Is there anything more beautiful, more filled with glittering and hopeful promise, than your friends showing up at your house with a 6 pack and a fresh deck, ready for the night to unfurl? The night is aching with potential: no catty fight nor hopeless bout of vomiting has yet steered the whole event into disaster. More often than not, the pre-drinks make or break the entire night, and as such, we’ve drawn up a fool-proof guide to host the best pre’s, while still being able to make it out.
(Ps if you need tunes, we’ve got you sorted via our 5Why Mixtape below! ~~)
Timing Is Everything
Start pre’s too early? Sure-fire way to wake up blearily the next morning, face-down on the couch, with all your guests surrounding you in various positions of disarray. What were you thinking, having your pre’s at 5 o’clock? You brought this on yourself.
Start pre’s too late and you get people slamming back their drinks last minute as the Uber honks angrily outside your house for the third time, which results in everyone either passing out or getting denied entry.
It’s a delicate balance, folks, and the exact science of pre’s is one that still eludes most. In Sydney, you most likely want to be at the designated club around 11, for maximum boogie time while still avoiding the fragile hour when the dance floor is open yet depressingly empty. 7 is the magic number to start pre’s, in my books, with it leaving the perfect amount of time to knock back some drinks without too much haste.
If one of your absolute saints of a friend has volunteered their house for pre’s, they’re surrendering their carpets, their toilet, their potentially-traumatised dog up to your mercy. The least you can do is bring a bottle of something. If you’re one of those people who show up to pre’s empty-handed and immediately starts tailing everyone asking to ‘bum a ciggie’, you’re the worst. It’s a rule that will tide over well into your adult life: never show up to a friend’s empty-handed.
Having said that, if you’re hosting, realise that some of your friends are idiots (but you love them anyway) and will arrive with nothing. Bring out your half bottles of vodka, put some bottom-shelf beer in the fridge. DON’T PUT ANYTHING IN THE FREEZER. Cut up some lemons! Dust off that half-gram of gak left over from the last time you hosted pres! It’s a party!
Ps. NEVER FORGET FOOD. Just enough to line the stomach and prevent early passouts.
Definitely arrange or download a playlist beforehand, and have it playing before anyone arrives. No one likes the ‘oh-hi-you’re-here-should-I-put-some-music-on-shit-my-ue-is-out-of-battery’ song and dance. Also, if someone volunteers to DJ, don’t get all bristly and territorial. They have Spotify Premium. Release some control so we don’t have to pretend an ad isn’t playing every other song.
Probably the most detrimental. Before anyone gets too sauced, organise who’s ordering the uber. And to what destination. A common example of the bystander effect is shouting out to a crowd of bleary friends over some Chainsmokers song “OKAY, WELL, WHO’S ORDERING THE UBER? AND WHERE ARE WE GOING?’ You’ll get a lot of vacant stares and shrugs. While everyone is of sound body and mind, just bite the bullet and delegate. This is your house, goddammit, and people will listen.
It’s an unspoken rule that the person who has hosted pre’s will most likely host kick-ons, as well. No one knows why, but it is so. In your intoxicated state, you will yearn for the familiarity of the couch you spent three hours comfortably nursing a rum and coke on earlier in the night. Again, think ahead. Knowing full well that at least a couple of your friends will be tumbling back to yours at some point, fish out the Panadol and keep it next to your bed. Buy some Gatorade’s. Your friends will look at you with the same reverence the disciples probably did to Jesus Christ.
I take it back, this part is the most detrimental. At some point, you will inevitably realise that the hours have absolutely flown by and it’s way later than you thought it was. Will you make it before lockout? Who knows! But you must try! You start shouting and putting on your jacket, pulling your boots on. People clumsily do the same. Someone tries to pour the whole bottle of tequila into a plastic bottle for the road. Stop them! This is never! A! Good! Idea! The only acceptable roadie is a beer. Remind your friend this. They will thank you. Order the ubers, wait impatiently for them and do a headcount of the group. Everyone here? Great! Plunge forward into the night!
Or don’t. That’s okay too. Some of my best nights have been pre’s that have rolled on and on and on into the fragile hours of the morning. Read the group. You know these people. If you find that your pre’s have somehow crossed over into the sacred land of a genuinely enjoyable house party, you’ve hit the jackpot. Sit back and smile assuredly to yourself. You did it.