Public apologies in national papers… riot police herding teenagers down the street… neighbours cowering in their homes… these crazy parties all share one common ingredient… Facebook. It seems guest lists can take on epic proportions as a result of a single seemingly-innocent Facebook post.
Location: Hartford, near Crewe, Cheshire, UK
Date: October 2014
These guys invited 40 people and 200 turned up… many of whom were “drunk”, according to local paper reports. 21 police officers were required to break up this party. Local police tweeted: if your child is organising a party, do not let them promote it via social media, as the consequences can be serious. The house was ‘trashed’ and it took two hours to get the teenagers ‘under control’ and away from the area. This wasn’t the evening the party organiser had planned!
Location: Highgate, London, UK
A whopping 600 extra uninvited guests meant this party suddenly got a lot larger than its unwitting organiser intended. Riot police were drafted in to deal with these revellers. Reports say the £1m home was ‘wrecked’ and neighbours worried for their safety. When the parents returned home from a holiday in the South of France to encounter the mess they said: “All parents should be warned that this could happen if you go away and leave your 17-year-old alone. I think if anyone is going to throw a party, they need to look at their privacy settings on Facebook. It’s absolutely essential that children are made aware of this.”
Location: Farnborough, Hampshire, UK
Date: July 2009
200 uninvited revealers turned up to this party according to police. These two unsuspecting teenagers unleashed the works: dogs, helicopters, riot police in the street facing down a hundred teenagers determined to party. Damage cost: although the two small flats where the party was originally planned to be hosted didn’t sustain much damage the subsequent police response pushed up the tab for this party. Police sources said it cost them around £10,000. Not bad for this 15 year old and 17 year old who had even gone to the trouble of getting their parents’ permission!
Location: Dunraven Street, Park Lane, London, UK
Date: February 2010
Gatecrasher ratio: 10/10 – eyewitness reports put 2,500 party goers (who had definitely NOT done ravin’) at the scene. This party was purposefully advertised on Facebook by squatters after they received an eviction notice, so the riot police were probably entirely justified. Damage cost: we don’t know the overall tally but the unoccupied house was worth £30m. With Park Lane closed off thanks to the revellers and reports of stone throwing, drug taking and vomiting in the street, the damage tally must have been quite high. This is one party that got seriously out of hand.
Location: Escot House near Ottery St Mary, East Devon, UK
This party’s problem wasn’t the gatecrashers; it was the party’s unwilling participants that were taking to Facebook. Villagers up to three miles away could hear the party and Facebook was the vehicle of choice for local residents to vent their rage. Police response: Very low key. The police made a 4am call, and complaints were also been made to East Devon District Council’s Environmental Health department which recommended a full apology be made to the complainants and that greater care is taken over future private, unlicensed events. Mostly to the 18 year old’s reputation, but the full public apology might go some way to unruffle the feathers of local residents. The lesson from this appears to be that if your party does get out of hand, it helps if you have 200 acres of ‘stunning private parkland’ to host it in. That way, Facebook may be the source of a few complaints but you shouldn’t have to worry about the riot police.
So remember kids – if you are going to a private party tonight… be careful what you post on social media! You don’t want a Facebook party f*@!up on your hands!
And… Whatever you are doing tonight, everyone at the Phone Heroes team would like to wish you a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!