This is such a funny subject to talk about because I think EVERYONE will have an opinion.
“The VIP area – for balcony babes sipping on champagne, where only the ‘important’ people can go”.
I know you’re going to roll your eyes and think ‘Sarah bugger off, you’re always backstage at gigs how can YOU have a dig at VIP areas’? I hold my hands up and admit that I’m lucky enough to get the occasional backstage access to a club sometimes, but this is only because one of my friends is probably working there. I’ve never really been someone that’s bothered about being seen in VIP, paying for a table and drinking champagne. This is because the people in there never look like they are having a good time. I wanted to discuss this because I feel like it’s such a debatable subject. We all want to feel special and some of us want to be ‘seen’, but what does VIP even mean? You have 100K followers on Instagram? You’re a life saving doctor? You’re an Oscar winner?
Back in the 80s when house music first burst onto the scene, clubs were pretty basic. There were probably a few dodgy toilets with a bar in the corner and people were there to dance and meet other like-minded people. One of the reasons why I think clubbing is so powerful is because people from all walks of life are coming together to let go, forget about their troubles and dance. I have this romantic idea that clubbing should just be four walls with incredible music and open-minded people. The dance floor is the perfect place to make friends, meet partners and network! You can meet a lawyer, a DJ, cleaner, lorry driver, accountant, dancer and so on. Where else in the world would all these people congregate together, let their guards down and dance?
The VIP area kind of makes me feel like we’re going back in time and separating ourselves from one another. The idea that ‘we’re better than you’ so we’re higher up in a nicer area. We have £2000 to spend on a table in a club and you have to queue at the bar. The flipside to this is that some people love going into VIP because they like to treat themselves. They’ve worked really hard, maybe have kids and don’t get to go out as often. They’ve saved their money and when they do go clubbing they go ALL OUT. I get that, and when I have kids I would probably do the same. But I also see the negative side, the girls that just want to get free drinks from guys and take endless pictures for instagram, and the guys who definitely shouldn’t be spending £500 on a table when they know they can’t afford it. I went out in Vegas a few years ago and unless you were sat at a VIP table with a group of guys you didn’t really have anywhere comfortable to dance. At this point I could have really done with being one of those girls who just chats to guys to blag drinks and get into VIP… but I just could not be arsed! We spent an hour in there trying to find somewhere to dance (whilst avoiding creepy guys trying to lure us into the VIP area). In the end we left, got a hotdog and went to bed, not quite what I had expected from a night out in Vegas. However I think that might be the problem with clubbing in Vegas rather than a ‘VIP’ issue.
We’ve seen a lot more clubs in Ibiza adding VIP areas, even the local bars in town now have one, which is just a crappy section of the club with a rope! We all know this is just a money-maker but it’s kinda killing your vibe, my vibe and everyone else’s vibe. I think one of the main issues is that some of the people that want to be seen aren’t going to the club for the music. This is more apparent in Ibiza and London. The club name is pulling them in so naturally this drives a poor atmosphere because people aren’t going for the music. This then makes VIP not only physically disconnected but also emotionally disconnected from the club. People are just there for insta pictures and showboating, rather than to have fun!
If you’ve ever been clubbing in Berlin you will know that the VIP area doesn’t exist. Berlin is renowned for being very snooty when trying to get into clubs but once you’re in, the atmosphere is friendly and very down to earth. This is directly the opposite of what some clubs are like in the UK that have VIP, maybe we need to take a leaf out of Berlin’s book!
I ask the question, why do we do it? To feel special? To feel better than others? To blag free drinks from guys? To pull? To make our night out better? To have a bit of space to dance? I can agree with the latter as some clubs oversell tickets and make the dance floor unbearable to move, we’ve all felt like a sardine at one point when on a night out. If you’re going out to blag free drinks from guys and hover around the VIP area then you’ve not had a proper night out before. Stop being so bothered about being seen, get in amongst the sweaty crowd and get raving!