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Near my town there's a nice pub which is the only place in a big radius which offers live rock, metal and acoustic music (other venues offers DJs which puts reggaeton, hip hop, trap and EDM) and a good choice of games (pool, mini bowling and pinball).

I visited the place many times and I love it but there's a problem: my established friends prefer other venues and different music so when we hang out we never get there and I don't have other choices but going alone. The problem is that I don't like to spend 2 hours completely alone to sip drinks and I would like to catch the occasion to meet new people and broaden my circles but I don't have any idea on how to find the right people, approach strangers and start conversations with someone which I don't know.

So the question is, how I can socialize when I go alone to a pub/live music venue?

  • 1
    Anything wrong with just walking up to people and saying "hi"? :) – Erik Aug 26 at 13:07
  • I don't know, I was used to find socially acceptable to greet only people I know or people which is obvious that I'm going to interact with (friends of friends, store clerks, waiters...) but maybe I'm wrong. – Emiliano S. Aug 26 at 14:35
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I used to tend bar in NYC and I've seen this scenario many times. Here's what you should do:

The first few times you go, pick a slow night like an early weekday. Sit at the bar and, when they aren't busy helping someone else, try to strike up a conversation with the bartender. I don't know your gender or your preferences but, especially if you are a man and the bartender is a woman, be extra careful to not have any hitting-on-you energy. You just want a friendly conversation.

Mention that you just discovered this place and you really like it and ask about what the scene there is like. Most bartenders are happy to chat with a lone newcomer, especially at small, neighborhood places that thrive on regulars.

Don't be pushy or monopolize their time; they will appreciate you more if you cheerfully excuse them when they have other customers. Do this a few times until you have a friendly-acquaintance relationship with a few bartenders.

Eventually, they will start to introduce you to the other regulars. A good bartender is like the host at a party and, if you are friendly and polite, they will connect you with other people with whom you have things in common. Voila, now you have friends at the pub!

9

How to socialize at pubs/bars when you are alone?

Let's box this in by limiting your intent to merely socializing.

Over the years, I've socialized with many hundreds of people in all sorts of venues. The fact that this particular venue is a pub/bar or features music isn't particularly special.

Socializing can happen anywhere where there's a group of people. What makes it a lot easier is if people are grouped because of a shared interest. The same applies similarly to other venues such as cruising, theme parks, sporting activities, fan cons, etc...

In the case you present, that shared interest is more the type or form of music. So, being conversational in that genre is very helpful.

I was used to find socially acceptable to greet only people I know or people which is obvious that I'm going to interact with (OP's comment)

Look at it this way, there's actually lots of people it's 'obvious' you can interact with, you just need to find the connection.

Here's two 'ins' you can easily leverage to break the proverbial ice.

  1. Recognize something about their presentation (clothing, jewelry, etc) that indicates a commonality between you and them. A t-shirt for a band you enjoy or a place you're been, a necklace from a culture you know about, doesn't have to be much. Then quickly form a non-intrusive question or compliment about that and serve it up.
  2. Unintentional eavesdropping. You will often just overhear random conversations (seriously, don't really eavesdrop) and recognize something you're familiar with. Then casually offer a relevant and interesting point.

I've used both of these in attraction lines to pass the time.

The first Interpersonal Skill you should develop is judging their reaction. Don't make it awkward. If they don't really react or engage back, just let it go. Then if they do engage, be sensitive to that engagement breaking down, and then let it go. If you are new to this, I recommend being overly cautious. The risk is you may come off as pushy or creepy.

Not every engagement will work out, but over time, you can definitely learn how to be a sociable and engaging person.

3

The issue with approaching people at venues is that you never know if they want to be disturbed or not. And it can feel a bit forward just to walk up to people.

There are a few approaches, that are just general and that apply to any type of venue. But there are certain approaches for "niche" venues that may work specifically:

One is to "Like" the venue on social media accounts, and subscribe to their posts. Comment on them. Have a profile picture that is clear to view. Try to strike up conversations with people there. You will find that people that comment on the same things you do, probably will have the same interests. Then, when the next "event" is on, invite people to approach you at the venue for a drink or whatever.

The other is to look for competitions, such as a pool competition that you can join. Then through that you can build up a friendship base.

It's often the case that it just takes knowing a few people and it makes all the difference.

  • 1
    Hi and welcome to IPS! Please take a minute to read our citation expectations. Answers on IPS need to include some backup in the form of either personal experience or references - could you explain why you think this advice will work, have you used this approach in a similar situation before, or is this something you've seen recommended by someone else? You might find How do I write a good answer? helpful too. – Ælis Aug 26 at 15:12

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