At about 6pm this evening the country will be momentarily engulfed in a celebratory roar, heard blasting out of every window in every office from Abingdon to York: the Easter bank holiday weekend is here! It's like Christmas but you'll put on less weight and the days won't blur into one trippy wash of Quality Street and Classic Who Wants to be a Millionaire. This is the sweetest of all holidays. Thank you Jesus, for your birth, your life, your death, and your rebirth. Thank you Jesus for letting me get seven-pints-pissed on a Thursday night without having to deal with the 8am Overground shakes on Friday morning.
It's all too easy to get complacent, to let the days fly by in a haze of tinnies and single skins, and as fun as it is being half cut in front of Gogglebox it's better to be fully cut, torn to shreds, in front of a DJ whose name you won't remember the afternoon after. With that in mind, we thought we'd give you the skinny on getting the most out of everyone's favourite celebration of ultimate betrayal and eventual crucifixion.
FIND A BASE
I know it seems like an alien prospect when Saturday night's rolled round and you've just boshed whatever your mate slipped in your Dickies after work on Thursday but one of the key things to remember when planning a four day bender is that you've got to go home at some point. Play safe and pick somewhere you can congregate when it all gets a bit too much. Ideally this'd be someone's house, even more ideally the house of your most responsible mate, the one who makes you take your shoes off at the door and actually has a shoe rack, but if you're short on sensible mates, or friends in general, then a Wetherspoons will do. They open early, they're warm, they don't play music, and they'll let you sit in there all day stinking like empty baggies and unwashed pants for the price of a pint of Ruddles.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
I don't want to sound like your dad or a supply teacher drafted in to cover a year 11 RPSE lesson at very short notice, but this is super important if you want to have the kind of weekend you'll tweet your grandchildren about when we're all living on Mars, listening to techno on MP12 players inserted in our skulls or whatever. As tempting as it might be to get piss-yourself-pissed tonight you've got play it at least slightly sensibly, otherwise the weekend will quickly descend into chain-watching Dinner Date episodes you've seen a hundred times already, dribbling onto a pillow and howling into the void about how much you need a Dominos.
Treat tonight like Wednesday, Friday like Thursday, Saturday like Friday, Sunday like Saturday and Monday like Sunday and you'll be right as rain as soon as you remember the reports you're already late on come Tuesday morning. Even Skream sticks to the orange squash two nights out of four on the Easter weekend. Possibly.
HEAD TO THE SEASIDE
As hard as it is to believe sometimes, things do actually happen outside of the nation's capital. They've even got selfie sticks in Scunthorpe and a Nandos in Norwich now, so it's safe to escape the wallet-wrecking clutches of Clapton and Clapham every so often. In fact, why not enjoy the splendour and beauty of our 19,491 miles of coastline and hop on the Megabus and have a proper bank holiday daytrip to the beach. There's nothing better, or more British, than spending the money you could use on flights to Berlin or Barcelona on eating chips on a carpet of pebbles in the pissing rain, scoffing artery-clogging doughnuts in dismal arcades and throwing copper after copper into slot machines.
Why not combine those simple pleasures with nipping down to Brighton for a proper weekend of piers and pints? Those of you down on the south coast can catch James Priestley and Giles Smith doing their b2b thing at a secret location on Good Friday at what's sure to be another classic secretsundaze party. If you're more into confirmed locations and two stepping make sure you trundle down to Bournemouth for a Garage Nation night with Wookie, Flava D and Oxide & Neutrino. And if you still fancy trying to catch a few rays and dancing off the hot dogs zip over to Southsea on Sunday for a Justin Martin takeover of a coastal fortress.
SKINT? STAY IN
If you're broke but all your friends are making highfalutin' plans that involve withdrawing actual cash from a cash point without shitting themselves at the prospect of the possibility of being blown out for requesting a whole ten pounds from their bank account, then fuck 'em off and have a long weekend in bed. Providing your housemates have topped the meter up before they swanned off the god knows where to see god knows who to do god knows what, you can have a pretty good weekend for about a fiver. YouTube has pretty much every dance record ever released on it, so head to Costcutter, pick up a loaf of bread, a pack of custard creams and a 2 litre bottle of Strongbow, trundle home, pour yourself a drink - mix it with tap water for that true club experience - and get a few tunes lined up on the lappy, turn the lights off, sit on your hands for a bit till you get that tingle in the wrists, clench your jaw in the mirror et voila you've just gone out without having to go out! Repeat on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday night. What a fucking weekend!