Yes, this is exactly as it sounds; a a Harry Potter themed bar crawl lasting fifteen hours, that’s 11am till 2am.
Now, when facing a fifteen hour bar crawl there are many things you need to consider, as well as many experiences you never thought you’d witness; suddenly things that would, in normal circumstances, never be deemed acceptable become perfectly acceptable. Quite frankly, it was a weird experience that would only happen at university.
For example, the time at which people start drinking. On any other day, it would not be acceptable to start the day’s drinking at 11am, let alone those asking what time we were ‘pre drinking’. Sufficed to say, being less experienced at this concept, I was pretty surprised to find someone had taken four vodka shots with breakfast before even getting to the first bar. Mate, we still have fifteen hours to go – rookie error #1, clearly another inexperienced fresher. However, it’s debatable whether any of my flat would even be up to start drinking at that time if I hadn’t taken one for the team and set the fire alarms off with my fry up that morning.
So, after being split into our houses the day before, we headed into town where we enjoyed drinks along the canal which was beautiful and a lovely lunch out at Wetherspoons (although apparently, my packed lunch of carrot sticks and ketchup just wasn’t going to cut it – rookie error #2).
However, when going for fifteen hours, we had to go to clubs as well as pubs – there are only a certain amount of pubs in any given town. Weird experience #1 – we went to a place called ‘Revs’. This is both a bar and a club and we went upstairs to the club. As you would expect, it was dark, the music was loud, people were dancing in the neon lights while others were doing shots at the bar. Pretty standard. However, what was not ‘standard’ was walking out into broad daylight – it was four in the afternoon, we actually left the club to go and have a nice civilised drink before dinner.
Even after dinner, we still weren’t half way through. It may seem tedious or tiring or dreary but it really is a great way to meet people. When spending fifteen hours doing anything together, you’re bound to get to know people. I also used it as a great way to navigate my way around town and pretty much just spend time with friends. In fact, it seemed very strange revisiting one of the pubs for lunch the next day, thinking that less than twenty four hours ago this quiet little town pub was full of loud, brash Hogwarts students having just come from a club mid afternoon. We also got to stand and watch the firework display in town, just outside the cocktail bar which was pretty spectacular, adding a nice touch of light entertainment to our evening’s activities. But yes, as expected, people got steadily louder and less stable as the day/night went on and looking back, the Christmas jokes in the window of the Pound Bakery probably weren’t as funny as I thought they were at the time.
After the fireworks, we hit the main clubs for the night. Weird experience #2 – it was now (almost) and appropriate time to be going out however it was still pretty early and so many a time we were the only people in the club and in one place it was literally me and one other person while everyone else was at the bar. But somehow, by that point in the evening, even clubbing with two people is made significantly more exciting with glow sticks. Weird experience #3 – When you’re always moving from place to place and yo don’t get a meal out, it can be difficult to remember to eat. Because of this, I found myself sat at a table eating my packed dinner of pasta at 10pm in the penultimate club, with everyone dancing and drinking around me. Again, not normally acceptable.
I did really enjoy the whole day, whether you weren’t drinking at all or drinking in every place, it was a good day out, although tiring. Normally, on a night out, there’s always that one friend who wants to stay out longer than everyone else and begs you to stay, on Saturday, the club pretty much cleared at once. After fifteen hours, ten pubs and five clubs, everyone was just waiting for the clock to turn two before staggering home in similar states of exhaustion and/or drunkenness.
I did learn some valuable lessons though from the experience: Pre drinking is not necessary for a fifteen hour bar crawl, it is possible to navigate your whole way around town just from the bars, never plan a full day of activity for the day after (rookie error #3), it is possible to do it for £7 (including bus fares) and fifteen hours is a really really long time. 🙂