Dry January 2018: University of the Arts Students’ Boozy drinking Culture, even in Art Galleries

I had the pleasure of attending an exhibition by the BA students today in Southwark.

The host provided soft drinks and wine in smart glasses, but I was surprised that many students from the University of the Arts chose to tank themselves up beforehand and even bring along their own cans of Strongbow and lager bottles to the Art Gallery. It felt inappropriate and seeing lots of university students with alcohol cans and swigging from beer bottles intimidating. I had never been to an art gallery whereby large groups of people were seen to be bringing in their own booze. This sort of behaviour would normally be seen at festivals, clubs and hotels. I have been to a preview at the Tate Gallery and this did not happen there.

Bringing in their own booze was quite rightly banned by the family-friendly Arts venue in Southwark, but there were too little staff who really could control this behaviour adequately. They did their best under the difficult circumstances. Children also attended the Venue as well.The university students didn’t seem to be aware that they were doing anything inappropriate, even if it was ‘their own exhibition’. Couples visiting the venue carried cups of fizzy water and wine glasses from the host.

Though I didn’t see any ‘bad behaviour’ as such, apart from littering in the park by the Exhibition, being round a lot of people with booze in their hands, and no bouncers, made it quite intimidating. The venue needed more staff and signs saying that they should not bring their own alcohol. The venue was also next to a children’s playground

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