Saturday, 21 September 2013

Bring your own bottle: a Bulgarian Bench party

They might have met at a bench party.

Autumn 2013 is well on its way, and the bench party season 2013 is now nearly finished.

Before the season is over, let me explain to you what is a bench party.

It is a massively popular - and economical (hence the popularity?) - style to party in Sofia. The city's parks on summer nights are full of people; young and mature; home-having and homeless. They sit on benches, drinking (mostly) beer from large plastic bottles (I wrote about this type of bottle last year in my colleague's blog abot Sofia), and socializing.

In order to provide for the partying people, a network of 24/7 mini markets, kiosks, and kebab shops is operating in strategic locations, next to the city's most important parks. 

Many more things than just sitting, drinking and socializing happen at bench parties; I won't go into details. Imagine an array of parties you have ever been to; all happening simultaneously, next to each other, under the stars. You can move from one party to another, making friends with people from nearby bench parties, asking them to light up a cigarette for you, wawing away the mosquitoes.

Wellcome to Sofia's budget nightlife.

Next time, a report from the jeep-surrounded chalga bar called 'Sin City', the opposite side of the scale.

Often a location is next to a fountain.
Text and photos (c) Agne Drumelyte, 2013.

1 comment:

  1. This actually sounds a lot like what people do in Greece as well, at least the "alternative" , "anarchist" or "rebel" type youth. It is not so widespread as I gather from this post, but a lot of people do enjoy partying like this - myself included.