The night is drawing to a close, or is it? The seasoned raver always knows where the afterparty is at. Here’s our raver’s guide to the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to the after party…

1. The Location Commit

You know the textbook play: first, send a scout to check it out before you bring the team, but this one is too far away for that. It’s 1 AM and everyone’s amped. You are standing at a crossroads. One route leads everyone home and to bed, the other leads to an unknown Pelham/Peckham/Prestons location of unknown potential. The decision is in your hands and on the other end of the phone is the party host….. ‘Yeah come down man, it’s still banging mate!….There’s still people arriving too’.

Use your years of training. Listen carefully. How does that system sound in the background? 4/10 you reckon, distinctly average for a house party, but maybe that’s just the line. Hmm, and you can hear a lot of voices and laughter too; sounds busy (girl’s and guy’s voices, very important, a sausage- fest at this point would be an epic fail). What about that hesitation in his voice? Did he sound like a desperate man trying to save a dying party? It only took two rings to answer; how much fun could he be having?

You hang up…It’s a tough one. Seven expectant faces look to you for direction. One or two are beginning to falter, checking the cost of an Uber home. It’s now or never and you know it! An 8 seater taxi appears out of nowhere. It’s a sign. There’s only one chance to be a hero! “Let’s go, guys! This party sounds like it’s popping off!’. Best of luck pal, fingers crossed you aren’t bringing 80% of the people to the party :/

2. The K-hole

Ah yes, the club has kicked out, and a particularly energetic and affable stranger, a new friend if you will, has invited you and your smashed buddy back to his best mate’s party.

“It’s just around the corner!” he says.

Sweet! After knocking at the door, it’s quickly apparent that something is not quite as advertised. The door is answered by a very intense individual who manages to carry off looking both outwardly suspicious and inwardly paranoid at the same time. He grits his teeth as his eyes dart between each of your faces.

“I’m Mark’s mate,” your new friend says. Open sesame! You’re both here now, so may as well at least have a look inside right? Well, a quick once-over reveals that this is but one socio-economic strata up from a crack den and one down from a coke house. In this limbo land, music blares in a small living room to four people on a couch, two sat in a wide-eyed trance unaware or un-phased by the couple next to them rounding third base. Two other guests are dancing a discarded rum and coke into the carpet, seemingly to 10 tunes at once whilst talking at each other’s faces, loudly.

‘Psssshhhhht’ comes the sound from the kitchen, and you are suddenly aware of the punctured silver canisters littering the floor. Your new friend has found ‘Mark’ and is lighting up a joint that, by the size of it, should be nicknamed The Showstopper.

You have a choice to make: leave immediately or be sucked in for the next five hours. You turn for the door. Wait, “shall we just do a quick balloon before we leave?” Slippery slope; tread carefully.

3. Your Place!

“Let’s all go back to mine!”

Wait….was that your voice that said that? Oh shit! You were supposed to go home 5 hours ago, and now you’ve got four cabs headed to your place for an afterparty.

As you wing your way home to the adulation of your mates, your tipsy brain is now trying to remember what state the house is in. Did you leave your room in a half suitable condition for an adult human being? Didn’t your flatmate say something about needing to get up early for a meeting tomorrow? How many people said they were coming back again? You get to your place and your fridge is immediately raided for anything savoury or alcoholic.

Someone plugs their phone into your speakers and suddenly your kitchen turns into Room 2. Room 1, the lounge, is taken care of by some ‘friend’ of a friend playing dubstep on your laptop, which is one enthusiastic spillage away from her open beer.

It’s all a bit much, but ahh…at least you only have to go upstairs to bed! Win! Also, thankfully, as you open the door to your room you manage to interrupt what would have been the defiling of your bed by your two mates who had snuck upstairs to make some long-anticipated bad decisions with each other.

You kick them out, switch the light off and fall onto your bed fully clothed. Holding your phone 2 inches from your face, you see you have a WhatsApp message…..Mum….”Just reminding you that we land at 7 AM tomorrow so we should be at yours by 8:30, looking forward to seeing you. Much love X.” Milk was a bad choice.

4. The Club After The Club

The music may not be your bag, the crowd may be as sketchy as they come, and it might be well out of your way, but how can you let the night go when there is still a dark room full of dancing, sweating, vibing people within reach? So you and another in your group are decided: It’s gotta be club number 2.

Well, get your sales hat on because your group is going to take some convincing. $20 to get in anywhere at 4 AM is a stretch.

Pick your targets wisely, couples will be trickier to convince as two heads are more tired and sensible than one. Plus, they have all that sex to go home and attempt. There will be a judgement call to make on how long you claim you will be staying out at the next place for; too long and nobody will have the stamina, too short and they won’t see the point (2 hours is usually a reasonable middle ground).

Don’t forget, you will now have to face doormen again, so straighten yourself out. By the time you make it to the next place, the sky is just starting to get lighter as you plunge back into an even dingier sweatbox of lasers smoke and seasoned ‘go hard’ good timers. Enjoy it while it lasts, and whatever you do, don’t think about tomorrow (AKA today).

5. Elysium

Do we have drinks? Yes. Can my friends come? Of course! What’s the music like? Well, the girl’s flatmate is a promoter so DJs are turning up after they finish their sets in the city, until then, feel free to stick your tunes on if you like.

Wow, yes, this rare and elusive afterparty (named after the ancient Greek mythical afterlife, ‘a place or state of perfect happiness’) has everything you need.

On entry, you are suddenly aware of the fact that this place is massive and, holy shit, they have a pool! No way, is that the hot girl/guy you were dancing with in the club? You thought you’d never see them again, but here they are, walking your way with a drink/joint in hand, ready to start where you left off.

What’s that you hear? Oh, that’s your tuuuuune mate! Get yourself settled in, someone’s bought way too much alcohol and I don’t know whether you noticed but all of those Dominos boxes are full! They over ordered! As you Instagram a photo with your new crush, she/he slides her hand up your thigh, increasing your chances of 3rd base+ to 30% and rapidly rising. Wait a second, is that [insert your favourite B-list celebrity here]? This is the best afterparty ever! And to think, you almost went home…