A man named Nigel walks into a bar. He is followed by 432 other men named Nigel. It sounds like the start of a very British joke, but in fact was all part of a plan to “celebrate Nigelness”.
The event was organized by Nigel Smith who found that growing up as a Nigel was a bit of a burden with people teasing him or laughing about his name, The Guardian reports. However, he knew he wasn’t the only person in the world with the name. However, in 2016, when Smith saw the list of baby names published by England’s Office for National Statistics, there was not a single Nigel on the list and he found himself “a bit shocked”.
That’s when he decided to host a get-together of Nigels so that no Nigel would feel like the last of their name or alone in their Nigelness. Smith started planning and decided to put out an advertisement for Nigels on Facebook, which promptly went viral. The result was 433 Nigels plus friends and family and assorted hangers-on crammed into The Fleece Inn, the bar Smith owns in Worcestershire.
Anyone named Nigel, who could prove the moniker with a passport or driving license, was given a name badge and a free pint. In addition to drinking and camaraderie with fellow name sharers, there was entertainment too, including a singer, a busker, and a comedian, all named Nigel, naturally. There were also prizes for the youngest Nigel, the oldest Nigel, and the Nigel that had traveled the farthest to join the Nigel party—that went to an American who had flown over for the festivities.