9 Tricks To Sneak Liquor (or Beer) Into Venues
- By Tits Hemingway
- Published on September 11, 2012
Here at Headstash, we understand the power of the dollar in the live music scene. With the rising costs of concert tickets, gas and overall travel expenses, we are constantly searching for ways to keep money in our pockets while maintaining an elevated musical experience.
Though many factors remain fixed (unless you're willing to hop fences and ruin the show for everyone or take the $129.00 two-day, four-transfer Greyhound bus from Los Angeles Bear Creek), we've found that one of the most drastic ways to save cash comes from cutting alcohol purchases within venues.
You might ask: How am I supposed to keep a buzz crunchy enough to foxtrot with the voluptuous rager in front of me at the STS9 show without the purchase of fermented beverages?
To that I would reply with an old Tibetan proverb (we think):
Give a wook some beer and he’ll drink for a day. Teach a wook to smuggle beers and his buzz will be steady for the rest of his life.
As it turns out, venues mark up alcoholic beverages by about 90 percent (assuming that a store-bought 24 pack costs $15.00, and a drink from the bar costs $6.00 including tip). How much can you save by bringing in your own booze? By our calculations, each drink you sneak in saves more than $5.00 a pop. These dollars add up quickly when multiplied by the number of libations bought per show and shows attended per year.
So, how does one actually go about sneaking drinks into concerts? Below you will find nine tricks to conceal your contraband from the eyesight of security. Those tricks, however, are just the tip of the iceberg. In order for them to work, you must set yourself up for success using the following analytical strategies:
- Scout security before entering the venue. Take that awkward stroll to the front of the line and look out for how intently they search ticketholders and what they check for. Are they frisking pockets? Purses? Body cavities? Security strategy can change from show to show, so make sure know what to expect upon entering.
- Find the weak guard and get in his/her line. It’s easy to determine how lax a bouncer is – all you have to do is watch them frisk a few guinea pigs before getting in line. If it looks like they’re giving people colonoscopies, avoid them. Last year at a festival, one of the security workers “checked” the contents of each bag by hitting it with a stick. That’s how I drank for face value all weekend.
- Bail if necessary. Trust your instincts – if you don’t feel confident about sneaking in drinks unnoticed, don’t risk admission into the show. Two lost beers at face value costs no more than a dollar, so don’t worry about tossing them (or shot-gunning them in the parking lot).
Without further ado, we present to you the best way to sneak drinks into concert venues:
1. The Flask
The most time-tested, safe and reliable method of concealing liquor. Flasks come in all shapes and sizes, but you don’t want one that’s bulky and can’t fit completely in your back pocket. Here is an ideal eight-ounce flask that costs less than $4.00 with shipping. Simply fill with your favorite liquor, hide it in your back pocket, crotch of your pants or bra, and make your way into the venue.
2. The Binocular Flask
An alternative to the traditional flask is a flask disguised as a pair of binoculars. This fantastic device holds the volume of two regular flasks (two separate eight-ounce compartments) in an extremely ordinary concert accessory. You can even make White Russians all night if you want to – fill one side with vodka and the other with Kahlua. Store it in your purse or man-bag (no security guard will think twice about it unless they have a Ph.D. in bouncing) and enjoy your evening.
3. Disguise liquor as water or soda.
If you’re entering a venue or festival that allows outside bottled water, empty a few bottles and refill them with liquor. Vodka works best here, as many gins do not look like water in a plastic bottle. Same goes for soda and it’s even less obvious if you make a 50/50 mixed drink.
Bringing liquor into a venue is basically child’s play. Beer, on the other hand, makes for more of a challenge.
4. Use a winter jacket as camouflage.
Winter is easily the best time to smuggle drinks into concerts. Why? Bulky jackets. Heavy outwear makes for great storage and bouncers rarely check jacket pockets for verboten materials. I can easily fit four cans in my heaviest winter jacket, and no one will ever guess it unless they feel its freakish weight. If they want you to show them your coat, open it up for them and display the inside—your beers are resting safely in pockets anyways.
5. Beer Sleeves
A beer sleeve is a camouflaging device available for sale online that disguises a beer can as a soda using a lightweight cover (six sleeves cost $6.00). If outside soda is allowed at the venue, simply slip these on your favorite cold ones and let ‘er rip. (Note: beer sleeves can be made at home using a Coke can, scissors, and a can opener. Is this a form of recycling? I’d like to think so. Watch the instructional video above.)
6. The Legendary “Beer Belly”
Every so many centuries, there comes an invention so powerful it changes the course of human history. The Beer Belly is probably not one of them, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. This product is a stealth bladder system that goes under one’s shirt to give the appearance of a “beer belly.” Holding 80 ounces of liquid (almost seven beers), the Beer Belly is made by the same manufacturers of Camelbak and is as hilarious as it is surprisingly practical. It will run you $35.00 plus shipping, but can pay for itself in no time.
7. The Wine Rack
If you thought the Beer Belly couldn’t be outdone, the same company came out with a wine Rack that uses the same “bladder camouflage” system, except this time it’s in the shape of a sports bra. Yep, this bladder is meant for “smaller endowed” girls (the website indicates it will work best if you are a 32A through 36B), and holds 750 milliliters – a bottle of wine, a fifth of alcohol or two beers. This device costs $30.00 plus shipping, and seems even more practical albeit more attention grabbing than the Beer Belly. Here’s a great video of the Wine Rack in action.
8. The Belt Flask
It appears that the idea of a hidden bladder system to save money on alcohol has caught on, and there are numerous alternative products that utilize this technology. First is the Freedom Flask holding 32 ounces of liquid (love the name of the product, but it’s quite overpriced at $25.00 plus shipping. Please at least check out the model displaying the item. Why is she topless?). There is also the Floppy Flask, which is much cheaper at $10.00 plus shipping and holds 26 ounces. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a sweet eagle as its logo. And, the model on the site is a dad. Pros and cons, everyone.
9. The Back Pocket
My favorite technique. This is the true example of a beer-smuggling strategy working to perfection. Sometimes the best hiding place is a seemingly obvious one. For this technique, simply slide a beer into you back pocket, cover it with your shirt and walk right into the venue. If you’ve done your homework, you’ve found the bouncer who isn’t checking there. Worst comes to worst, you tell them you forgot you stored a beer back there. Or, better yet, slip on a homemade beer sleeve and tell them you don’t ever leave the house without your Sunkist.
What’s your favorite way to sneak liquor inside the venue? Let us know in the comments below.