from a health point of view, how good for you is dancing?

“Physically, it’s obviously amazing,” says Karen.

“Any type of exercise will release those happy endorphins, for your mental health. But I always think finding something you really enjoy is key. You’re going to look forward to it and stick to it.”

Motown and soul are Karen’s favourites. Image: Shutterstock.

The benefits are clear then, but does Karen think afternoon is a strange time to go clubbing? Can you really have that night-time experience during daylight hours?

Karen says: “Yes! Why not?

“Sometimes people might feel safer having a night out through the day and you can get home, have some food at a decent time and a good sleep.

“Any time is good for music and dance. I don’t think it matters if it’s day or night. Not everyone wants to go out late at night, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

“Everyone is on their own journey in life. There’s not an age to do this and an age to do that, everyone’s different.

“It would be very boring if we all stuck to the same rules. Daytime discos are a great idea.”

Even music in the car has the feelgood factor. Image: Shutterstock.