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LONDON FOR FREE! – art exhibitions

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As I mentioned before, London doesn’t have to cost a thing. Many things are for free and the things that aren’t, well there’s always a way…

Exhibitions, for example. If you’d like to see an exhibition, but it has an entry price, simply go to the private view.

For this, you either contact the gallery in question to get on their mailing list. This can be tricky though depending on the size and importance of the gallery.

Or you simply take it spontaneously and with good luck by crashing the opening event. Often all you need to know is the day of the event, which is easy to figure out as usually it’s the night before the exhibition officially opens. Then you take your chances by simply pitching up. Mostly this is good enough, as only people who have been invited are in the know.

But if they need to see an invitation, well then you’ll have to play the game.

Which is: looking very important. Frightfully important actually. Because you don’t want them to even think about asking you to present your invite.

Normally it works quite well if you stand up tall and very straight forward, like heading for something even important than yourself, rush through. No, don’t even give them a chance to think about it. Simply walk through, look important and don’t even waste a glance on them. As, guess what, there are more important things to look at. If they make it to mutter a ‘invitation please’ to you, simply nod or say ‘yes’ and carry on walking. To top it off, you can even look annoyed or appalled that they even dare to ask you for an invite. You, who clearly has something more important to do than digging out an invite!

Once in, the job is not over. Now you’re part of a crowd that you’re not part of. You haven’t been invited and normally that makes you clearly stand out. Quickly find somebody to talk to is the best disguise. It also helps to find out what the hell is actually going on and why all these people are here.

But all in all the reward is worth it: nice canapés and free champagne is standard, interesting art a bonus, intriguing company makes it your lucky day.

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