Examples of published nightlife articles here.
“Whereas most nightlife features are written by geriatric walking-stick touting travel writers, based on a bit of local hearsay or an out-of-date guidebook, we are going straight for the jugular with our series of nocturnal adventures in cities around Europe and the world! Our brave reporters aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, and their livers damaged, as they drop in on the hippest hotspots, fearlessly imbibe the regional poisons and engage the locals in conversation (and more if possible!), all in the name of nightlife journalism.”
One Blurry Night articles are compelling first person stories chronicling a big night out in an exciting foreign city. The journalist writes from a slightly naïve point of view (explaining local customs etc), although the writer should in fact be well-researched and get the lowdown on some top places to check out before setting off. Get in contact with a local first (via Couch Surfing or other social networking sites).
The idea of the article is to tell an entertaining story whilst seamlessly revealing the lowdown on the nightlife – ie. to sum up the vibe, to recommend a handful of great venues and districts, and to detail the peculiar aspects (ie. unique customs/habits) of the city’s nightlife, with plenty of interaction with the locals.
The article should include:
Local habits – what time do people go out? How do they go out? Smartly dressed, eating in restaurants first, drinking on the street, drive around in convertibles first, smoking like chimneys, bar-hopping, in big groups.
Local drinks – what are the local beers? How do they taste? Are there any local spirits, specialties, famous shots (Mad Dog in Krakow, Cock-sucking Cowboy in Sydney etc etc). Favourite cocktails etc etc. What measures do people drink – pints, schooners, steins, canas. Eg. It’s 10pm and already a crowd of loafer-wearing Javier Bardem look-a-likes have gathered on the terrazzas and started sipping canas (small measures) of beer.
Local interaction – the best way to experience a city’s nightlife is mingle with the locals, and ask them for advice and to explain their own perceptions of a) their city b) partying in their city. A voice recorder could turn up some invaluable quotes for the article. The writer should also talk about the locals themselves – what do they look like? How to they dress (alternative style, latest trends, scantily, conservatively – concrete details)? How do they behave? How do they react to foreigners?
In order to give the reader a broad scope of the city’s nightlife it is necessary to take in three or four venues in one night… so start early and finish late! This also maximises potential for adventures! To minimise travelling time you may want to choose one cool district to focus on, and give the vibe of that neighbourhood too. The perfect combination might be three different style bars, finishing up a club. Could include restaurant first if that is a big part of the nightlife culture there.
For each venue think about:
i)Crowd – age, professions, gender, dress, behaviour (drunk/refined)
ii)Décor – get some concrete details. Eg. Stuffed owls swoop from the ceiling, furniture from a 60s Sci-fi series, dancefloor splattered with chewing gum and broken glass, flickering bulbs under art nouveau lampshades
iii)Music – genres, specific songs
Other desirable detail might include staff, toilets, prices, history…
Talk about what you did, how you felt, who you met, what you did. Were you shocked at how late people went out/how liberal the locals were? Did you get pissed off at having to stand in every bar and queue ages for drinks? Were you surprised at how easy it was to strike up a conversation with the locals? Did you make an idiot of yourself trying it on with a cute girl/guy? Did you overdo the drinks, get chatting to the DJ in the toilets?
Overall this should be a fun adventure story that weaves in plenty of colour and detail about the local nightlife with your own experience, whilst revealing something of the character of the destination and its people.
Pics of the venues, crowd and of course the people you met should illuminate the piece! So please take a camera!!! Try taking shots both with and without the flash (for the latter use a steady surface to balance the camera).