Sunday, August 19The Voice of London

How To Survive At Boiler Room

You’re here because it’s your first time going to Boiler Room tonight, isn’t it? Here are seven commandments to follow that will guarantee you’ll make it through the night.


Words: Simone Wright, Subeditor: Karolina Zilenaite

If you’re lucky enough to get on the guest list for one of the biggest underground nights worldwide, Boiler Room, chances are you’ve got really cool friends and you’re a regular attendee, who is no stranger to skanking to music in a gallery space while intoxicated.

For those of you who have no way of blagging yourself inside and don’t have a clue what you’re getting yourself into, we’ve created a handy guide on how to survive your very first Boiler Room session.

1. Be on time
Typically, a Boiler Room event comes around two or three times a month, so try to cosy up to your industry mates when you know something is coming up. It’s always a good idea to be on time – remember this isn’t your average club night.

The session usually starts at 7pm and the live broadcast starts around 8pm – bear in mind that for popular headliners there will be huge queues. On some nights you could be queuing for up to two hours.

Knowing where you’re going is helpful too. Twenty precious minutes were spent trying to locate the Red Gallery… five minutes away from Old Street station.

2. Wear appropriate clothing
By appropriate, we’re talking thinner clothing like tees and cami tops. It’s called Boiler Room for a reason. It’s all fun and games until the room temperature triples and you feel like you’re being cooked alive.

The worst thing you can do is wear a thick jumper or a jacket or even both when inside. Even if they have been #basementapproved and will get you a couple hundred likes on the ‘gram.

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3. Keep hydrated

You will be drenched in your own and others’ sweat, and you won’t even notice until Faze Miyake finishes his set or someone steps on your already battered Reebok workouts.

Have a drink or two in the queue and don’t be too scared to ask for some tap water to replace the gallon of perspiration that has turned your white tee grey. It might also be a good idea to buddy up with someone who has body spray.

4. Join in
Get into the spirit – mosh, shout, scream, wile out. Nobody goes to Boiler Room to stand in the corner; those who can no longer stand will never be found in the corner. Even the photographers will be jumping around in the centre of action and rubbing shoulders with the artists.

The whole point of Boiler Room is to show off that you’ve been specially selected to hang out with a bunch of people and artists in a private setting, so go all out. Make a group of moshing friends or start it off yourself. But don’t be that guy who throws innocent bystanders around, because you’ll ruin it for everyone else.


5. Socialise
You’re going to come into contact with a lot of people including that girl you stalk on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Don’t wait until she uploads a selfie to ask whether she was at Boiler Room last night – talk to her. And that guy, who is decked out head to toe in the Yeezy Season 2 collection. And the other guy, who is slumped at the bar.

Boiler Room brings together industry types; Wavey Garms enthusiasts; us average Joes, and your distant cousin Kevin who is “well into grime now”. Networking at an event could work to your advantage and you may never have to queue for two hours again.

6. Come up for air
This is key for surviving a night at Boiler Room, especially if you’re asthmatic. It tends to get very intense and you will want to enjoy and remember your night and not be known as “that girl who got carried out”. Take yourself outside for a breather instead of waiting to pass out.

Go out to the smoking area and ask anyone if they have any filters, hoping that they’ll just give you menthol instead. Order a triple at the bar, because why not?

7. Stay until the end
It’s always a good idea to hang around, because the guys who run Boiler Room always have more surprises up their sleeves and you’ll regret leaving an hour early, when you find out BBK showed up later on. You’re also likely to snap a pic with your favourite MC, who is also probably loitering around near the bar, waiting for you to praise his performance.

Good luck!

The next Boiler Room event is on 29th November. For more info click here.