I'm a London-based freelancer who writes about costume design, performance art, pop culture deconstructions, literary evaluations, reviews and bucket lists on my blog Diary of a Self-Confessed Nerd
Published March 7th 2013
All you need to know info to survive a London Première
If you are in London, chances are your red carpet première is going to be in Leicester Square, but there are a few things you'll want to know before you embark upon this perilous task of fan appreciation, star watching and general once-in-a-lifetime event.
Before you even leave the door you are going to need three things; patience, determination, and at least one best friend. Patience because, well, there is a lot of waiting involved when it comes to a première. Determination goes hand-in-hand with patience. You are going to need some staying power to keep hold of the best spot all day and as it will be an all day event, because it will be, trust me on this, you are going to need a best friend. You'll be thankful for the company. Plus someone has to hold your spot while you grab a snack or go to the loo.
2. Know the area and weather reports:
Firstly you are really going to do some research and know the area. Ask yourself (and the internet, it is your greatest tool), where the carpet is going to be and where "the front" is. Also you are going to want to find a good spot to sit in while not being in the way of other pedestrians, as well as the best place to wait. If there are any restaurants or cafes see if you can use them as seating if you are in a group (see why having at least one friend is a good idea now? One of you can go grab and bite and sit down while the other saves your spot and vice-versa). Importantly though, make sure you give these places business, buy something to eat or a drink every once in a while or you risk getting asked to leave. Another key point is to be familiar with the weather for the day. You are going to want to dress appropriately and a small fold up umbrella and a coat/jacket are going to be essential; both items will keep you dry and warm, but also have the function of having something to sit on. You don't want to take a fold up chair, or a massive umbrella because what are you going to do when hundreds of other fans are at your back, trying to get to the front where you, and all your extra baggage, are?
3. Take a bag and relevant supplies:
Speaking of umbrellas; I must stress this, make sure you take a fold up one you can put in your bag! Otherwise you are going to have some very cross people at your back and they can make your life very, very uncomfortable. Plus it is just plain rude not to be considerate to other fans just as dedicated as you. They want to be able to see the carpet too! Speaking of bags, take a shoulder bag or a rucksack you can reverse and have on your front when the crowds start coming. You'll want a bag to put you camera in (as well as that book/game device/autograph pad etc.), as well as some snacks in and a drink at least; it will also function as a bin for the rubbish. Why? Well when the crowds start gathering, you aren't going to be able to pop back to that restaurant or cafe you've been hiding in all day, not unless you want to lose your spot.
4. Get there early!
It sounds like common sense but seriously, you'll need to get there early. Just face it— it will be something that you'll need to make a day of so make the most of it! Take something to starve off the boredom; a book, handheld gaming platform (and some games), phones, money and don't forget something relevant for a star to sign because if you don't get there before lunch time you'll very likely not see the front, much less be there.
5. Be prepared for disappointment...
It is important to be realistic when going to a big event like this. You aren't always going to be successful when it comes to getting autographs, or confessing your creepy undying love to a star. Sometimes they don't come over to your side of the carpet, other times they might but don't get around to you. It is part of the risk you take; if you are going to a red carpet event it should be for the atmosphere and the experience. Enjoy it regardless, they are once-in-a-lifetime experiences guaranteed never to be the same, and it is more about the experience than bringing home a signature or a photo.
With these five points you are set to have a great première experience, happy red carpet events!