Luke Blackall: Drunk on culture as the season of stags is upon us

We binged on painting after painting, knocking back Turners and inhaling the Pre-Raphaelites

The stag party didn't officially begin until the evening, but three of us headed to Manchester in the morning to start things early. Arriving at lunchtime, we did what any thirsty young stags would do: we went to the nearest art gallery.

At the Manchester Art Gallery we binged on painting after painting, knocking back Turners and inhaling the Pre-Raphaelites. Drunk on culture, we couldn't stop ourselves and headed somewhere where we could see things of beauty stripped bare. That's right, we went to the Museum of Science and Industry (where i recently held a party for our readers), to see computers, engines, trains and planes in their purest forms. The rest of the weekend wasn't quite so restrained, however the terms of the confidentiality agreement that I'm told I signed – mean that I can't share it here.

But the season of stag and hen parties is one that many will know well, either as participants or observers. From the end of January to the beginning of June, hoards of 25-35-year-olds fill the nation's town centres and budget airlines, where they can be spotted drinking like a frightening combination of students and football hooligans.

In Manchester we encountered loads of them, as though the herds were all magnetically drawn to one another. Like dogs passing each other in the street, the groups would give a quick sniff, before heading on.

Over recent years the stag/hen has morphed from a single night out to an entire weekend (and in some cases a full week). Recently a friend reported that a Las Vegas stag had to be scaled down slightly as not everyone was keen on spending £1200+ on a few days of excess. Another went to the stag of someone who had actually called off their wedding, but as tickets/novelty t-shirts had been bought the trip went ahead.

Indeed for many men it is more important and more of a time to enjoy themselves than the wedding itself – perhaps it is the opportunity for males who feel increasingly emasculated to get back in touch with their "inner-lad".

However, nothing seems to frighten men more than a clucking hen party. Particularly if the hen has invited her mad Auntie Jeanie.

But for either sex, the trend does not look like going away any time soon as it fulfils so perfectly three of the UK's favourite weekend activities: drinking to excess, dressing up and humiliating our very closest friends.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn