Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Amherst needs more vibrant nightlife

Everybody needs to dance more
Araz Havan / Daily Collegian.

The bars are too crowded and there’s no place nor room to dance. The nightlife in Amherst is making me question if there really is one. I’m aware of how dramatic that sounds, but I have to argue that Amherst needs more partying. We need a revival of club culture —more zest in our nightlife— because I’m afraid that we’ve forgotten how to have fun.

The first thing that we need is more clubs. More physical places for people to go out to are required because the lines are too long and the bars are too packed. The line for Spoke wraps around the building in a way that suggests an unforgettable night, but once you get in you’re packed elbow to elbow with barely any room to shuffle toward the bar to order your drink. Stackers has the same problem where once you get inside, it’s so packed that you can barely move around. While Stackers has a back patio for more room, there’s no music out there, nor any place to dance.

Right now, the biggest problem is the lack of dancing. While Spoke and Monkey Bar have dance areas, not enough people dance. Are we afraid to move? Jump? Scream at the top of our lungs? Too many people take themselves too seriously. I have to ask, what is the point of going out, standing in a line to get inside and getting a drink just to stand around and talk to the same group of people?

I think we live in an era where everyone is so hyper focused on how they’re perceived that it has made people afraid to look like they are having genuine fun. I think people want to dance, but if no one else is dancing then it feels silly to be the only one. People are so caught up on not looking silly or weird that it makes people too afraid to move, and it’s made us an odd combination of both social and anti-social. People aren’t really social outside of their groups. I’m not saying that life-long friendships are going to be made while sipping on a beer at Stackers, but I think that we’ve lost our interest in each other and that has been detrimental to enjoying our nights out. This brings me to the other problem: Hookup culture.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand. It’s college and there are tons of young attractive people around. However, the number of people who go out with the intention of ending the night with someone is sucking the air out of the few dance floors we have.

I can’t blame it all on people unwilling to dance because there are bigger factors that affect nightlife as well. In advocating for more bars and clubs in Amherst, it’s also important to mention that the process of obtaining a liquor license is not an easy one. The business must be in a zoning area where alcohol is allowed to be sold, and it can be rejected for numerous reasons. These reasons range from the town having already reached their limit of licenses to the manager and the board of directors for the business not being citizens or residents of the state. According to The Massachusetts Liquor Control Act, a town or city has a quota of how many licenses it is allowed to give to businesses as determined by the population of the area. It’s also expensive, costing $3,500 to obtain an all-liquor license, a type that allows for businesses to serve all types of alcoholic drinks. Currently in 2022, the limit in Amherst is 42 licenses with 32 already approved and 10 licenses left.

Five bars for a town that has thousands of college students is definitely not ideal, and while it seems like the town of Amherst would prefer its college residents to stay in, maybe the opening of The Drake marks a rejuvenation of Amherst nightlife.


Raksha Pokharel can be reached at [email protected].

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  • A

    AnaNov 17, 2022 at 11:38 am

    You may want to find the club owner of Lit in Amherst. It was an amazing dance club back in 2011 and they shut down for a bit. You may want to contact them and find out how to start a club of your own. Also you can look at the University events because they hold dancing there too. Just grab a beer at a bar beforehand and then head your way there 😀

  • L

    Local AlumniNov 16, 2022 at 7:50 pm

    1. Massachusetts just lacks fun in general.

    2. With the increasing number of students in the area in the past 3 years, bars are overcrowded when they used to be able to be gotten into by even people who just live in the area normally.

    3. Fully agree that there is a lack of clubs.

  • W

    Wildcat O'HalloranNov 15, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    Try the O’s in Sunderland