Changing face of Mansfield's nightlife
Jono Edwards has been a stalwart of Mansfield’s nightlife over the years and 2019 has seen him once again have to move with the times. Revellers were shocked to learn that The Late Lounge, a popular club since 2000 was to close its doors forever.
Jono said: “Mansfield has always been popular for drinkers, however we’ve seen dramatic changes over the years. Since they relaxed licensing laws in 2003, more bars stay open later, and people tend to drink at home and come into town later on.”
“We knew that we had to change. Typical clubs now need to offer more – you can’t just get away with loud music, flashing lights and drinks.”
He had been discussing plans for The Late Lounge for a few years, and continued to bring variety into his other venues, but he knew 2019 was the year they needed to make the major change.
“Late Lounge has been brilliant, but it was becoming a bit of a dinosaur. The older generation who were our regulars don’t go out as often any more, and how many 20-somethings want to party in the same club as their parents?”
“I visited other areas which we considered to be a similar demographic to Mansfield, such as Wakefield and Hanley, to see what they were doing.
“I went to the O2 at Sheffield to watch The Christians. It was smaller than Late Lounge but it was packed on a Friday night and a great atmosphere, and I knew I wanted to bring that vibe to Mansfield.
“So we had to close, and needed to completely change the layout. It didn’t work for what our vision was going to be.”
Jono explained the idea behind the new venue, Canvas, especially the name.
“We’re still a club all weekend, of course, but this time we’re not fixed into any genre. Canvas is basically what you want it to be. Whether that is a club night with amazing DJs, a live night for local bands, or somewhere to hold a wedding. The space now allows for all of that.”
With a packed schedule over the coming months, 2020 will also see the launch of his new live music nights which will take place on Friday evenings – nights which are notoriously quiet until late on. Jono is hoping that the town will see regular rock nights, established local bands and a big variety of genres on-stage to lure the crowds out after work, before the venue opens up to the clubbing crowds as normal.
“We’re excited to be bringing live music back into Mansfield. The music scene has changed over the years with the decline in CD sales and downloads, so credible musicians make money from gigs and want to be out on stage. There is no venue of this size in Mansfield for them to do that at the moment.”
“Nightlife is changing, but we’re hoping to bring a city-type feel to the town. We’re still going to play the club classics downstairs in Andwhynot as we know everyone loves it, but upstairs is going to have a whole new feel to it. We want Canvas to be here in another 20 years.”