A guide for India’s clubs to make New Year’s Eve fun and safe for everyone.
The ideal picture of a New Year’s Eve looks like a Gatsby-esque extravaganza in our heads –expensive booze, luxurious decor and decked up guests, with peppy live music playing in the background. However, what you end up getting is entry into a mediocre club, which has been promoting its “NYE special” night on Instagram, offering cheap vodka and a Bollywood DJ who plays the same 10 ‘masala’ songs on loop. If you’re lucky, you don’t step on someone’s vomit, and if you’re extremely lucky, then you don’t get any alcohol spilt on your clothes. But in the end, the night turns out to be far less special than what your FOMO (fear of missing out) told you it would be.
So here’s a list of suggestions (or a cheat-sheet) for the nightclubs, so that they finally get it right this time:
Potluck playlist: Nothing is worse than going to a club with the intention to dance, but not finding the right music. However, clubs can curate a playlist with the help of their guests beforehand. The guests who have RSVP-ed can each get to throw in a track of their wish to the party playlist. That way, everyone is tolerant of the music playing in the club, and no one would pull out a gun at the DJ for not playing their track. Yes, that happens.
The instruction manual: New Year’s Eve nights are wild, as they should be. But that does not get party-goers a free pass to infringe basic code of conduct. Which is why clubs need to come up with instruction manuals stating the basic code of conducts and no tolerance policy for abuse and harassment. These manuals can be handed out at the entry to the patrons, who should be made aware of the consequences of breaching the rules.
Sipper cups for alcohol: This one is for those attendees who can never hold their hand steady with the drinks, either spilling them on people around them or breaking the glass/bottle all together. Plastic cups with a lid and a straw should replace all open, glass containers so everyone can shake a leg without the fear of spillage.
Vomit bag vending machine: As stupid as that sounds, it may be your hero in need when your insides begin to turn after having that 9th tequila shot (that you anyway knew was a bad idea) and the washroom seems miles away. A vomit disposal box in each corner of the club might save a girl’s brand new Louboutins from getting soaked in a random person’s puke this year.
Paramedic on call: Cases of alcohol poisoning and substance abuse see a peak on New Year’s Eve. As thorough as the clubs are with their drug policy, it is hard to monitor drug abuse on the premise.
However, clubs can always partner with paramedics who can be approached when an attendee’s health gets under risk. Club staff can also undergo training beforehand on how to handle intoxicated patrons who pose a threat to themselves or others.
Bring your PJs: A big element in living up your Gatsby-like New Year’s Eve fantasy is the clothing. Shimmery spandex dresses with high heels are all fun and games until the sequin starts poking your skin, your ankles start to buckle, and the biting winter feels like torture to your exposed thighs. Clubs should really relax the dress code after an attendee has spent an hour in them, and let them change into their comfortable pyjamas. In fact, those who sustain their fancy outfits past 12:00 midnight should get rewards for their will power and might.
SOS whistles: Everyone should be handed a special frequency SOS whistle at the entry, which when blown, can only be heard by a receptor available with safety personnel from the club. The whistle can be blown when a patron is facing unwarranted, inappropriate behaviour from another party-goer, who can expect the safety personnel to come and diffuse the situation. (The whistle may or may not be blown in case your drunk best friend is about to text their ex, depending on the club’s rules).
There’s a lot that clubs can do to make their attendees feel safe and included, but until that happens it’s important that we do our best to make sure that everyone around us welcomes 2019 with equal ease and joy.