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Vox on......The Guestlist

This month's unbelievably important issue looks into that thing of beauty in the dance music world. The guestlist....

There was a time when a guest list was a simple thing - you knew someone who knew someone, your name was down, you were coming in. Now there's a whole array of guestlists - the registered guestlist, discount guestlist, ticketed guestlist, membership guestlist, guestlists by age group, guestlist for people born in Ibiza (probably..), guestlists for a fiver - all this so that every one feels like they are special enough to get their name on that clipboard. One London club has even gone so far as to be 'guestlist only' – which means only if you have emailed your name beforehand can you have the pleasure of queuing round the block for an hour and a half in the rain and then paying an exorbitant entrance fee. This, of course, totally defeats the purpose of a guestlist. It's not supposed to have mass accessibility, it's meant to be just the select few waltzing past the shivering masses and feeling like they're better than everyone else. That's just the way it is.

So who still gets on the guestlist – a REAL guestlist? Well you can bet your left foot that if Kanye rolls into town, his assistant is not going to be told to register his email address and then 'get in the queue early to avoid disappointment.' Equally, you're not going to find yourself being manhandled by a meathead bouncer who can't read your rain soaked ticket and has decided to throw you over a barrier for telling him to ‘get some fucking glasses,' if you're filthy rich and likely to burn more cash on imported vodka in one night than a royal on a stag do. And if you produced the latest piece of wonky dubstep that's killing every dance floor from Ipswich to Istanbul then it probably isn't going to be you who tries to push in half way round the three mile ‘guestlist' queue and ends up being bottled by a fifteen year old on Miaow Miaow. But if you're not connected, cash rich or celebritised, why should you get the real VIP treatment?

Cocoon Ibiza - next level queuing adventures....

The art of The Guestlist has been hijacked, dumbed down and made accessible to anyone with access to a hotmail account and a fiver. It's just been made too easy now to get on one – you don't even have to sleep with anyone or compromise yourself in any way. If everyone's on a list where's the exclusivity? If you're having to pay, register or and/or queue then there's no actual benefit, regardless of how many times you tell your friends ‘Yeah I'm on the guestlist' – they'll know it's not a real one when you have to empty your wallet to get inside. But at the end of the day, there's one very good reason why the genuine Guestlist should survive in all its divisive, elitist, unfair glory: because one day you'll be on it.

In the clubbing world most of us are not talented enough to be DJs or producers, not mercenary or hardworking enough to be a promoter and unlikely to ever be rich enough to own a club. But at some point everyone will know someone who is connected to someone who can put us down – plus one – for Friday night, making us feel for that fraction of a second that we waltz past everyone else shivering in the queue that we've jumped up a notch from mere ‘punter.' And if you dilute the genuine Guestlist with all these fake guestlists then the tradition - and achievement - of networking, flirting and bare faced lying your way into that group of privileged few will be lost. Which would be a shame. Everyone's got to have something to aspire to after all…

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