Sticky’s new edition explores ‘Nightlife’ – Millennials talk drinking, dancing and having a good time.

Our international insight team ran a survey across the big five European countries (UK, DE, FR, IT, ES) among 12-34 year-olds to understand what their nightlife routines involve, how they interact with media on nights out and how they like to socialise with friends.

Buzz and Chat

Nightlife for Millennials is all about spending time having fun, being with friends and having a laugh. Although their approach to nightlife isn’t dissimilar to previous generations (meeting with friends, drinking and dancing), technology has transformed the way they connect with one another. Texting and smartphones enable millennials to plan the night ‘as they go along’ with ½ of Millennials reporting that they text the mates they are out with. Technology also allows them to connect to the people they’re not out with: 5 in 10 millennials reporting that they upload pictures, ‘check in’ or update their status on Facebook.

Despite Millennials today being super-connected, their preferred way to make plans is face to face with 60% citing it as their #1 method. This is possibly because organising and planning the next social occasion is also part of the nightlife routine as half of Millennials agree that part of the fun of the night is planning it. 7 in 10 Millennials say they enjoy the chatter that goes on in the run up to the night and 2 in 3 enjoy talking about it the next day by discussing it on the phone or by text.


Drinking alcohol definitely underpins the nightlife experience for Millennials with 8 in 10 believing that drinking alcohol is ‘part of the night’. It’s embedded into their nightlife routine with over half drinking almost every time they go out, with British Millennials being most likely among their European cohorts to drink every time they go out. When they’re drinking, the most popular beverages are #1 Beer and #2 Vodka and #3 Cocktails. However, only 5% of Millennials say they drink responsibly every time they go out and less than half know the weekly recommended intake of alcohol is.

(Affordable) Experiences

Millennials are always seeking new and exciting experiences – 8 in 10 say it’s important to try somewhere new for a night out. However, they are constrained by their lack of disposable income and this influences their nightlife routines. Pre-loading at home, or at cheaper bars is a common way to kick the night off. When it comes to moving onto a club, themed or sponsored nights can attract their attention but a VIP guest list event isn’t really going to cut it. They would most like to go to an exclusive or secret club night- a memorable one off experience they can share with their friends (whilst tagging themselves in a Facebook update and uploading a picture to Instagram to let everyone else know).

The main venues of choice for Millennials are bars & pubs and this is also where they can be found most frequently with 7 in 10 going at least once a month. Although more Millennials prefer going to house parties more than clubs, they are just as likely to be found at either with 6 in 10 going once a month or more. This discrepancy between what they like to do and what they actually do could be down to the difficulty in securing a house party venue. A significant number of Millennials (more so than any previous generation) live with their parents- who may object to playing host to a drunken millennial house party.

Lisa Cowie, Insight Manager