"Are French Discotheques different?"- "Yes they are!!"
Channel Islanders and English people are used to a different type of night life and may be surprised at how people enjoy themselves in France.
In England and the Channel Islands, bars close at 11 o’clock and the nightclubs close at 2 o’clock, which is much earlier compared to France where the bars close at 1 o’clock, night bars close at 3 o’clock and nightclubs at 5 or even 6 o’clock. However, people tend to go out nearly every night in England (probably due to the fact everything close early) whereas in France people go out mainly on Fridays and Saturdays. On Thursday a majority of students organise private parties or go out to bars or nightclubs. Young people tend to go out in mixed groups of boys and girls. They socialise as friends.
English people tend to dress up more for a night out and sometimes wear fun costumes such as angels, devils or nurses. This is rare in France, the style is more classic except for special occasions. Girls would not for instance wear mini skirts and sandals in December and dress is more restrained. Most young people wear smart casual clothes including jeans and would find a girl in daring clothes and make up odd and laughable.
In the important cities like Paris, Lyon or Marseilles, there are nightclubs that do not charge any entrance, although the drinks are frequently more expensive. The entrance price sometimes includes the cost of the first drink however and in some establishments breakfasts is even served.
As an alternative, there are many bars and pubs open all night. The tourism offices publish a yearbook and a monthly newspaper detailing free events. Are also available are guides with information on the night clubs and events in each city. In the provinces French people generally spend the night eating and drinking, although in the most popular tourist areas there will be discotheques and dance clubs. There are almost 130 public casinos in the country.
Although wine and beer is cheaper in supermarkets and shops, drinks are more expensive in French nightclubs where, for instance, a beer costs 5 euros. Drinks like Bacardi Breezer, Smirnoff Ice or Reef do not exist in France and Red Bull is forbidden.
The pace of drinking is definitely much slower and sophisticated than in England. This is partly due to the high cost of drinks but also to a culture where alcohol is consumed more slowly but over a greater period of time where in England party goers start off enthusiastically and (hopefully) tend to slow down as the evening goes on.
All Discothèques have doormen. In many cases these are employed by an independent security firm and have to have special diplomas.
Watch out for a "Soireé Mousse". These are nights when the discothèque is filled with foam and this is wet or artificial snow made from polystyrene falls down
On occasion a Special Guest is invited and this person is not usually a Celebrity but rather a local radio personality or a singer starting out on his or her career.