Thierry Charlois

The arrival of politics in the the world of partying and of the night, which constitutes a wholly separate economy, materialised in the last few years with the arrival of Mayors or Councils of the Night, specifically dedicated to night life. The city of Amsterdam, which initiated the movement in 2007, has understood that a person who lives at night is not of lesser importance than those who live by day. In France, Toulouse, Nantes and Paris have followed suit. In Geneva, a High Council of the Night of has also been launched. Following a petition by many of the Paris’ major nightlife players in 2009, the Council of the Night was formed in 2010, and that led to the creation of a post of Night Advisor in Paris… in 2014. The status, role, direction and legitimacy of Night Mayors will all be examined by this panel. Do politicians take them seriously? Are their actions credible and followed-up on ikn constructive ways? Can useful laws be derived from what they get involved in, to create true night neighbourhoods? The night is an economic sector in its own right, not limited merely to festivals and music. In order to create growth and jobs, grow the tourism sector and light up social networks, the world of the night needs to be heard.

Paris revellers to elect first 'Nightlife Mayor'

A total of 45 pubs across the French capital will swap bottles for ballots this Saturday night in order to elect the first “Maire de la nuit" or Mayor of Nightlife. The election is unaffiliated to Paris city authorities, which means anyone who wants to can vote, French culture website Les Inrocks reported. Voters will have the choice of six candidates, all of whom have unique and varying connections to the capital’s nocturnal world, including a home caterer, a Radio France producer and a former punk rock band member. The six were whittled down from a list of 13 candidates in a first round of votes that took place on Facebook. None of them appear to have any political party connections but rather stand to represent the party-goers of Paris. Although the position offers no specific administrative power, candidate Damien Lorenzi, who sees himself as the “clubber’s Ambassador”, promises nicer bouncers to nighttime revellers, while Clément Leon R pledges an all-night metro for Paris night owls, according to the website. Other issues high on the agenda for the six nominees are later opening times, cheaper drinks and increased availability of taxis. Eric Labbé, one of the organizers and a spokesperson for the independent collective of nightlife professionals behind the election, is a long-time-habitué of the Paris nightlife scene and runs public relations for the renowned Showcase and Zigzag clubs. "I want them [the public] to have a say in the price of drinks, security, music and transport," he told Les Inrocks. "There are many instances where they may have different ideas to those of professionals." The campaign for a better night scene began in 2009 when a wave of complaints led to the closing down of a number of bars and clubs. In response to the complaints, Labbé co-wrote a petition titled: “When the night dies in silence” which got over 16,000 signatures. Unfortunately, progress was fairly minimal and Labbé was left disappointed. Today, Labbé is more optimistic, telling Le Point: “Paris nightlife is doing better, mostly thanks to a revived interest in electro music amongst the Paris youth.” The initiative was in fact born in Amsterdam when the first Night Mayor or "Nachtburgemeester" elected in 2003. This isn’t the first time that the idea of a Maire de la nuit has been mooted in the French capital. In August mayoral candidate Anne Hidalgo included it when outlining her 150 ideas for the city of Paris. The cities of Toulouse and Nantes have also followed suit and are set to hold their own elections for a Maire de la nuit.