Last Saturday night kept me and my staff very busy.
I’m not sure what the moon was doing, but every party we handled had issues. Problems that would’ve turned very ugly had security not been present
Ironically, the alcohol-free events were the most difficult. This was because gatecrashers targeted both.
You wouldn’t believe the lengths they went to! Or the stuff they tried. We had kids crawling in through toilet windows little bit bigger than a post box.
The intruders we kept at bay occupied the neighbour’s yard (lovely!) and hurled garden stakes and deck chairs over the back fence.
These missiles just missed my staff member who’d confronted two intruders that had made it over the fence. As soon as they saw her, they quickly jumped back …
… Then came back with more unwanted guests!
It was sheer luck no-one was impaled.
The event I attended had 150 21-year-olds in a fairly remote venue.
The responsible service of alcohol by bar staff was spot on, so (for once!) booze wasn’t a problem.
Our drama came from a different quarter: the frustration of waiting for a taxi.
We knew taxis would be a worry this far out of town, so we tried to call them early. But with little success.
As 30 irritated teens milled waiting in the car park and surrounding dark, the tension was evident and growing.
Though I’d assigned a staff member to observe this area, I thought it best to ring local police for a bit of presence.
While on the phone, I was told a brawl had started. I left a staff member in the venue and ran to where my other colleague was busy separating three angry (and far from little) boys.
We bundled them into waiting transport. Fortunately the police arrived soon after to help control the crowd.
We’re not always this lucky.
When choosing your party venue, find out if transport will be an issue. Remote sites are great for reducing gatecrashers. But if you go too far out, you’ll have problems moving on the guests you did invite.
Parents must also realise they can’t run a party alone. When they plan one, they need to include responsible assisting parents in the mix.
Both the ‘dry’ teen events had inadequate parent supervision and proved the most difficult to manage.
While our security handled all of Saturday’s parties extremely well, there were issues.
One event had a guest list blow out from 90 to 140 at the last minute. The other had teens pre-guzzling and smuggling booze, urinating in baths and vomiting behind couches.
When you plan a party, you need 1 parent for every 20 kids. You also need the final guest list in your hand on the Wednesday prior to avoid nasty surprises.
Be smart, or you might not be as ‘lucky’ as these hosts we pulled back from the brink.
Naomi Oakley, Founder, Safe Partying Australia.