There are party fouls that can be forgiven–like peeing in the indoor plants or having sex in the host's bed. But unplugging the host's playlist and putting on your own? Now that's fucked up.
My friend and I were throwing a party at his house by San Luis Obispo, and he put me in charge of the music.
I spent hours grueling over a hot MacBook attempting to form the perfect collection of songs to make the party one to remember. I designed the playlist to evolve with the feeling of the night–there would be chill, indie-electronic tunes for pre-gaming and beer pong and then hip-hop and pop bangers to go with the after-hours dancing and drunkenness.
The order of the playlist was impeccable, the songs were carefully chosen, and I couldn't have been more stoked about the product I cooked up.
At the beginning of the night, everything was perfect–my playlist was generating a relaxed vibe and kids were having a good time. Before I could celebrate my music choice success, however, the inevitable happened.
Some random dude unplugged my MacBook from the speakers and connected his iPhone to start playing The Steve Aoki Remix of “Pursuit of Happiness.” I wished Steve Aoki could've actually been there to cake this guy in the face. Not only did this dingleberry ruin the party atmosphere with a totally overplayed, outdated, and shitty song, but he also performed the rudest act of modern-day partying–Playlist Sabotage (the act of plugging in your own iPod or iPhone at a party because you think your songs are what everyone wants to hear.)
No one likes a Playlist Saboteur, because nothing is more awkward than a jerky, mid-playlist song change. People get angry; there's usually yelling and booing involved; and that random dude who decided to steal the show with his iPhone will probably never get invited back. Dick.
I've seen it happen not just in SLO, but in parties across California.
At one after party in Santa Barbara, I heard the song “Gas Pedal” by Sage the Gemini over a dozen times, and believe it or not, each one from a different drunk bitch's iPhone. No one person was in charge of the music, so therefore, everyone was, and it was hell.
The madness doesn't just end at switching out iPods, sometimes people are brave enough to just play their music over the party soundtrack. At a fraternity formal pre-game at an L.A. school, someone put on a lovely 90s throwback playlist, and while everyone was enjoying Sugar Ray, some guy in another room started blasting Justin Bieber. Why.
In an era where everyone has their entire music library on their person at all times, classic rules of party etiquette must be reconsidered.
Long before the era of iDevices, people wouldn't come to a party with a stack of cassette tapes or vinyl records tucked under their arm. Just like it's wrong to bring your own band to a wedding reception, it's wrong to plug in your own iPod at a friend's rager and be the DJ fascist of the evening.
Its apparent that parties go best when the source of the music is out of sight, or there's a hired DJ who might take requests in order to placate those dying to hear “that one song.”
A speaker and an auxiliary cord that is set up in the middle of the room is just asking to be messed with by partygoers.
It's always okay to BYOB, but please don't BYOiP.