The pub crawl is probably one of the most common modern quests people embark upon. Participants have a path laid out, a list of pubs to visit throughout the evening, but they don’t really know where they’ll end up or even who they’ll be at the end of the night. A pub crawl is people throwing themselves headfirst into the promise of chaos, arms flung out to embrace whatever life will throw their way.
This quest is a test of fortitude, social battery and tolerance. A test of one’s ability to continue rallying and to seize the night. It also often becomes an opportunity to meet new people and form stronger connections.
As a result, pub crawls have been the answer for some organisations who want to deepen their bonds. At least this was the thought process for Trinity’s Dublin University Film Society (DU Film) and Dublin University Photography Association (DUPA), who hosted a pub crawl on September 22nd, as a part of Freshers’ Week.
“We chose a pub crawl because we thought it’d be a great way to let new freshers loosen up a bit and get to know each other. We have other weekly events but this allowed people to see the local nightlife around Dublin and make new friends”, said Andrew Kingston, DU Film’s ents officer.
The pub crawl began at the Pav and each location afterwards was given a time limit that the large group of new members could not exceed.
“I think the schedule is the best and worst part of the pub crawl”, said Kingston. “It gives people some excitement of going to the new place, but can be a little intense for some people because it’s a lot of moving around and finishing drinks quickly at times,” he continued.
Beyond this though, pub crawls can be intense for other reasons, aside from being riotously fun. Simon Pegg and Edgard Wright’s movie The World’s End captures this in a number of ways, simultaneously dramatising the pub crawl by placing it in the context of the world truly ending, and shedding light on the way people normalise drinking to an unhealthy degree. The movie explores alcoholism as well as the fun that can be had when drinking is not used to escape your problems.
It’s important to recognize that the romanticisation of pub crawls can also make people feel ostracised if they are unable or unwilling to drink for any reason, as well as perpetuating a culture of binge drinking instead of reaching out for help. However, if done responsibly and as safely as possible, considering the goals of a pub crawl, they are a guaranteed adventure.
“[It] offers something different and a fun and different way to see the local area. People are generally in very high spirits and enjoy taking part in whatever rules are in play,” Kingston continued.
For anyone looking to organise a pub crawl, the internet has a plethora of advice to give on best practices, including outlets like the The Sunday Times. In putting the pub crawl together, one has to keep in mind the distance between the locations, especially considering that, as the night goes on, people may truly be crawling. And if it’s a larger group, the organisers will likely need to reserve tables.
It can also be completely spontaneous. It’s a personal quest. It’s whatever the pub crawlers want to make of it, the only thing that’s sure is that it won’t be a dull night. Just drink water, go with the flow, and tap out if necessary.