I won’t lie, it was a shock. It is Sunday, March 4th at about 9pm that I learn the news. It’s about ten minutes after the publication from DJ Willby on his social media. I log on Facebook on my phone, start scrolling down until I see this picture of a sad emoji which makes me stop and analyse the post. It’s a post from DJ Willby who I follow. My heart stops. I am not ready for any bad news. I had been reading and hearing about the decline of the club for the past months and had experienced it first-hand myself. I start reading, “It is with much sadness that I have taken the difficult decision to resign from DSP with immediate effect” – no. I refuse. I continue reading. The post is quite long, in his words, he simply explains that DSP has always been what he was working for during the past five years but unfortunately, from what I read in his comments now deleted, due to new management he could not continue.
I was a very big fan of Dirty Sexy People Mondays, not missing any of it. I was out, almost every Monday ready to attempt to break a new record of downing VKs and get drunk under too much light, but with a DJ ready to give any possible shout-out and live-tweeting and retweeting pictures of the night on the screens in the club. I am probably the girl with the most pictures from DSP at Exeter and I pride myself for having one of the “Picture for a Pitcher” last term. From my first year, DJ Willby was the guy to know, if you were an avid Unit 1 clubber you had to know his name and be in at least one of his selfies. I can remember my first DSPs, queuing for hours not knowing if you’d be able to get in, tickets sold out nearly two weeks in advance, Apple Taxis queuing and waiting outside the club at 2.30am trying to find the person they had to take home, the burger van sold out of fries by 3am. But that is a long-gone story.
I had been reading and hearing about the decline of the club for the past months and had experienced it first-hand myself
Unit 1 has had their golden hour, but, I believe it will soon have to shut the curtains and say its final goodbyes.
About two weeks ago, my friends and I decided to go to the club after a birthday party. We arrive to Unit 1; the smoking area looks empty. We get to the cashier in less than a second as there was no queue. It’s £5, has the price gone up? The woman at the entrance tells us she is pained to take our money but that she had no other options, at this point, we’re very confused. Once we get in, the worst scene I have ever seen in a club. The barmen leaning on the bars waiting for customers, no hosts, no parties but most importantly no clients or clubbers. Had I counted, there would have probably been as many people in the club as I can count on the fingers of my hands. After a few minutes, I try to go to the DJ to request a song, I can definitely see his Spotify playlist on the background. I request my tune and he answers without having to yell as the music was so tame and the club so empty that “he would see if he had in stock, but, if not, he wouldn’t be able”. Obviously, the music was never played. Damn Willby, I will miss you. Had he been the DJ that night the song would have been played.
The woman at the entrance tells us she is pained to take our money but that she had no other options, at this point, we’re very confused
To be truthfully honest, I can understand why he is resigning. As one of the founders of the night, it must be hard and painful to see the top night for years turn into the back-up plan if Fever and TP are full.
Although I had always loved Unit 1 and had always considered it to be my ideal club in Exeter, I think I am going to have to change my habits. The management, the attendance, the drinks, the barmen were already getting more and more dodgy, but that last Friday hit me like a sledgehammer. Unit 1, I am sorry, you have lost one of your most dedicated clients but saying goodbye to DJ Willby has been one of the worse errors you’ve done after renaming the club Unit 1 instead of Arena. Farewell my friend Willby, and farewell Unit 1.