U-Bar Takes the sword to Pint Night line…inequality

U-Bar Takes the sword to Pint Night line…inequality

Born to drink, forced to queue

Management at U-Bar is taking a stand against inequality in the Pint Night line. The call for action comes after reports that wait times could be over an hour long late last year. In their battle against lines that haunt students’ nightmares, U-Bar will extend its opening hours on Wednesday nights — along with a host of other measures.

Gauging the extent of the problem, Critic Te Ārohi spoke to U-Bar manager Adrian Lowry, who admitted that, “At the start of the night it can look pretty bad.” While he said that it’s “a nice problem to have from a bar perspective [...] we can only take 390 people at once.” Hence, when they reach capacity, the line “can just halt.” 

That halting is the problem. Security is forced to abide by a one-in-one-out policy after capacity is reached, and are surprisingly immune to your bribe of a hoon on the vape. Competition is immense, with packed lines and frequent line-cutting leading security down the path of “tough choices,” as OUSA president Keegan Wells lamented. 

Critic Te Ārohi received reports (slurred complaints) that security reshuffled barriers on February 28th, thinning the line by kicking half of those near the front to the curb. Additional reports from last year have cited instances of the line tipping in a domino-like fashion after security attempted to push back the jostling mass. 

As a Pint Night devotee, Keegan shared her thoughts on the conundrum. She chooses to view the line as a “terrarium of the student experience.” To this degree, Keegan argued that the increased rate of injustice within the line was a reflection of greater divides within the student body. Spoken like a true politician. 

But she didn't see this line inequality as a bad thing. In fact, she has a history of lobbying for post-graduate students to have greater Pint Night line privileges in previous OUSA election campaigns. Keegan argued that “part of the experience of Pint Night is also the line.” Caught in reverie, Keegan regaled tales of her youth spent playing ultimate frisbee in the line, only snapping from her trance to apologise to a friend she “hit that one time.”  

Despite Keegan’s comments insinuating that the Pint Night line inequality may be somewhat justified, U-Bar is taking steps to rectify the issue. Primarily, U-Bar is set to open earlier, with the possibility of a 7:00pm start on the horizon. The policy was trialled on February 28th when the bar opened at 8:30pm (rather than 9pm) to great success. The idea of a “soft close” is also set to be employed. Instead of being booted out the door at the end of the night’s final act, the bar will close and anonymous DJ tunes will slowly usher you out in your own time. 

U-Bar is also changing how they approach the year more broadly, with Adrian telling Critic, “We would like to replicate the success of Pint Night over other nights of the week.” To do this, U-Bar is trialling an ‘Open Mic Night’ every second Tuesday to account for the venue’s demand. As well as giving the student community another night of bangers, the Tuesday event will also act as a space for budding musos to hone their acts and potentially book a Pint Night gig.

The promised land of Pint Night awaits both queue frothers and guitar twangers after U-Bar’s recent changes.

This article first appeared in Issue 3, 2024.
Posted 2:22pm Sunday 10th March 2024 by Hugh Askerud.