The real party is in the O2 smoking area

Let’s take these VKs outside

Let’s be honest, about 30 per cent of us have tried smoking to be cool. But the other 70 per cent opt for a fag break for social reasons; and at LetsDisko or Shabang, for a bloody conversation.

You might not call yourself a smoker, or a member of the annoying brand of social smokers who sponge off of other people’s cigs, but occasionally you’ll get a few to buy your way into a conversation, just to be accepted onto the floor of benches and banter that is the O2 smoking area. Smokers and social smokers: they have more fun than you, and you know it.

It’s all fine and dandy dancing in the R&B room, having a laugh with your mates or creating some intrigue and sexual tension with your new hot dancing partner who just bought you three VKs, but no one sounds hot repeatedly shouting at the top of their lungs “SO WHAT’S YOUR NAME?”. A swift motion of taking a toke, signalling a move to the smoking area, can make all the difference to your night.

Chardonnays and cigs

It brings back the fun of what I can imagine the old days would’ve been like. Clubbing today is walking into a dark room, hearing nothing but pounding music for a solid three hours (not to sound like an OAP) and losing your friends. Let’s take a step back to the “disco” days of our parents, where nights out weren’t just about non-verbal communication with everyone for the duration of the evening, then going home with a randomer. The real disco is outside.

Waking up to find out what accent your “hit” of the night has can be a fun surprise, but beer-goggles have an even stronger prescription when you’ve barely seen them in the darkness of the club and haven’t had the chance to hear their “chat shit, get banged” Leicester lingo. If anything, smoking is probably the most sociable part of an O2 night: you’ll find yourself engaging in conversation for more than 10 minutes, that’s longer than dancing to three Taylor Swift songs in the main room with your new club crush, so you’ve got more time to make your move. You will have also plumped up a nice alco-blanket during pres, and a hot sweat from those five slut drops you nailed in a row, so the cold won’t kill your jam.

New fag friends

Alco-blanket + liquid confidence + smoking area = you’re a social legend. Like lost property, if you lose your friends in the O2 you can be reassured there will be a 99 per cent chance one of them will be in the smoking area: not only because a night at the O2 is like a school disco of familiar faces, but because they know how and where to have fun.

Even if they aren’t, the smoking area is like the outside equivalent to the girls’ bathroom, you’ll probably make a new best friend. Or that babe of a girl stood next to you will save you from a dead-end conversation with that intruding DMU student, talking about his degree in footwear design, that you’ve been politely stuck in for those dragging, drunken two minutes while your fag is burning away. In the same way, finishing a fag offers an un-awkward exit from a conversation, like speed dating, those two minutes from lighting up are 120 seconds of judgement.

The cigarette part isn’t even important. It’s the event that it entails: you’ve been invited to two parties, one is in the O2 and the other is out back. And no, I’m not condoning peer pressure- you can quite comfortably sit in the smoking area without actually smoking, and that’s what makes it so great. Or you can be a social bee, hopping from group to group and taking a puff from standard to menthol, while adding a little something to each conversation, perhaps getting a few numbers, or Facebook friend requests.

Fag in hand or not- risk the bad cough and ash-covered shirt in the morning, because you’re bound to have a better night out when you’re out-out.