FATBOY Slim says he felt like the government “didn’t care” whether the night-time economy survived the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Hove DJ told The Argus that it was not until the government announced a series of Covid-safe pilot events that he felt the return of live events had been a priority.

Fatboy, whose real name is Norman Cook, performed at The First Dance event in Liverpool where revellers, who all had to produce negative coronavirus tests, did not have to wear face coverings or social distance for the first time since before lockdown began.

The Argus: Revellers at the Circus Nightclub in Liverpool for the Covid-safe pilot eventRevellers at the Circus Nightclub in Liverpool for the Covid-safe pilot event

Just nine cases were found among 6,000 clubbers across two nights.

Norman says that for his fellow DJs and promoters, it felt like “the most glorious light at the end of the tunnel.”

He said: “Just to feel like the government actually cared about the nightlife industry was welcome. All the way through the pandemic we always knew that we were kind of the last industry that would be back in place because obviously social distancing is impossible doing what we do.

The Argus: Fatboy Slim said he was thrilled to be back performing againFatboy Slim said he was thrilled to be back performing again

“But it just felt like the government really didn’t care about us and whether we survived or not.

“So just the fact that they invested time, money and thought in putting on an event to see how it would go, and it was a spectacular success.”

Crowds packed the Bramley-Moore Dock warehouse, dancing shoulder-to-shoulder for the first time in more than a year.

Club-goers were seen hugging and kissing each other, with some sitting on others’ shoulders for a better view of the stage.

Despite spending more than a year away from the stage, Norman says it did not take long for him to find his rhythm for performing live again.

He said: “It’s funny because I think everyone was quite anxious thinking it was going to feel strange because we just haven’t behaved like that as human beings for so long.

“But I can promise you that it was very easy to slide back into the idea of hugging strangers and it’s not a scary prospect.

“It took about two minutes from walking in to just think ‘oh I remember this, this is beautiful’.

“The weird thing though, and the strangest thing that came out of it, is that we all lost our voices within two hours because our vocal cords just weren’t up to scratch and used to shouting over loud music, getting excited and having fun.”

The Department for Digital, Culture,Media & Sport have been contacted for comment.