How to be a successful promoter and make everyone love you

Never take off your Canada Goose

Since the VI-king managers of old, promoter history has woven a rich tapestry. Promoters are the cornerstone of university nightlife. Whether they’re shoving another fucking flyer in your face or telling you can’t get in after 11pm – where would we be without them? If you want to make a successful attempt at joining the promo legion, read on.

Stand in the DJ booth

There are two options here. You can stare deeply into the blue light of your phone, as if 115 decibels of music wasn’t being smashed against a crowd of 1,000 people right in front of you, or you can take command of the space. Feet shoulder width apart, fucking with the DJ’s levels to mute every other line of the chorus in Mr Brightside. Dispense vodka from the booth into the faces of your adoring fans for extra points. Whichever you choose you will convey entitlement and arrogance in equal measure.

dj booth

Never take off your North Face/Canada Goose/[insert expensive jacket with fur hood]

“Nah it doesn’t matter if I’m inside, the down creates a constant microclimate around my torso, it doesn’t fluctuate when I come inside.”

Get two phones

One for business, one for pleasure. Make it clear which one is which when saving irrelevant people’s numbers. Then…

Save people in your phone as a number, not a name

I got up to 56. 56 faces without names, reduced to nothing but a number. Dehumanised and without identity. It gets quite embarrassing when you meet someone in a social setting and go to save their number but you’ve already got them down as #3,172. 56 is actually quite a low tally. One of my friends who is a bigger baller than me has more than 200.

On that note, look at the queue and see a line of £5 notes instead of people

They’re not people, they’re profit.

This looks fun doesn't it

This looks fun doesn’t it

Tell everyone you don’t get the fascination with the cast of “reality” TV shows

“Just as vanilla as the rest of us” – with a slightly more serious cocaine habit.

When you secretly wish had the budget to book KISSTORY instead

The booking you actually want. A booking that won’t elicit the familiar groans from your colleagues when you tell them the second least attractive bloke from MIC is trying to revitalise his DJ career, again. The problem with booking KISSTORY is that you won’t make any money, seeing as they take the entire door. And the club won’t make any money either, because they take the bar. And then there’s their two grand fee on top of that. But then you remember that they play the best of old skool and anthems.

A strong queue


Pretend to forget people’s names when they arrive at the club

They’ll think you have too many mates and it will probably make them like you more.

Engage everyone in the queue at all costs

The queue is an unruly beast. It expands and contracts like the stomach of an articulated python. As you pace its length you must greet every single person along the way. The girls resting their already tired heeled feet on the curb, your street team and the policemen. All must be engaged. It doesn’t matter that you don’t know them, have a meaningless conversation with them to create a mystique of popularity to everyone else watching.

If someone asks if you can get them queue jump pretend to care and make a note not to talk to them again. Or…

Give people VIP bands, and use them as a currency

Invariably, they are worth nothing. The VIP band’s inherent value is in the fact that no one knows what they are for. As such, you can trade them for almost anything: drinks, money, maybe some real friends. We’re all slaves restricted by our capitalist chains, after all. An expert VIP hustler will have two bands, different in colour. One gives you entry, the other a sceptical look from the door staff.

Hold the queue to ‘ease congestion’

People would rather have an easy path of entry and stand in the rain than just come inside. It will also mean you’ll get a sick photo of the queue for Facebook, upload with immediate effect.

Queue jump bribes

“Here mate, can £20 sort us out?” – always, always take the money.

When you knock on the wrong door

When you knock on the wrong door

Play music from your phone or speakers when flyering

When you’re flyering, you should look like a cool gang of friends hanging out – just getting paid to do it. Laugh obnoxiously at intervals throughout. If people tell you they aren’t going out, ask them why. If they’re a fresher, tell them they’re a pussy and that you went out seven nights a week in your first year.

And carry posters, wristbands or flyers around with you at all times

This way people will know you’re a promoter, even when you aren’t working. Lectures love spare print for your new Wednesday night.

Knocking on doors is not a job, it’s a hobbie

Going round all the “fun” halls with enough posters and flyers to cover half of Greater London, give each person that answers the door the same three minute speech. You perfected it over the years, thinking you’re straight out of Wolf of Wall Street.

Talk about “lightboxes”, and how expensive they are

I’ve put them up, I’ve taken them down. I still don’t know how they work or why they cost so much.



Complain about how hard your job is

“Sorry mate, I have to leave pres at 10 for work”, then when they arrive, get really flustered and tell them you don’t have time to talk. At the end, push your hair back and say, “who’s getting me a drink then?”. Don’t mention the fact you just got £50 cash-in-hand.

Rinse your boss for the ticket money from three weeks ago they forgot to collect

Hello new Canada Goose.


Thanks for the new fur boss

Snapback or Five panel?

It doesn’t matter which one you wear, no one knows the fucking difference.

Social media

Invite, tag and poke everyone you know.

Tell people how it’s “really original” to book the same act you booked last term, or that their branding is really tacky. It’s for the greater good. And, be it a comment on someone’s compulsory cover photo depicting Fledgey, or whoever, from Geordie Shore or a 500 word status about pushing in the queue; always, always, always refer to it as “your night”.

Decant their vodka into a plastic carafe because ‘no glass’

It’s actually because you’re drinking Glen’s, mate.