They say UK nightlife is dying and millennials are too busy updating their Snapchat stories and worrying about future home ownership to have fun. But then they weren't at the Birmingham city centre branch of Greggs last night. For one night only, in a stunt that seems equal parts publicity-baiting and #peakbritain, a branch of the high street bakery chain was transformed into a nightclub.
It all started back in September, when University of Birmingham student Nikki Gardner posted on the Greggs Facebook page to ask whether she could host a party in one of their shops. "Any chance of having a party in your shop to get all my friends back together since coming back to uni?" she wrote, adding: "We LOVE Greggs."
Never one to miss a media opp, Greggs granted Gardner her wish. After a three-hour makeover yesterday evening, the Birmingham High Street Greggs became the "Ministry of Greggs" (Justin Berkmann, I'm so sorry), decked out with strobe lighting, balloons, and an actually pretty legit-looking sound system.
The night was guest list only, obvs. Around 50 of Gardner's friends attended and Greggs provided complimentary steak bakes, sausage rolls, and doughnuts—as well as booze. Inflatable doughnuts were passed around and one guy, of course, dressed up as a pasty.
Dan Kelly, a member of the university's DJ society, was called in to provide the music. A tweet from him on the night sums up the absurdity of staging a rave in a space more used to doling out chicken katsu bakes to hungry office workers: "When you look up from your set and see someone waving a cheese slice at you."
Another tweet from the party, posted by Greggs' PR manager, who has surely earned her Christmas bonus this year, shows staff members in light-up glasses dancing behind the till as the crowd is showered in confetti. Student partygoers also tweeted their enjoyment of the event, writing "Its a lock in. In a greggs " and "Turn up in Greggs. "
And Gardner? She seemed understandably pleased at having instigated the kind of ledge-en-dary student party that will be talked about by generations of future undergrads. Posting again on the Greggs Facebook page, she wrote: "BEST PARTY EVER!! Legends. Thanks for the rave. Steak bakes rule. "
Let's just hope none of this shows up when it's time to apply for those graduate schemes.