What clubbing was like before Smartphones & Facebook

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. That's cool! We get it :)
You can support us by sharing this story or following us on Facebook.

Back to Top

What clubbing was like before Smartphones & Facebook

You know, it’s easy to forget we once lived a life without our smartphone friends. It’s funny to think about the quirks and dilemmas that existed on a night out; boy have they changed! To enjoy some nostalgia, we’re highlighting some retrospectively hilarious things that clubbing culture once owned, whether we liked it or not.

You were strangely loyal to your weekly club night 

If you were lucky enough to find a weekly club night where you felt you belonged, it became a part of who you were.

The clothing, the familiar faces, the attitude and the music meshed to form an identity that you would evolve with. It became the place where you’d find your kooky group of nocturnal friends. That TAFE student, the girl you always saw at Video EZY, the rich kid, that guy who was two years below you in school, all merged to form your own weird church of dancing misfits.

Phone numbers weren’t necessarily exchanged but an unsaid lasting bond was.

It was handy to be friends with the club photographer

The currency of club photography had a higher value because the proof a night happened was a very limited resource.

The club photographer in a way was the second doorman. Once you’d convinced the first doorman to let you in, you then had to convince the photographer that you were worth taking a snap of.

It was that balance of not appearing too eager (even though you were) and delicately positioning your group in the photographer’s line of direction. The next step would be to try to catch his/her attention as they just so happened to “conveniently” brush past you. If they smelled any inkling of desperation in your need, NO PHOTO FOR YOU!

Did your photo make the local youth rag?

It was a strange kind of 15 minutes of fame. The anticipation each week to see if your mug had made the local street mags, 3D World or Brag magazine was palpable.

Even if you didn’t make it, it would always be exciting to see a friend in there. It acted in a way as the exclusive pre-social media Facebook check-in.

If you were one of the lucky few to get your photo in a mag, that served as the first gentle ribbing/topic of conversation. A cheeky, ‘Well, well, well! I saw you were at Candys on Saturday night!’

The phone coverage was simply terrible

Want to send a friend a text? Yeah, forget about that. No telecommunication company predicted the popularity of text messaging. No bloody network big or small could handle 25-word text beyond a handful of people doing it in the same area at once. If a friend was in the club, you would just pray you’d get entry. Otherwise, in a lot of cases, the contact was lost and the night was over.

No Insta Stories, just stories (and regrets)

It would be at 9 am the morning after. You’d wake up in a pile of dribble and switch on your Nokia 3310 to the sound of ten delayed text messages from the night before.

*beep beep. beep beep. beep beep. beep beep* ‘shut up!’ *beep beep. beep beep*

Debriefs weren’t optional. They were essential. The one keyword being regret. Everyone would wake up with the same dishevelled sense of urgency. The kind where you’d need as much information fed by your friends as possible to ensure you’d behaved yourself adequately the night before.

Did I say something stupid? Did I really consider jumping into that fountain? Why does my mouth taste like garlic? 

A lunch with a few friends would confirm you had absolutely nothing to worry about. You’d all done something stupid!

What happened in the club, stayed in the club.

We’re not talking in a hedonistic way like in the Berghain. We’re talking about confidently being an unashamedly terrible dancer. An index finger and a few whispers might have been pointed your way, but you didn’t care!

The FOMO was nevvvvver-ennnnnding

You wake up in the morning now and the ten Snapchats or Insta stories from your friends give you a decent idea of what went down.

Back then, If you didn’t make it out the night before, you were sure to be served up many exaggerated stories of how excellent the night was… even if it was terrible. This was done with a purpose.

‘You missed a crazy time last night dude!’

It was disguised as friendly banter but was, in fact, calculated psychological warfare to ensure that you’d never miss a party ever again. Oh god, the stories really did make you feel like you’d just lost the chance to have the best night of your life.

Getting home from the club was a pain in the ass!

You want to go home between the times of 11 pm and 2:30 am? M8! Good bloody luck. Go line up in that cue over there. Yeah, the one which is about a hundred metres long and has one taxi turning up every ten minutes.

If you were one of the lucky few to score a cab, you HAD to tip them, even though the interior stank of hot sweat! This really made any kind of early night exit unappealing. We’re pretty sure that scenario helped coin the term second wind.

This story is one of many features, stories, competitions, podcasts and parties in partnership with spiced rum devotees Baron Samedi! Like us they share a desire for a vibrant and thriving Sydney nightlife and celebrate the creativity that only comes to life after dark. Follow them on Facebook for exclusive parties, comps and news.



Related Posts