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An Open Letter To: The Dull Dancefloor Residents

By Hot Off The Press, News, Open Letters

AN OPEN LETTER

To, the dull dancefloor residents

Let me get this straight, isn’t the point of going out on a weekend so you can enjoy yourself?

Maybe my idea of fun is different to yours, but I think we can agree that it at least involves a bit of smiling, laughter maybe and just a little dancing. You are at a dance music event after all, not a library.

So many house and techno events now are filled with a sea of non moving, monochrome clad individuals. When did the fun get sucked out of nights out? We are meant to be a boundary breaking, controversial subculture full of energy – not a bunch of people looking like they’re waiting in the queue to a grocery store. Really now, come on guys.

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The regulars of the Paradise Garage and Studio 54 would call us pussies the way we go on. Gone are the days of dancing like no-one was watching, now it’s standing still because everyone is watching (and probably filming on their phone). Dancing used to be a rite of passage, a real release at the end of the week resulting in clubs all over being full of sweaty foreheads and achey feet. And that’s just the way it should be, and the reason why DANCE music gets its name. Any form of proper grooving nowadays gets demonized by the cool crew – regardless of where I stand on the matter, the surge of ‘shuffling’ discrimination does wonders to prove that dancing isn’t accepted anymore.

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Let me back track a little; if you don’t know what I’m talking about with Studio 54, I’m on about the days of DISCO, part of what helped to form the culture which we now all consume. Moulding nightlife as we know it, disco clubs were a place for all of those who didn’t fit in to the accepted society as it was to come together and enjoy living. Weekends were the time to shine, and boy did you with extravagant outfits. Tight metallic fabrics coupled with revealing cuts topped off with a helping of sequins, the bigger the better, was standard Saturday uniform (and that was just the men) If your outfit wasn’t enough to make you stand out, then your dance moves would complete the display of self expression. Need we even mention a certain Bianca Jagger choosing to ditch the taxi and enter the club on a horse? Nothing less than outrageous hedonsim was accepted, thank you very much.

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So ok, maybe it’s not so practical to ride your pony to the club, and I admit, rocking up doing the Saturday Night Fever finger point might get you some funny looks – but at least some effort could be made with the clothes.

Just because a club is dark it doesn’t mean you have to blend it with the ‘all black everything’ standard attire. Given, it’s a trend, I get it, but I thought clubbing was meant to forget about all that. Making an effort is fun, normal is mundane. I know who I’d rather have at my party…

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Any sense of differentiation and self-expression, what this culture used to stand for, as any subculture does is being diluted in a sea of coolness.

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Let go and let’s bring some raw energy, and love back to clubbing!

It’s a very powerful and effective tool, known to lead to excessive good times,

Which is what we all want, right?

 

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An Open Letter To: The Guestlist Grabbers

By Hot Off The Press, News, Open Letters

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Dear Guestlist grabbers,

Now don’t get me wrong, everybody loves a freebie. It only takes the amount of times we leave the supermarket with double the amount of biscuits we intended to buy thanks to the BOGOF offers that we can never refuse, to solidify the fact that yes, free things are nice. 

But you see, supermarket giveaways are usually there as a tool to get rid of extra, unwanted stock – of which places on night-time guest lists are certainly not.

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Do you not think we’ve heard it all before, ‘mate?’ Strange how you become chatty again all of a sudden as soon as we announce that tickets are on their final release, and their highest price, reminding me of how close we are and how you should definitely be at my party.

Real friends, they buy their tickets, as they’ve seen all the work and effort that has gone into making each night happen, alongside, sadly the costs that come with it. Costs that need to be paid off if we are to keep on running, which strangely, is what the ticket price is there for.  As much as we hate to admit it, running an event is a business model, and money has to be made somewhere to keep everyone ashore.

As the social nature of the business goes, a fair amount of those attending each event are considered friends, which is a beautiful thing, but if this yearning for free entry was granted to all of them then there would be no next party to look forward to.

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Lets say your average ticket price is give or take £10 – £20. So it costs that much for one night of fun. All the time people complain that this is extortionate pricing for greedy promoters, but have you ever stopped to think where the money is actually going?

Firstly you have the venue – venues don’t normally come for free, usually at an upfront cost, meaning a huge wad of the income is gone immediately.

Depending on the venue, to allow a quality night, a sound system or some kind of equipment can be hired to ensure the audio is on point, and as any bedroom producer who has enquired into purchasing such equipment knows, the techy gear can hike up quite a price.

Most DJ’s have an agent to help hold everything together and provide a go to between promoter and artist, of which comes with a fee, alongside the negotiated cost of the headliner you book.

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Once you have a headliner, sound system and venue; depending on the nature of your event, more help may needed with lights and decoration, which again means more out of the bank unless you have some kind creative friends.

And then, promotion is required. Many think this is a non-cost part of the night thanks to social media,  but even Facebook is virtually worthless without some kind of money pumped into it. Physical methods such as leaflets, posters and people to distribute all add up to a tidy wage, but one that cannot be sacrificed in order to breed a success.

So you have your event, your branding, you’ve pushed it as much as possible and the time has come to dance! This doesn’t mean the end of the action for your wallet however.

Flights and trains are payed for to get your DJ from A-B, and then taxi fares make up the B-C from station, to hotel, to venue and back again the next day.

Once they arrive, a fun and exciting part of a promoter’s job is meeting and greeting the headliner, often a personal hero to them (why would you book them if not), and treating them to dinner beforehand. An unnecessary frivolity some may say, but it is certainly not out of the question for a DJ to require food before a long set – unless you take the artists to a fast food chain before hand then again, prices outside of happy hour for many decent eateries all add up.

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So you see, it is a great job, and by all means more exciting than many other industries; but just because we are planning a party doesn’t mean it comes without serious considerations, and wages to pay.

I’m not saying that there is no guest list – but more often than not this is offered out to those who have helped in the smooth running of the event – you don’t pay to go to work do you? But it hardly seems fair either if you are given the reward for simply doing nothing for those who are part of the hard working team.

I realise that being on guest list, and being able to tell your crew that you are in-fact ‘on the list’ does amazing things for your street cred, granted. And to be honest, if you are a regular face, supporting through loyalty then we are very very happy to see you there, but please, don’t ask us again and again.

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Like any gift, be gracious and wait until we offer you, it will feel much nicer trust me.

Yours sincerely,

Professional Party Planner

 

 

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An Open Letter To: The Man Who Says Good Morning

By Hot Off The Press, News, Open Letters

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To the man who says good morning,

Every morning when I get off the bus and walk to my offices, you are there, saying ‘Good Morning’ not just to me, but to everyone who walks past whilst you whistle a merry tune. I’d like to thank you, for bringing a small piece of humanity back to my modern commuting life, and starting off my day with a smile.

You see, human interaction isn’t something you Londoners seem to deal with so well. If you ever want to freak someone out then next time you are on the bus, just look out and smile at passers by, the reaction is amusing I can tell you.

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It’s almost as if the seats facing each other at the back of the vehicle and on the underground are there as a social experiment for the viewing pleasure of those operating CCTV, forcing you into 10 minutes of awkward fidgeting, inspecting your empty phone screens, avoiding like crazy that fatal moment your eyes lock with the person sitting right in front of you.

Yet on the streets conversation is everywhere, it’s not like people aren’t talking… Hands free Bluetooth devices have produced a city of folk who’d rather pound the pavement speaking to seemingly themselves than even acknowledge the thousands of other passers by they encounter daily.

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As a generation, a nation even we are often portrayed as suffering from extreme loneliness, yet the news speaks of over population. Maybe if we just even said a small ‘hello’ to the abundance of real life human people we came into contact with every day, just as you do, this could easily be solved!

I often think of our older generation, the ‘lost’ generation and wonder how they feel in a world so different and impersonal than what it was in their youth. Wishing your neighbor well was a daily practice, and as much as change is an inevitable fact of life, it seems sad to add fuel to the fire to an already isolating time in life by being ignorant to those who crave contact the most. So even if not for the busy commuters with hectic lives, you would be surprised by how much something so little as a ‘how do you do’ can brighten up a certain someone’s day.

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It makes my day so much more wonderful, and I’ve been brought up expecting nothing but cold shoulders.

So thank -you, whoever you are, I don’t even know your name and yet you greet me every morning as if I were your friend; for it is people like you who are to be admired and many should take example from.

 

It is nice to feel human again

 

Yours sincerely,

The very grateful passer by

 

 

Written By Eileen Pegg

 

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An Open Letter….to the Authorities

By Festival, Hot Off The Press, News, Open Letters

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Another weekend, another venue cancellation, another promoter desperately trying to find a last minute new home for their party they’ve worked so hard to create. Us devotees of electronic music have been slow to realise just quite how much control and increasing power you, the authorities, have over the music we adore and the nights and days that we love to dance through. The changes you have brought in, apparently for our own safety and to clamp down on our ‘anti-social behaviour’ have been creeping and sneaky, so much so that it’s only recently that most of us are only just waking up to the fact that the dancefloors we pound through every weekend are becoming endangered, or at the very least being slowly changed out of all recognition.

You, the local councils, and the police, have been nibbling around the edges of club culture for years. Venues in Brixton and events on the grime scene were the first experiments in increased control, with licenses being pulled if DJs designated ‘troublemakers’ were manning the decks, although your definition of a troublemaker was apparently anyone who had played at a party where there had previously been any sort of problem. In the last few weeks I personally have had computerised mugshots taken I hope you enjoyed the sunglasses and the raspberry I blew just to go dancing of a weekend. My bankcard was swiped for “ID” purposes.  The whole experience was something akin to attempting to enter the US, albeit with far politer security. This time, anyway. Because, let’s be honest, to gain entry to some big clubs these days involves intimate breast squeezing and ball cupping that would probably be defined as sexual assault if it was done by a random in a street.

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The thing is, we all know that a lot of the time it’s not even the venues’ fault, you guys have them over a barrel. Most well-established clubs have a full time employee who deals solely with licensing issues, as the clubs know damn well that if there is slightest problem with health and safety, environmental health, drugs or the merest hint of violence, their business will be shut down and then the music stops.  Licenses are getting tougher and tougher to obtain, with ID scanners often forced on promoters and venues if they want their events to go ahead.  Or maybe the music can’t be turned up too loud, because one complaint from a neighbour about noise (who often has moved in a long time after the venue had opened) could mean shutdown. And, of course, many of these people who run our best-loved parties are scared to speak out publicly and criticise the police and the councils and landlords that own these temporary spaces, because they fear that if they do, their names can be trashed and their license could be arbitrarily taken away.  Not just one time, but forever.

But here is the thing, we understand that there needs to be regulation and licensing and all that boring stuff, because it’s important that a party is as safe as possible. For anyone who has been in a vastly overcrowded club or festival, the risks are all too visible. And we understand it’s important to check for weapons, because, well, you never know, and it’s far better to be safe than sorry. And yes, although some might think the law is an ass, we get that recreational drugs are illegal and there are concerns about their usage at electronic music events. But hasn’t it all gone a bit too far? Is this assumption of crime and disorder and bad behaviour really borne out by the facts, these things called crime statistics? I know in your eyes that an electronic music event is just the same as a getting drunk in a trashy bar, but more suspect as our parties go on all night, which to you just seems dodgy. But for us, it’s a flourishing culture, a way of life, and it involves listening and dancing to music that can be just as beautiful as the Rolling Stones or Paganini or Miles Davis, all of whom were once considered malign influences on public life.

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And you’re getting stricter and stricter and making it harder and harder for promoters and venues to put on parties. You say it’s for our own sake, and that of local residents, but I am beginning to think it’s because you just don’t want these types of events to happen at all. In recent months several reputable and well-organised parties had licenses revoked on their venues, on several occasions on the actual day of the event. Other parties have been pre-emptively shut down because it was thought there MAY be problems, based on the flimsiest of evidence.  In fact, looking down my Facebook feed, these days it’s rarer to find a party that doesn’t have to change their venue at the last minute, and sometimes the organisers aren’t lucky enough or don’t have the extra cash to find a replacement venue. Have you any idea how devastating that is for the promoters? How much money and time and effort and passion they put in to making that party? How, especially for smaller promoters, you may have essentially put them out of business, at least for the short term, as they will have spent thousands on flights, security, sound systems, DJs, bar staff and all the other things that make their night so wonderful. And that’s not even beginning to mention the amount that is lost on reimbursing ticket sales and the damage to reputations. But it’s not about the cash, it’s about the love, and that’s why it hurts us so much. And it seems like however much we seem to bend to your increasingly tough demands, it’s never enough. And it’s not fair.

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We are not the enemy. We realise a balance has to be struck, as ultimately if the worst happens, it’s the police, the local councils, the venue owners, as well as the promoters who carry the can, who bear responsibility if a party gets out of control and people get hurt. But this very rarely happens, so why is there felt to be a need to pile on yet more legislation on our heads? Licensing special policy zones are a good example of this. Currently, if your business resides in the Shoreditch triangle or on a certain part of Kingsland Road, it’s now pretty much impossible to get any sort of late license. Yes, these areas have seen an explosion in nightlife in recent years, but lest we forget, you, the authorities, granted the permission for all these places to exist. If you had turned a few down, been a bit more selective before you handed licenses out like sweets, then anti-social behaviour could have been kept at a minimum. The situation we have now is that longstanding venues and promoters with excellent track records are being unfairly punished for the transgressions of a few.

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To be honest, we are scared about what your next move will be. Rumours abound that these special policy areas are just a mere trial run for what will be a London-wide, Sydney-style restrictive licensing clampdown. Apparently you’re thinking about forcing all venues to prohibit people from coming to the party past 1 am, to stop serving alcohol by 3 am and to close the doors at 6 am. This will kill our scene, because it will be the nail in the coffin of what electronic music is all about the freedom to commune on a dancefloor, with like-minded people, to get our rocks off to beautiful music. Freedom, that’s what is important, and that’s what you are taking away.

In these times of austerity and blanket surveillance, it’s becoming increasingly easy to feel that all of this is a form of societal control, smuggled in under the blanket of “keeping us safe”, and an attempt to clamp down on movements and subcultures that appear threatening to the status quo. London is already has the most CCTV cameras of any city in the world, and it seems, that before long it will be impossible to go into any venue without providing personal details and having your picture taken, a bit like when you get arrested and charged for a crime. 

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And these increasingly tight regulations will have the opposite effect that you, the authorities intend. Already we are seeing an explosion of “illegal raves”, and that’s because people can’t afford to jump through all the hoops you keep introducing, and punters don’t want to feel like they are clubbing in a police state, so they make their own events, under the radar, to create a space where they feel free, without your interference, and away from prying eyes. Because you see, we are not stupid. We have been to parties in Barcelona and Berlin and Bucharest, and these parties are far wilder, go on far longer, with the minimum amount of problems, with far lighter touch regulation. We know what the atmosphere at these parties feels like, and we want the same for the city we love so much, that has for so long produced some of the best music in the world, across all genres. If these places can manage it without disasters occurring, then why can’t London?

 

Written by Peggy Whitfield

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An Open Letter To …The Thieves, Hotels and Police of Las Ramblas Barcelona

By Hot Off The Press, News, Open Letters

AN OPEN LETTER

There are many things synonymous with the beautiful, glorious Catalan city of Barcelona: Gaudi’s daring and melting architecture, the city’s winding streets and a world famous epicenter for skateboarding and graffiti cultures. One thing that’s also widely accepted when speaking of BCN  and not quite as celebrated is the city’s street crime and pick pocketing problem, one that’s almost as famous as the network of streets entitled Las Ramblas where many of these misdemeanors and robberies take place. This is a letter to the thieves and the police that patrol Las Ramblas, one of the most crime-ridden hubs in Europe. And the fact that the both of them are utter c***s and contemptuously shit when someone is in real danger.

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But of course, this writer didn’t heed the warnings or at least, tried to, with the entire trip taking a detrimental nose-dive from the moment we set foot out of our hotel. The establishment in question was The Gaudi thought to be one of the higher clientele establishments in the city housing my girlfriend and I duringa trip to celebrate my 25th birthday. A real surprise for me, given that at the time, I was obsessed by the graffiti, skateboard and anarchist culture that was woven into Barcelona’s fabric. A surprise until the moment we set foot inside Gatwick airport, the trip was meant to be a dream come true, one of the most exciting pilgrimages of my life as a fresh faced young man with built up images of the coolest Metropolis’ in Europe. In reality, it ended up with tears, frustration, loneliness and fear in a city that, despite its beauty, isn’t quite so forgiving to those who don’t come prepared… especially if you’re a ‘Brit Abroad’ with a reputation for being naughty, too.

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After a rather relaxed morning, we took a trip to find something to smoke the first big error when visiting Barcelona. Like most cities in the world, don’t go hawking on the streets for substances… you will get absolutely and utterly ripped off for being the mug that you clearly are.  

After acquiring a stone wrapped in cling-film (if you wrap Cling film around itself enough times, the transparency eventually becomes brown) from a moody teenager on a moped, I eventually became the proud owner of some shit crumbly henna plant gak that had a plastic bag molded into the center of it. The tourists had landed and this fellow was going to teach us a lesson. To the dealer who sold me a stone yes you saw me coming and actually got me “STONED” but one day someone is going to make you swallow that shit and dump you in a wheelie bin around the back of El Raval  somewhere.. Oh how I wish it could be me.

The next evening, we were in one of the club’s most notorious clubs, Be Cool, known for its up-for-it crowds and inch perfect musical programming (never mind the ghastly revolving Dancefloor). What it’s not famous for is the risk of being spiked with a lesser-known chemical substance that makes you dance like a nutter and gurn like you don’t have any teeth already. Who knows what was slipped into my lukewarm and foul tasting bottle of Estrella (or my girlfriend’s flat JD and coke) but we were going through the motions. My girl kept throwing up. I kept running to the toilet. One minute we’re raving like our lives depended on it, the next standing about like lumps of deadwood, floating and dampened by our own uncontrollable quagmire of synthetic feelings.  Debilitated by the mysterious and bad quality drug, we hauled ourselves through La Ramblas for home, where illness and oversleeping made us burrow into our own hovel of despair, depression and furious arguments.  To the tosser/s who spiked us with this disgusting substance I hope you are either in prison or being kept locked up in someone’s basement with nothing more than a bag of M-kat as a friend.

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Bad luck, they say, comes in threes, but nothing could have prepared us for the final fuck-up of our ill-fated birthday trip. After wasting our time arguing and complaining for the rest of the holiday about wasting money on dodgy dealers and going to dodgy clubs, we packed our bags in preparation to head home and essentially shut the door on a less than perfect holiday. Rifts healed, blame straightened and hearts pieced back together in unison, we waited in the hotel lobby for our taxi to take us to the airport, and then back to the UK.

I turned around to Kate and said “watch the bags, I’m just going next door to buy cigarettes, ill be 2 seconds”. Considering the Tabac shop was next door to the hotel, I think I may have been out of sight for all of five seconds. Nevertheless, this was still enough time for her to fall asleep while on bag watch and, horrifically, for our bags to be stolen without a trace. Not just one bag, but four, completely vanished, with my girlfriend deep in slumber, mouth open and catching flies. Furiously I poked her awake, asked her what the f*** had happened to the luggage to which she replied, “I’ve only just dozed off”… after a very short exchange of fierce expletives, the sheer hell of the situation hit home  ALL of our bags had gone. They contained our passports, our flight tickets, our money, bank-cards and our clothes. Aside from the 23 euros we had on us combined that is we had been stripped of everything valuable and dear to us. With zero Spanish skills, no identification and no way of escaping, the anger turned to fear. We cried. A lot.

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The hotel refused to check their cameras. An entire lobby full of people had all of a sudden had a lobotomy, meaning their thoughts couldn’t stretch back longer than the previous 3 seconds. Hotel staff gave us a number to the British Consulate and told us to do one. We asked them to check the cameras (the monitors are behind the receptionist’s head). They said the cameras weren’t on. We said we could see the screens and that they were working. The woman smiled mischievously, turned around, and turned the screens off.  When we asked for the police station, she walked into the back room and slammed the door behind her. I would love to be re-united with her someday to give her a piece of my mind Kate, I’d imagine, would give her a piece of her fist judging on the way she screamed at the girl like a raving banshee. To the utter jobs-worth working on the reception we hope you have received karma in a similarly frightening manner, when you’re in a strange city that’s miles away from home.

The Ramblas branch of the police station was full to the brim. We asked for a crime report form, of which took the police three hours to deliver to us from their desks, minus a pen. At this point we were aware that our flight had left, that we were stranded in the wrong part of town and that we were being ignored and dismissed by police as ‘dumb English tourists’ (exactly what the duty manager referred to us as after a two hour wait).

After searching bins for our bags and being brushed off by the local Guarda, we realized that in our panic we had taken a wrong turn. 5 euros of our 23-euro budget had been spent on a train ride to the Airport, where we were faced by more of the same unhelpful police and a refusal to contact the British Consulate and arrange temporary visa for our safe return home.

Two days had passed and without a cent to our names left, we had reached desperation point. Stuck between a mixture of despair, hatred and anger, we had no choice but to wait and look for our chance to escape. An Irish man who had come to Barcelona 6 months previous, only to have his passport robbed and beaten within an inch of his life had been stuck in the airport for three months. He extended his hand of which the nails of his fingers had been completely chewed off in panic brandishing a book. “You may as well take this I’ve finished it anyway. You’re probably going to need it as you may be stuck here a long time”. The book, coincidentally, was  “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens, translated into Spanish language text. The Police threatened to arrest us and throw us out of the terminal for ‘loitering’. “That’s it” I thought. “We’re stuck here. We are a homeless couple stuck here.” Our reality was almost like a modern day Dickensian nightmare, on the verge of becoming sucked in by warring classes. We had become part of the city’s growing contingency of homeless vagrants, struggling to stay alive.

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It was only down to the industriousness and kind hearted vigor of Alfonso, an Easy Jet representative working at their counter, who managed to fast track us to safety. He dealt with the police, made the appropriate calls (we didn’t even have enough to make a call from a phone box), had a temporary passport application form faxed over (rather than us tracking down an internet café) and even printed out a temporary ticket all on his cherished lunch break. He even stayed after his shift had finished, running us through security and dealing with obstacles that arose on route to the seat of our plane. Forever scorned by the majority of travelers for their herd-like handling of customers and blasé response to panicked travelers, it turns out that Alfonso at easy jet had literally saved our skin, when we needed help the most. To Easy Jet your man Alfonso deserves a promotion of the highest order you should encourage more people to be as helpful and humanitarian has him. Because of course, it wasn’t a lost receipt or faulty item it was the lives of two naieve travellers at risk and Alfonso was he last and final hope.

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So in this open letter to Las Ramblas, its undesirables and to the utterly discriminatory attitude of The Police fuck you, and fuck you forever. If I was powerful enough, I would make it a mission to stamp you all out, to erase you from society so you can’t do anymore wrong doing. Thanks a million for your lack of help, lack of interest and dedication to seeing us stuck in the most useless of positions. In short, you are all the scum festering on the toilet seat of life. Make sure, dear reader, that when you travel to Barcelona you never lose sight of your valuables. Never trust the hotel you are staying in and never look to the police for help – they have no time for you and will be looking for people like us to profit from and make an example of us. It took some years for me to return to Barcelona without experiencing gut-churning fear and uncontrollable panic attacks at the mere thought of the place. But nowadays I am more careful and take on board the warnings I failed to do way back in the first place. Take heed of this letter – then you can enjoy the city for the truly magnificent place that it is.

An Open Letter to: That Guy Who Can’t Take a Hint

By Chats to MEOKO, Hot Off The Press, News, Open Letters

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Dear Guy who can’t take a hint, 

First off, an invitation to talk to me is not an invitation to put your arm around my waist. I didn’t come to this club to get with someone, I came for the music. I certainly didn’t wear these clothes to get you to stare at me, but let’s face it; it can get really hot in here especially if you’re dancing. Now I’m not saying the male species is the only one that goes after the opposite sex in a club since inevitably you will find your average drug thirsty chick who in during her quest for chemical substances may do anything with a guy to get what she wants.

However, putting aside any confusion of this being a feminist rant, I’m afraid you males are in the majority of this phenomenon. And by phenomenon, I mean the ever persisting conversation you make a girl go through until you finally end up realising you have been rejected. Yes, occasionally some chats in the smoking area are a healthy form of socialising, but what about when those chats start getting out of hand?

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There’s several excuses and ways one can use to get out of such a situation that’s for sure, but why does there have to be a situation to begin with? I just want to bloody dance and enjoy my night out with my friends damn it. I don’t need to pretend I have a boyfriend (classic excuse) and I don’t need to pretend I’m crazy like that video by Jenna Marbles.

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It’s all fine and dandy when you’re talking with someone at first, unless he seems like a creep in that case he has already tried to touch you. Ah, that hand around the waist. Especially when you didn’t even get to look at the guys face but he’s been staring at your ass the whole night until he decided to act with actions rather than words. Well guess what, both options won’t get you any pal. In the words of MC Hammer, you simply can’t touch this. Can’t. Touch. This.

So mate, I shouldn’t even need to tell you I’m not interested, you should read it in my eyes when I turn to my friends whenever you get annoying, and if you don’t get that, maybe you should understand the phrase ”not interested” and take it for what it is. I’m pretty sure you’re just going to try the same thing on the next girl anyway, so why get upset about it?

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And as for the ladies who like to do the equivalent to men, maybe you should either get your own drugs and leave the nice guys alone, or better yet, try going after those who seem to like this kind of shit and leave the rest of us to dance worry-free.

Yours sincerely,

Every human being who prefers dancing to having a creep waste their night.

Written by: Thalia Agroti 

 

An Open Letter To: The Shirtless Muscle Mass in the Middle of the Dance Floor

By Hot Off The Press, MEOKO Presents, News, Open Letters

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Dearest Shirtless Muscle Mass in the Middle of the Dance Floor,

 

For god’s sake, man, cover up. Cover up your pecs, cover up your traps, your delts, your triceps and your biceps (I know you’ve been working especially hard on those), cover up that half finished tribal tat which represents your killer instinct and non existent Maouri heritage and most importantly cover up the thin but unbroken layer of slimey sweat in which you are permanently encased. Please, please, cover up that sweat.

I should clarify whom I am addressing here, because in the context of a gay club, shirtless dancing, drinking, and general mackin’  is entirely acceptable. Since the gays really started this whole clubbing caper, they reserve the right to do whatever they want in their clubs – just keep the felatio to the corner, where possible. The straight man, however, over-sculpted and painfully self aware, who feels the need to peel off his outer layer within a club of fully clothed people, is a whole other story. Yes, I’m talking to you, Stavros McMuscilious.

horrible

You see I look at someone like Marcel Dettman or the lead singer of Rammstein and I see muscles formed from a life of lifting immense crates of vinyl, or throwing flaming bulls across large fields. I look at you and I see the kind of muscles that only grow in air-conditioned gyms from doing reps in front of a mirror. Mirror muscles, I call them, and they lack a certain…authenticity.

You love your looks, this much is clear, but if you really loved yourself on the inside you wouldn’t feel the need to expose your washing rack abs in order to pull the hunneez. No matter how carefully you sculpt your skin, you’ll always have a complex and feel in some way inadequate. There will always be some guy who is bigger than you, and what’s worse, there will always be skinny, ugly, hipster dudes with unruly beards channeling 70s porno muffs who somehow pull the fit girl you’ve been eyeing half the night. It’s shocking, but the truth is some women prefer ironically worn waiscoats to bulging, twitching exposed pectorals.

hipster

Dancing is not your strong point – generally you tend to lumber about the dance floor, arms out, shoulders hunched, circling yourself like Donkey Kong looking for lost bananas. You do have one undeniable talent – dancing backwards. Your back – already grossly offensive from half a metre infront of me, looms closer and closer as you display your surprising lack of spatial awareness and dance me into a corner until I could lick the perspiration off the back of your neck you leaky behemoth. Infuriating backwards dancing aside, your participation in dance music extends to knowing who Tiesto is. “Tiesto? Yeah he’s the man!” You always say. To you, a club is merely a meat market, and you’re here to purchase the choicest cut you can find – if only anyone was as choice a cut as yourself. Usually I wouldn’t have to deal with you – you stick to your Tiger Tiger bars and your Cream Ibiza Terraces, but every so often you wander into a techno rave in search of fresh tail and the result are so catastrophic that I feel compelled to write an open letter to appeal to those of you who can read.

The implication of this letter is simple. Put your shirt on – NO not that one – the one that fits. Great, now let me show you the door. Try not to get stuck between the lintels.

 

Sincerely and severely yours, 

 

A Considerately Clothed Clubber. 

An Open Letter: to The Booth Bitch

By Hot Off The Press, News, Open Letters

an open letter meoko

Booth bitch: listen up!

Before I begin, understand that I really am saying this for your own good. It seems the only logical explanation for your behaviour is that nobody has told you what you’re doing makes you look like a dickhead – or if they have – you’ve put it down to jealousy that they can’t work a dance floor into a frenzy like you can. But something needs to be said about the way you’ve taken to infiltrating the DJ booth (like so many others before) posing next to a man twice your age looking like a cheap escort.

boothbitch1

First of all, you’re not fooling anyone. We all saw you skulking by the entrance to the booth, waiting for the bouncer to take a fag break so that you could slip in unnoticed, after your elaborate attempt of wrapping a flyer over your wrist to imitate a VIP band failed miserably. We also saw every time Mr DJ palmed you off after you tried to get him to do a lazy fist pump in unison with you. He doesn’t want a line of your shit coke, doesn’t have one for you, and you were more likely to get a restraining order than phone number the way you were acting.

boothbitch2

Realising that any chance you thought you had with the superstar in the room had been blown once again, I watched as your attention gradually turned to the crowd after a couple of hours. It was around this time that the DJ booth transformed into a platform to radiate your sexuality across the entire room, and no inch of the dance floor was left untouched! You may not have caught the big fish, but you seemed confident that the chance of getting your paws on some sort of industry head or lesser-known talent is high… and that’s still worth some pretty major kudos. You’re too good for the jerk in this booth anyway, right? Nonetheless, despite your best efforts of looking like Nina Kraviz making ‘those eyes’ at everyone, it just looks a bit like you’re pranging out off some dodgy MXE. We’re embarrassed for you down here. Haven’t the Boiler Room sets taught you anything?

At the end of the day, surely you want to get your money’s worth? After all, it’s nice on the dance floor! People are having fun and the music sounds a lot better when you’re in front of the speakers than in some dead zone to the side of the monitors. Besides, you’re not going to make any friends brown nosing a guy that’s going to be on a plane back home in three hours.So for the love of God, take off those ridiculous high heels, turn down the intensity of your stare and come and have a fucking dance. Anyway, that woman dancing next to you that just wouldn’t piss off despite your best efforts? That’s the DJs wife. 

dj booth rules


An Open Letter… to ‘That Guy’

By Hot Off The Press, News, Open Letters

an open letter meoko

My Dear Friend,

It’s like you came out of nowhere! I was desperately looking around for a rizla when you popped up waving five in front of me, and there begun our first exchange.

rizla splitter

There’s something about the smoking area that has an element of magic about it… a real sense of unity rests in the air that can’t be found anywhere else! Maybe it’s that we jump on the chance to chat without being drowned out by the speakers, or perhaps you could just put it down to ecstasy-fuelled enthusiasm. Barriers are broken down; coincidences realised at a rate of knots and then marvelled upon with child-like wonder. ‘You have friends in London! No way man, me too! Weird!’ The result? Iron cast friendships formed faster than you can say ‘yellow rockstar’, and ours was most definitely one of them.

rockstar splitter

Did you go out alone? Or did you just decide my group of friends would make for a more interesting evening? Either way, we had no problem in welcoming you into our little circle of friends to dance the night away. One of my friends gave you a key, and in exchange you offer the last warm drip in your scrunched up water bottle – a genuine act of kindness at 3am. As the night comes to an end we make our way out of the club, hailing down a couple of taxis to continue the party back at mine. You come with us, of course.

And at first – my eager friend – everything was just fine! We’re a fairly close-knit group, but you kept things entertaining with elaborate stories of getting ketty with James Jones and Liam Foss, your sets at DC10, and other questionable anecdotes. Okay, you may have spilt your drink all over our floor and sofas a few times with enthusiastic gestures – but no big deal. It was when you took control of the speakers that things started to go a bit west. That dubstep remix of the Lloyds TSB advert? Hardstyle? Snow patrol? Come on mate, I thought you’d feel the atmosphere tense up, or at least see from the people leaving the room that this wasn’t the time… but no! With a sinking feeling, it dawned on me that you must just be ‘that guy’

gurn splitter

As if a light had been turned on, it was suddenly so clear. There was something feral about you, as your eyes darted around the room, switching between staring people out and avoiding eye contact all together, although in all honesty your eyes had been doing their own thing most of the night. You sat there, crossed legged on the floor, blasting out Beyoncé and fiddling with a lighter – and I suddenly became all too aware that you’re one of the only ones left. Moreover, I suddenly became aware you’ve lost half your clothes and are covered in… dirt? What even is that? There’s a weird smell and I look down to see you’ve spent the last five minutes trying to set fire to the carpet. We had to find a way to get you out…


‘Err mate… everyone’s pretty shattered; I think we’re guna hit the hay…’


It was weak, I’ll admit. But it was all I could come up with. We started to go through the motions… turning off the speakers, moving things away in a half arsed attempt to look like tidying, all the while avoiding eye contact with you. It was our last resort, and maintaining the ruse was crucial.

 

‘OK I’ll just sleep here on the floor’ 

           you replied, pulling your jumper over your head and making a pillow out of an empty can…

 

And there we had it. You were to be part of the furniture for the night, whether we liked it or not. You lay there, snoring away with the sort of death rattles which cry out for a change of lifestyle, whilst we desperately tried to block them out and get some shut eye for ourselves. Hours passed and we drifted off, and when we arose you were gone. Where? None of us were sure. You dissappeared just as mysteriously as you arrived. 

 

So there it is! If you do stumble upon this letter, my messy companion, i’d love to hear from you. Who knows, we could be great friends one day? Besides, you left your phone and one of your shoes. 

 

passedout