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Swaparama Razzmatazz, Parlure Spiegeltent, Old Steine, Brighton, May 14
Arrive in an outfit you’re not too attached to, drink, dance and when the klaxon sounds, start swapping clothes with the person next to you. When the klaxon sounds again, swap with the next person. Try not to give away absolutely all your clothes.
It’s a simple formula, but one that’s proved extremely successful for the founders of riotous, fast-paced night Swaparama Razzmatazz, which makes its Brighton debut on Thursday.
Swaparama was launched in London more than two years ago by University of Sussex graduate Eloise Markwell-Butler and three friends. One of the group had spent a year living in a San Francisco commune where he had been introduced to the idea of clothes swapping.
He decided to give it a go back home and from there, the Swaparama phenomenon was born.
“Some people think we are an eco night, which we are in a way – people do wear their swap clothes afterwards – but most of it’s just about crazy, silly fun. We string washing lines up all over the club so it looks like Nora Batty’s house or something.
[Vintage clothing shop] Beyond Retro provide outfits for people who have turned up without anything to swap, there are drinks and dancing [Djs play rock ’n’ roll and ‘party classics’] and then, at about 10pm, we start swapping.”
Photos taken at previous nights make for colourful viewing – men with too-small frocks on, nicely accessorised with bike helmets; women in 1960s fur hats and giant bras; lots of plastic Minnie Mouse ears.
Don’t get too carried away though, Eloise warns. “In theory, whenever you swap, you should get something in return – you shouldn’t lose all your clothes. Having said that, you regularly go outside and find people trying to leave with no shoes because they gave them away.”
Already booked for the Glastonbury, Beachdown and Latitude festivals, Eloise is excited about unleashing their brand of sartorial chaos on Brighton revellers. “This is the first time it’s been in Brighton and it’s about time,” she says. “It’s our spiritual home.”
- From 9.30pm to 2am, £10. Call 01273 709709 for more information. Ages 18 and over only