"Are you aware that it is a privilege to dance with a man in a swimsuit?" Where in the world could you hear this line and actually consider it reasonably acceptable? What happens when you mix a semi-naked Gandalph, a slightly less muscular Mr Motivator, a giant possum and a very tanned and ribbed Miss Marple? The answer? One unforgetful night in Barrytown. Let's also be clear this is for one night only. The next day, those lunatics ship out and another batch of backpackers arrive armed with fancy dress, severe thirst and an undeniable desire to party in to the wee hours.
Barrytown is the smallest of towns on New Zealand's West Coast with nothing worth mentioning. Somehow, the lone pub, All Nations, has secured Barrytown a reputation throughout the country. For starters, and arguably they got lucky with the name, Barrytown, just has that x factor doesn't it?
Inevitably, when you mix a bar and old-school jukebox with boredom random things begin to occur. Barrytown is like Narnia for adults. Should you not have adequate fancy dress on you, you just have to head for the wardrobe, which it appears was once a TV Room, and find yourself an alter-ego. Once you have left the wardrobe you are transported into a world of bizarre happenings and experiences that have to be seen to be believed. I do mean, seen, the polaroids posted proudly around the pub offers a general gist of what is to come over the course of the next few hours.
A word of warning, to make life a lot easier stock up on coins before you arrive for the jukebox. The sooner the jukebox starts to grind, the sooner random events start to unfold. The music doesn't start until the cash goes in. So, you have journeyed through the wardrobe and the cheesy, loud sounds of Baz-Vegas entice you to the bar. Choose from high end to 'cheap shite' and enjoy the odd free shot here and there.
What happens next is hard to say. Watch the video to check out part of my night in Barrytown!
Every night brings a different scene but although unique, each night has a number of elements in common. Nudity is often guaranteed. Much singing and jumping around is guaranteed, and lastly, the golden rule applies each night; the bar shuts when the last man/woman falls to the floor or head to bed.
That morning people wake slightly confused and bewildered by the events of the previous evening. They have returned to the real world and dress as norm as they robotically and silently walk back on to their backpacker bus to continue along the correct path, leaving The Chronicles of Barrytown behind.
As the backpackers leave, Barrytown shuts down for a few hours to deceive the rest of the world into thinking that it still remains just Barrytown. However, the evening arrives all too soon and the bus pulls in filled with wide-eyed and enthusiastic participants ready for the Barrytown Experience.