Everyone loves a party. You can go and have a few drinks with some friends, have a good dance and just generally enjoy the night. However, you have probably hosted, or have been to a party that ended up getting a little out of hand. Maybe some uninvited guests turned up, or perhaps everyone just had a little too much to drink. It’s often not too bad though, the worse that normally happens is a few complaints from neighbors about the noise and cleaning up the mess with a hangover.
Only that might not be the end of the story. Thanks to social media sites such as Facebook, it has become possible for people to invite their friends to an event much more quickly and easily than ever before. The major problem though, is that often these parties or invitations will not to be set to private on Facebook, meaning anyone can find out about it and attend, making a little gathering more boisterous and crowded than the host ever imagined.
10. Machans Beach Party
In February of 2013, Australia’s Machans Beach was left in bedlam, thanks to a Facebook party that spiraled out of control. Over 500 people crashed the event that had been advertised on Facebook, before spilling over into the street and surrounding area. Police and fire crews eventually had to be called in, with party-goers stopping paramedics from treating the injured by obstructing their ambulances. Police officers had initially tried to break up the party earlier in the evening, but the sheer number of people made this impossible. The end of the night led to a number of arrests, four people facing charges and a further three needing hospital treatment.
9. 50 Random People Gate Crash 15-Year-Old’s Party
With her mother and father away at a wedding reception in another part of the country, 15-year-old Rachel Ross decided to throw a small party for her friends in the unsupervised house. However, from posts on Facebook, others had learned that the house was free of adults and decided to take advantage by gate crashing. The 50 or so uninvited revelers managed to enter the house and steal a number of high value items such as game consoles and televisions, as well as smashing lights, smearing walls with paint and urinating on beds. Police attended the scene after neighbors complained about noise but left as they thought the party was peaceful, unaware of the carnage going on within.
8. The $50,000 Birthday Party
With Sarah Hine about to turn 15, her mother agreed that she could use the house to hold a small party with some of her friends to celebrate her birthday. Despite warnings from her school about the dangers of promoting the event on Facebook, Hine put up a number of posts about the upcoming party. The story spread across Facebook and Twitter rapidly, leading to over 800 people eventually turning up at the party. They went on to break shelves, pull doors of hinges, smash holes in walls and graffiti a number of rooms. One man even managed to break a hole in the ceiling. By the time the police had dispersed the hundreds of teenagers from the house, the damage caused was estimated to be around $50,000. Definitely not the money her parents wanted to be spending for their daughter’s 15th birthday.
7. The Party With Its Own Security
In 2013, Christopher Seale took advantage of the fact that his parents were going away on holiday, to organize a party for him and 60 of his friends, even though his mother had specifically told him not have any parties. Some of the guests had taken to Facebook to post about the upcoming event though, meaning that far more people knew about it than the 60 who were originally intended. Seale went on to hire a bouncer to watch the door, fearing that many more people would turn up. Unfortunately, the doormen soon left when over 600 teenagers turned up. The $1.8 million home suffered around $25,000 worth of damage caused by people fighting and smashing up the house. Police managed to break up the party late in the evening, and when the parents returned home, they marched their son around the neighbor’s houses to apologize.
6. German Birthday Party
In another case of a young host forgetting to set the Facebook event to private, a party in Germany went viral with thousands of people claiming that they would attend. The German girl had originally only intended for a few close friends to come to her house to celebrate her birthday, but as soon as she saw the number of people confirmed to be coming rise to thousands, she cancelled the party and told police while the family even hired private security to protect the house. They could not prevent the 1,500 people who turned up from causing damage though. Police cars were vandalized, fires were started and several people were arrested. Luckily, there were only a few injuries, the majority being girls who cut their feet on broken glass bottles.
5. House Demolishment Party
When a house in a neighborhood in Melbourne was set to be demolished, a group of teenagers saw an opportunity to organize a party. After getting the permission of the owner, the youngsters advertised the event through Facebook, promoting it as “mayhem”, with around 700 people confirming they would be coming. Although damage to the property was not a problem as it was due to be torn down anyway, there were other problems. Revelers caused a tense standoff with police who responded to complaints from concerned neighbors as the party spilled onto the nearby streets. With fences, signs and cars all being damaged, the police were forced to bring in canine units to make sure that the party-goers left the area.
4. Eviction Party
A trio of friends in Australia decided to throw one last party in their house, after learning that they were to be evicted in the very near future. Promoting the party on Facebook, the three friends listed an entry price of $10 and soon attracted interest of teenagers in the area. Over 120 people came to the house and the situation escalated quickly, with police attending the scene several times due to the damage being caused by the unruly teens. Trouble moved onto the streets with the houses and property of neighbors partly destroyed, and one resident was even beaten up. It took police more than seven hours to bring peace back to the area and they were forced to arrest several youths who had attacked them while trying to break up the crowd.
3. The Party Nation
With an event organized to start at 8pm, residents in a quiet street braced themselves for the hundreds of people who were expected to attend. As soon as the guests began to arrive in the street, neighbors immediately phoned the police who quickly responded, though not in time. Upon arriving, they found that several cars had been overturned and that large groups of youths were roaming the area causing damage to property. It took specialist riot police and dog units to escort the crowds out of the area, while other officials had to stop more people trying to get to the party by train and bus. The violence became so bad, with bus drivers being assaulted, that the transport services in the area even considered withdrawing completely from routes near the affected location.
2. “Night of Mayhem”
The year 2010 saw numerous squatters occupying a $50 million historic Mayfair building in the middle of Park Lane, U.K. The owners of the 7-floor house took them to court to obtain an eviction order to force them to leave the property, but in retaliation, the squatters began plans for a huge party by sending out as many invitations as possible. While the organizers had planned for there to be a certain amount of destruction, even they could not have predicted the amount of mayhem that took place. More than a thousand people entered the building with doors, windows and marble fireplaces all ripped apart, while revelers took drugs openly. Riot police were forced to intervene due to fears that the floors could collapse under the weight of so many people. The building was eventually cleared at 1am, after hours of the entire street being closed off to the public.
1. Haren Riots
The best example of a Facebook party that got out of control came in the Dutch town of Haren, in 2012. A young girl advertised her party on Facebook and it was soon shared across social media, with over 200,000 seeing the invitation in a matter of days. As more than 30,000 people confirmed they would be going to the party, the local authorities were put on high alert. When the near 3,000 party-goers turned up and learned that the event had been cancelled, many of them turned to violence. Buildings were vandalized, while a large number of fights broke out and shops were looted. The 500 riot police tasked with keeping order faced constant attacks from stones and glass bottles. By the time order was restored in Haren, there had been over 32 arrests and two serious injuries, making it some of the worst violence experienced in the Netherlands.