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How to Stay Safe During Spooky Season, From a Nightclub Bartender

Leaves are falling, days are shorter, and the sweet smell of PSLs waft through the library. This can can only mean one thing: spooky season is upon us! It’s always an exciting time of year (especially for all of you freshers out there), but navigating the Edinburgh party scene safely can be difficult for the best of us. Whether you’re a regular on Cowgate Street, or are fresh-faced and ready for a new adventure, it’s more important now than ever to take extra care whilst dancing the night away. Here are my top pieces of advice for staying safe over the spooky season, from a nightclub bartender: 

  1. Having worked in a nightclub for a year, I’ve seen almost every possible scenario that can occur on a night out, the most common being getting too drunk. We all start out by saying ‘I’ll just have a few’, which swiftly turns into ordering 3 rounds of Jagerbombs for the group, before knocking them all back by yourself. Before you know it, you can’t walk in a straight line and you’re throwing up the pre-sesh meal on the side of the street. It’s not a pretty sight (trust me, I’ve been there). Make sure you know your limits and you stick to them. There is nothing worse than being the person who took it too far and spewed on a bouncer. Have fun, by all means! But make sure you drink plenty of water, eat before going out, and always keep your drinks with you.  
  2. If you go out as a group, stay as a group. Ditching your friends for the boy you met 3 minutes ago who has already kissed 2 girls that night is not the power move you think it is. Stick together and have each other’s backs, and never ever leave someone behind.
  3. I know we may seem scary, but if you are ever in trouble or in need of a friendly face, don’t be afraid to ask the bar staff or the bouncers for help. We’re all there to help keep you safe and to make sure you have a fun night. Whether you’ve lost your friends and can’t get home, or someone is making you feel uncomfortable, come and talk to us and we’ll try our best to help. I promise, we don’t bite. 
  4. We all love to dress up for Halloween, it’s tradition. But no one should be made to feel unsafe or targeted because of the clothes they are wearing. A costume does not equate to consent. Showing a bit of skin does not give anyone the right to touch you or treat you poorly. If you’re feeling unsafe on a night out, there are free helplines and people you can call for assistance, such as StrutSafe and Street Assist. 

There’s plenty more things I could ramble on about, but I won’t bore you with my experiences working in the Edinburgh clubbing scene. Enjoy yourselves this spooky season, stay safe and most importantly, have fun!

For Strut Safe:

Call 0333 335 0026

Our hours are:

Fridays + Saturdays: 19:00 – 03:00

Sundays: 19:00 – 01:00

​Our responders are there to be a friendly voice on the phone, and will stay on the line with you until you feel safe.

For Street Assist:

Call 07708 351 200

Image credits: Provided to The Student by Eleanor Beaven, published with permission.