This is the story of how I spent over £30 to see a band I didn’t know and ended up not seeing them anyway.
Sandra* and I arrived at the Pre-gaming event in Salford, where the vibes seemed to be immaculate. We would alternate between introducing ourselves, taking a shot, taking a snap and dancing. The drinks were really flowing, and everyone was excited for the concert even though most of us didn’t really know the acts performing.
We eventually made our way to the venue where the event was being held and stood in line doing the dance one does when it’s cold, and you’re pressed, and you’re buzzed. At this point, we decided to go to the bar next door to use their bathrooms and wait in the warmth.
A few bathroom conversations later, Sandra and I were on the dance floor, and we were having a great time. I looked over to my friend and thought, wow, I am genuinely happy in this moment. And the night would only get better once we left this bar, went to the actual event, and met up with the new friends we’d made. I closed my eyes and got lost in the moment, in the thumps of the music, the hums of the bass and the lights. I really felt like an It Girl.
Little did I know that my friend was not okay. After allowing myself a few minutes of euphoria, I looked over to Sandra and her head kept drooping. She was still standing but she couldn’t answer any of the questions I was asking her. Next thing I knew, my friend was on the floor unconscious, and security was looking for a pulse that they couldn’t find.
I will spare you the gory details that follow, but I found myself in a backroom, watching the security team massage my friend’s chest and try to wake her up. I had completely sobered up at this point and was trying to be as helpful as possible, even though Sandra and I had literally just met last week.
Where does your friend live?
Somewhere in Fallowfield, I think it’s Ashburne hall?
Can you give us her parents contact or her siblings?
We’ve literally only met once before this
What’s her social media?
I only know have her number and her snapchat.
Can you unlock her phone?
I was really trying my best to recollect information from the few conversations we’d had, as I gave the security her BRP, and someone else called the ambulance. After she threw up the most vomit I had ever seen come out of a person in my entire life, the security team said that she would be okay. So, I helped them cover her body with foil to keep her warm and held her hand for the next three hours as we waited for the ambulance to come (it never did).
That night taught me two things:
1. Drink water and check in with your body.
Hydration is sexy. Getting drunk to the point where you can’t take care of yourself is not. Also, there are so many scary people in this world who can hurt you and ruin your night if you’re not careful. Do not give them opportunity.
Make sure you watch all your drinks (both alcoholic and non) and if possible, keep a look out for your friend’s drinks. Come up with signals that allow you to check in on each other throughout the night (even a simple thumbs up and down will do), and don’t hesitate to speak out if your body is feeling funny. Your real friends will be more concerned about your well-being than about you ‘ruining the night.
2. Take some time to know the type of people you are going out with.
There were various points in the night where I was tired, angry and frustrated. With my friend, with this next-door bar, and with the night in general. But I couldn’t live with myself if I left my friend behind just because I wanted to the night to end.
Unfortunately, the reality is that not many people care. If you are going out with people, make sure they have your back just as much as you have theirs. I have heard way too many stories of people being abandoned on nights out, often in dangerous places, by people they were going out with for the first time. If you don’t know/trust someone, stay sober, or stay home, bestie.
Sandra and I made it home safely. Some details are too spicy to share on a Uni blog, but every time we talk about that night we wonder: did she drink too much or was she spiked? Regardless of what the answer is to this question, we both swore to intentionally look out for each other on nights out so that this never happens again.
(*Sandra isn’t her real name)