..past midnight on a Saturday night. At the heart of Stureplan, Stockholm, a large crowd is waiting to get a spot in.. or out? of the spotlight.
Are you on the list?
It’s past midnight on Saturday night. At the heart of Stureplan, Stockholm, people are pushed back and forth by the allure of partying behind the velvet rope. The queue system doesn’t exist here, instead there's a disorganized crowd and a doorman who simply points to indicate who gets in and who does not. To be sure to get in you must be famous, good looking or a friend of the doorman. Or, simply a regular.
Then, when you finally think you're inside, you're wrong. After making the first cut to the official night club, it’s time to meet the real challenge.
You approach another velvet rope knowing you should be happy if you leave this crowd with all your body parts intact. Here stand people, again in a messy clump, screaming out their names to the doorman: “Hey, we are actually on the list.”
Yes, everyone is on the list. The bouncer doesn’t give a damn about that. Or you as a person. If your face isn’t familiar you might as well leave. If it’s possible. The pressure in the hysterical queue is so strong you cannot move an inch in any direction. To the right is a door for extraordinary people, a slightly more convenient way to the VIP room.
Finally, you're inside.
An offensive smell of sweat and fermented champagne fills the red wall-to-wall carpeted room and you notice that the small place is in need of renovation. But despite the wear, it’s here everyone who fancies Stureplan wants to be. Top models who haven’t left the country for success in Europe are dancing on tables with retired sports journalists. Hotshots give their best to show their party spirit. Champagne, Red Bull and vodka drinks flow.
But how does this place differ from other VIP rooms around the world?
In Sweden, people lie about paying those 40 bucks to get in. Because the crème de la crème walk in for free. The limited circle has a tendency to look alike because everyone got inspiration from the same magazine. Some people burn their entire monthly salary on one night because they get caught in the moment.
What especially stands out, however, is the Swedes' way of showing off—the phenomena “vaskning” (meaning sink). When it was prohibited to spray champagne on yourself and your friends, because it tended to get out of hand, people came up with a solution to get around it: You simply ask the waitress to throw the champagne down the sink, while you and your friends watch.
There is a reason companies have built businesses around the idea of taking Americans and Asians to VIP rooms in Stockholm for a sum of money. Not just to see our shallow ways and lame attempts to appear rich. But to get a chance to party with pretty Swedish girls, forget the stock market for a while and party as if there is no tomorrow.
When Saturday night comes knocking again, you find yourself in another chaotic crowd outside a trendy nightclub, pushing, screaming, squeezing. It is the same procedure every week, because you know that once you are on the other side of the velvet rope it's all worth it.
By Hanna Aqvilin
You'll get an idea at Stureplan-Nöjesmagasinet på nätet (In Swedish)