Thursday, 7 June 2007

The One About Feis Kontrol (Face Control, Фейс Контроль)

So... You've heard about the notorious Feis Kontrol at Russian nightclubs? Pretty much all the stories you've heard are true. You basically have to be rich, beautiful, a regular, or know someone to make it into Moscow's top clubs, bars, and even some restaurants.

That said, it's by no means impossible to get through feis kontrol even if you might not approach the Moscow definition of such lofty standards (remember- mullets are still fashionable here, beauty is in the eye of the beholder).

The most reliable way to get through feis kontrol is to book a table at the club (see article), which involves paying several thousand dollars for you and your friends to have a table and eat and drink up to the limit you paid for the table. Access through feis kontrol is a fringe benefit (although not always guaranteed).

If you're not going to spring for a table, suggestions are as follows. Guys should dress well, since unless you're Russian, you're unlikely to be able to pull off "designer grunge" in the unique style of the Russian male. Women should dress as skimpy and Russian-fashionable as possible.

When you approach the door, identify who the feis kontrol guy (or girl) is, talk to them (not security), and let them know you want to come in. Be polite and confident, as you have every right to be in their club. If they ask you for a club card (which you don't have, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this article), it's generally a polite rejection, but state you don't have one but would like to come in. If you're rejected, don't push the issue, leave the club and go to one of Moscow's other nightclubs. Don't argue or give them a negative reason to remember you.

Speaking Russian is a plus, with English as a backup. The days where expats could expect access to top clubs simply by speaking English are long gone, and most feis kontrol guys I know don't speak English. English may still help you get access to 2nd tier places like Sorry Babushka, XIII, Fabrique, etc.

Ratios and numbers are a key issue. Single or pairs of guys or single or pairs of highly attractive girls are more likely to get in than couples or groups. Any more than three "non-clubgoers" are going to have a hard time getting through any door. Feis Kontrol take a perverse pleasure in splitting up couples, especially if they think they can separate them and get the girls (or guys) into the club without their partners.

If you're in Moscow long-term, get to recognise the feis kontrol people, they're often at other clubs late-night (Krysha or Garage are fav. hangouts), and get to know them, that way you're more likely to gain access next time.

Above all, don't take it personally, or too seriously. It's these guys jobs to keep their club desirable and keep people on their toes. Everyone gets "feised" sometimes, so don't let it ruin your night!

1 comment:

Caviar_girl said...

ah, so true!!
i was trying to explain this to my "expat" friends.
the most important thing, dont try to fight it, just walk away