How to gatecrash VIP parties – otherwise known as ligging

marlene dietrich

Do you like parties? Especially VIP ones you weren’t invited to? There’s a term for that. It’s called ligging. Get ready for the ligger’s guide to the party at the end of the universe.

1. Find a Party

‘Ligging’ is basically gatecrashing a VIP party to which you haven’t been invited. It’s similar to going to a friend of a friend’s house, with a bottle of Lambrini, and claiming to be a mate of Sarah’s. But better.

Finding a VIP party actually the most difficult step. Unless you have contacts in the right places, in which case you wouldn’t be reading this, you need to do some homework. Most media launches have a party attached, be it the premiere of a film, the launch of a book or record, or opening of a gallery or theatre show. Theatre shows are a good one to go for, as these are mostly ignored by the general populace.

Some, if not most, launch parties are invite only. Unless you have that contact, you may not be able to get an invite. Doing some heavy duty surfing may yield some good results though. Which, again, is where something like the theatre comes in handy.

All shows have a press night before they open to the public, which you may be able to buy tickets for if you go to the theatre’s website. It’s also worth getting your name on mailing lists for advance warning on new shows. And at theatre parties you could meet anyone from that extra from Harry Potter to the Spanish Ambassador. It has happened.

Start small. Don’t try and blag your way into the launch party for Tilda Swinton’s new film. Though if you can manage that, don’t forget to invite us.

2. Get into the Party

You’ve got your party; you’ve got your ticket. What now?

If it’s a big place, when you get there, ask someone, like the person working in the cloak-room, where the reception is. Assuming there is going to be a reception means whoever you ask will also assume you’re invited. Make sure you know how to get there too. Be confident.

Otherwise you will probably already be walking straight into the party. Once you get in there, again, be confident. Remember you have every right to be there; otherwise they wouldn’t have let you in. Don’t make a grand entrance, but don’t look as though you are sneaking in. Chat to your friends, don’t attract attention to yourself, but don’t ignore people around you. Act natural, in other words.

3. Stay in the Party

At all times, be confident in your being there. Even though you’re gatecrashing the party you will now be in the company of actors, agents and journalists. They will assume you’re one of those people too.

The first thing you should have is a good cover story. This should be nice and simple. (As with all the best lies, as in ‘I didn’t know they were YOUR longterm partner.’) If anyone asks, you’re with a magazine. Best pick an obscure one.

If all else fails, stick to initials. ‘I’m with GCN.’ That way the person you’re speaking to will assume they know what that is.

If you do see someone famous, DON’T POINT. Just acknowledge they are there and don’t make a scene. Don’t play with your mobile phone and don’t take photos. Be the cool calm and confident journalist you’re pretending to be. If you do see someone famous you’d like to speak to, do so politely, compliment them on whatever it is they’ve done recently. Keep it short, unless they keep talking to you. Don’t try to pull them.

Make sure you do help yourself to the free buffet and bar, but don’t over indulge. And don’t get drunk. Have fun.

If you do get caught and are asked to leave, do so quietly and without fuss. It looks better that way.

4. Leave the Party

As with your entrance, don’t make a big scene of leaving. Whilst making your way out is a good time to speak to some of the people you’ve been staring at all night. Pointing out that you simply must go now is a nice opening and the person will give you more of their time than if you just spoken to them earlier. Don’t try and steal any food or drink either. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to leave your kleptomaniac tendencies at home…

Wait until you have gotten a good distance away before you start saying how you can’t believe you just got away with that .

Then start planning your next party.

The thing is, the more you do this, the more your face will be noticed. If you’re behaving yourself, the more accepted you will become, until eventually you might find that you’re expected there.

Though that may take time.