How to host the perfect party (whatever the occasion)

From the ultimate house party, to a chilled BBQ, putting together a killer playlist is tougher than you think. Here's how to get the music right, on the night (or day – we don't discriminate)...

house party aftermath
(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))

From the ultimate house party, to a chilled BBQ, putting together the perfect party is tougher than you think. Here's how to get it right, on the night (or day – we don't discriminate)...

In partnership with Panasonic...

There’s nothing better than a house party, right? Hanging out with your friends, with great drinks and snacks on tap... literally the dream. But nothing kills the vibe quicker than a rubbish playlist and zero atmosphere.

We’ve all been to that one house party where you were expecting party hits but what you got was hard trance on repeat. Look, there’s a time for Born Slippy, but a chilled afternoon BBQ probably isn’t it.

From how to be the perfect host, to nailing the ultimate party playlist, here are our top tips for getting your party spot on, whatever the occasion…

The afternoon BBQ

What could be better than an afternoon spent sipping a G&T and listening to the sizzling sounds of a fired-up BBQ? This type of al-fresco party often spans from day to night, so keeping the atmosphere upbeat over a long period of time is essential. This is where the music bit comes in.

As you move from outside to inside, you want the music following you wherever you are so you don’t lose momentum. Panasonic’s All Connected speakers act like the perfect party sidekick; they’re portable, waterproof and connect to your Spotify account so no more awkward breaks in the playlist. And the best bit? The clever speakers can be synced together, so while you make your way from the garden into the house, the party follows you.

The family gathering

Ah, the family gathering. Otherwise known as the perfect excuse for a party loaded with guilty pleasures, think old school snacks and retro classics like Fleetwood Mac and Blondie. However, while the grown-ups might be having a great time, the younger contingent might not. When it comers to pleasing everyone at a family gathering, it’s all about curation. Why not designate one room to music, and one room for the kids to escape to, just make sure to have a list of movies ready to go, so they can have a surround-sound cinema experience while the rest of you are throwing questionable moves to The Beautiful South.

The ultimate house party

Otherwise know as the ‘pressure party’. Will anyone show? Have I got enough drinks? Does red wine ever really come out of a carpet? To make it a success, you need to get prepped. That includes moving all breakables upstairs, buying way more mixers than you think necessary and forewarning the neighbours about the impending noise (be polite, extend them an invite to ensure you’ve got them on side).

Next, you need to think about the playlist. When compiling this, think of it in three stages: from arrivals, to the mingling, right through to the party with a capital P stage. It’s all about tempo and you don’t want to peak too soon. Though in our experience, you can never have too much Beyoncé. Ever.

To get you started, here’s our very own Marie Claire playlist – packed with tracks that will elevate any house party from good to great...

Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way Aretha Franklin & George Michael – I knew you were waiting Kygo – Firestone Fifth Harmony – Work from home This is how we do it – Montell |Jordan Happy – Pharel Williams Cheerleader – OMI Praise You – Fatboy Slim Feel the Love – Rudimental In da Club – 50 cent Get Free – Major Lazer Runaway – Galantis Lean On – Major Lazer We Found Love – Rihanna Where Are You Now – Justin Bieber Pony – Genuwine

The leading destination for fashion, beauty, shopping and finger-on-the-pulse views on the latest issues. Marie Claire's travel content helps you delight in discovering new destinations around the globe, offering a unique – and sometimes unchartered – travel experience. From new hotel openings to the destinations tipped to take over our travel calendars, this iconic name has it covered.