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I went to Exeter’s EGB sober and here’s how it went

Six quid pints are enough to turn almost anyone sober


Exeter’s infamous Enchanted Garden Ball: it’s the closest thing to a mass-graduation party that you can get. Thousands of students flock to the breathtaking grounds of Shobrooke Park every year for a festival meets fairground themed celebration – a drink til you die and dance til you drop kinda vibe. This year, I decided to do it sober and here’s what went down…

1 . I saved money

Although not as expensive as last year, drinks at EGB remained no less than a fiver. A bright and early 5pm travel ticket meant I was at EGB for around eight hours and I HATE to think how much I would’ve spent trying to keep myself the right level of drunk all night. Instead, I spent a tenner on some street food from the markets at about midnight and left with a relatively full stomach, camera roll AND wallet. In my book, that goes down as a win.

2. I didn’t have to worry about pre’s

Having bought my ticket the evening before EGB, I didn’t have much choice in the travel time. My 5pm bus ticket from campus left me with not a lot of time to get ready, let alone get drunk, before getting on the coach. I found it somewhat of a relief to know I didn’t have to chop a wine while doing my eyeliner… for once.

3. Security was a breeze

Unlike my mates, I didn’t have to worry about getting caught smuggling anything in. I didn’t have a hip flask shoved uncomfortably down my dress, or a shot sellotaped to my thigh, and security was a walk in the park – literally.

4. I didn’t throw up on the rides

This was the biggest plus for me. I definitely would not have managed to go on any of the fairground rides while drunk without spending the next five minutes puking, so massive respect to those of you who smashed out all the rides without being sick: you are incredible.

5. I don’t look hammered in the photos

Unfortunately, I am not the most photogenic drunk. Photos from nights out are usually immediately deleted, or instantly relocated to the “hidden” folder of my camera roll. I was understandably relieved to get some pictures at EGB where my eyes were actually open.

6. I didn’t have to drink tequila and tonic when they ran out of alcohol

Unfortunately, I am not the most photogenic drunk. Photos from nights out are usually immediately deleted, or instantly relocated to the “hidden” folder of my camera roll. I was understandably relieved to get some pictures at EGB where my eyes were actually open.

6. I didn’t have to drink tequila and tonic when they ran out of alcohol

7. I didn’t have to get carried back from campus after the bus

Not drinking was incredibly helpful for the walk back from campus after being dropped off by the coach in the early hours of the morning; the walk to Pinhoe Road is long enough without being drunk and in the dark. To those of you that were stretchered home by the arms of a dozen friends as I got off the bus, I can only hope that you all live on Penny Road.

8. No hangxiety the next day

Another great win for the sober crowd was not waking up in the morning, hungover, with no memory of the event I paid 60 quid to attend. I had all of my belongings, as well as my memory, unlike a few people on Overheard, desperately pleading for the safe return of their lost phones/ID/wallets in the morning.

9. I still had a great experience with all my friends

I do not feel that being sober at EGB negatively impacted my night at all. In fact, I think I had a better time because I didn’t drink; I was able to go on the rides and make the most of the event while saving money and still having a great time with my nearest and dearest friends. I think EGB is a great event to go to sober because it’s almost impossible to be bored there with all of the rides to go on and people to socialise with.

However, it was not all sunshine and rainbows…

10. I got bloody cold

Without the beer jacket, it did feel pretty chilly towards the end of the night. Braving EGB sober is courageous enough without braving the elements as well; just bring that damn jumper.

Related articles recommended by this writer:

10 tips on how to survive a sober night out in Exeter

Eight wholesome but cheap summer date ideas for Exeter students