How to actually start a student night
Do you have what it takes to shake Manchester?
What better way to flirt with the looming face of adulthood than to start a night? You can strut around town being the edgiest face in Manchester, all the while raking in profit and bolstering the CV.
If you see yourself as the next big name, but have no idea what you’re doing, never fear – The Tab tracked down some of the rising stars of the Manchester nightlife scene. Adam, Guy and Bilal are the minds behind one of the city’s up and coming student nights, KwamDown.
Adam flamboyantly sums up the night as ‘red hot funky disco tracks, layered with Carnival classics, in a bird’s nest of colour’ but does go on to add a more accessible description, telling The Tab ‘it’s a hybrid night bringing fresh Manchester talent to the forefront of a Tiki bar where the crowd sees off cheaper than chips Zombie cocktails and gets a touch frisky on the dance floor!’
Our curiosity was piqued, and thus we have created our guide to starting your own big edgy night in Manchester.
Make plans whilst smashed
The whole premise of starting your own night is a little mythical. Many of us will have talked about how cool it would be to take over a venue, or how we could revamp some dire event, or how Sankeys would be perfect for that beach party theme you’ve dreamt up – but few have followed through the next sober morning. Loads of people have the ‘what?’, ‘where?’ and ‘why?’, but very few have the ‘how?’ sorted. How do I take the first step? Should I just ask a barman? Do I sound like an idiot? Fuck it, house parties are easier.
But, the first step doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Adam tells us ‘it actually started with a drunken conversation in December with the owner of ZombieShack. We had a bit of a plan for what we wanted to do with the night, and the owner seemed genuinely interested, so we took our chance‘. If that revolutionary idea/completely generic night-plan is burning into your brain, but you can’t quite muster up the nerve to share it with the establishment, it sounds like a few drinks at the bar to muster up some Dutch courage is the way to go. However, don’t abandon your inebriated masterpiece of a pitch the next day; KwamDown called the following morning to confirm that we they were serious. A drunken conversation is great, but this is a business, and the owners need to know you’re consistent.
No one’s going to give a shit about your dream unless you throw some pretty pictures in with it. Shades and florescent tubing worked for these boys, so get thinking about your look.
It doesn’t have to be big budget stuff either, Adam filled us in on their process, saying: “Once the venue was secured we contacted some graphic designer student pals and asked them to work up some ideas for logos and flyers. However, without a handsome budget, we were unable to really motivate anyone to finish it! In the end we took matters into our own hands, snapped some photos of our close pal, edited some images on Adobe, slapped in some text taken from the internet and uploaded the images into a Facebook event – all done in the space of 30 minutes… The result was questionable, but we think everyone enjoyed it and has seen the funny side of it! If anything, it just added to the personality of the kind of night we want KwamDown to be.”
Promotion, promotion, promotion
Unless Kidnap Kid is your cousin, or your sister’s going out with one of the boys from Bondax, you’re probably not going to get that headline act that everyone’s talking about.
KwamDown were fortunate enough to be friends with local up-and-comer Ardstepz, citing this connection as a huge bonus, so get networking. Facebook, naturally, has been their main tool of exposure, with Adam saying ‘ironically, the scrappy style of the first Facebook image sparked a fair bit of confusion amongst friends, most of whom actually thought it was a joke, but it got loads of people talking!’. As they say, all publicity is good publicity, so plaster images of your event everywhere it will stick.
Actually follow through
The principle reason every third person you’ve met in this night-life driven metropolis hasn’t started their own version of Goldteeth is that it is difficult. It will be exhausting at times, and it will have its dull moments.
Adam leaves us with this parting advice: “Don’t be lazy. If you want to make a night which covers every angle and leaves people wanting more, then there is always something else to do. If your budget can stretch a little further there is always another layer of excitement you can add to your night – Zombie Shack is a Hawaiian Tiki bar, I’ll let your mind wonder! It’s hard work, but it is doable. If you think you’re the right person to do this, and you know you’ll follow through, there’s nothing to stop you.
KwamDown is throwing its launch party on the Wednesday the 26th of February at Zombie Shack. We’ll see you there.