Storytime Thursday

Storytime Thursday: my first time failing face control

"One of the most terrible nightclubs I've ever been to. Never gonna do it again. At least I got a good story out of it that I can maybe use one day..."

Those were my words after leaving the nightclub in Moscow's Krasny Oktyabr area that had just blasted a good two hours of hardstyle techno at my ears.


I generally like electronic music but if you want to listen hours and hours to this when you're out, we probably will not get along well.

So what had happened?

That was my very first time that I got rejected by Moscow's infamous face control system.

It wouldn't be the last but you know how they say, you always remember your first time, no matter whether it was good or bad.

It happened during my first weeks of being in Moscow.

I had come as a student to finish the last year of a degree that I didn't really care about all that much anymore. Moscow was going to be about different things than studying.

With three friends, two I already knew from uni and a girl we had first met earlier that evening, we made our way to Gipsy. Back in 2014, Gipsy was still one of the hottest clubs in the Moscow nightclub scene and I had heard plenty of promising stuff about it. Plus it was the city's anniversary, so people were out in droves. What could possibly go wrong?

Flash forward half an hour and we were standing in a long-ass line for the club. Lots of girls in high heels and dresses and surprisingly few guys among them. This is going to be terrific, I thought to myself. I wasn't too worried about the door. We had two girls with us and we were foreigners. Speaking English never fails, I knew that much.

The week before had been my first time in a Moscow nightclub (Rolling Stones, just next door) and boy, it had not disappointed. Gipsy was supposed to be even better. I must have smiled like an idiot in anticipation of getting into this club with all these hotties around me.

We quickly got to the front of the line. In Moscow, they do not beat around the bush. You're in like flynn or you can catch the replay of what happened on your Instagram stories. Whatever it's gonna be, face control lets you know in a matter of seconds. No negotiations, no bribing, just straight talk. That's how Moscow's face control works.

And then it happened. The big moment.

"How many of you?" (in Russian)

"The four of us" (in English)

..."Sorry not tonight. Private party, only guestlist" (with a fat Russian accent)


What a failure. We were dumbstruck. How could we possibly get rejected? We checked all the boxes, or so we thought. Foreigners, a mixed group, it was all there.

The girls wanted to go and haggle with the bouncers but I knew this was a lost cause. We lingered another 5 minutes or so around the entrance, trying to make sense of the face control system. A lot of people were getting in. But that group of 3 hot girls got rejected. And another pair of girls too.

I learned several valuable lessons that day about face control in Moscow clubs:

  • Don't try to figure out the logic behind it
  • Girls get rejected too, sometimes even more so
  • Don't come in big groups

Read my guide on how to face control in Moscow clubs to avoid such a fail!

Because we were still greenhorns in Moscow nightlife at that time, we went to the first new nightclub that was on our way. While my friends danced like monkeys on speed to the monotonous hardstyle techno blasting from the speakers, I tried to numb my ears with plenty of vodka. This night had been a failure but I was determined to figure this thing out. And I did.

Meanwhile Gipsy had to wait another week...

Let me know how you like this new format and what kind of stories you would like to read by leaving a comment! I'll be bringing you many more interesting stories every Thursday.