Gone Rogue! Host Flat of Ball Wrecked

Gone Rogue! Host Flat of Ball Wrecked

This ain’t a Bridgerton ball

A renowned Castle Street flat (let’s call them ‘The Elephant’*) were in shock after finding 14 smashed windows, pieces of their walls, heaters, and their fire alarm ripped out, in the wake of their annual ball. 

The annual ball that has reportedly been running since 2015 was originally just for friends and neighbours. Since then, it’s come to be a renowned and greatly anticipated event. One flatmate Grace* told Critic Te Ārohi after the carnage of this year’s ball, “Campus Watch said it was the worst damage they’ve seen to a house on the street.” 

After waking to find the flat an absolute tip, the girls received a call from their landlord at 8am to inform them that a Powerade probably wasn’t going to fix the hangover. The incident occurred in spite of a substantial security presence, leaving room for considerable speculation as to how the damages may have happened.

The beginning of the night was apparently filled with bad omens after security showed up to the flat an hour late. Amending their mistake, the security company they had hired sent five extra security guards because they “felt bad”, according to one of the flatmates.

The girls said they had put their lives on hold for a week and a half in preparation for the event. “We had organised everything. We boarded up the windows with plywood, and we wrapped the carpet [...] we boarded up the stairs, obviously we didn’t want anyone going up there, we cleared out all our bedrooms,” said Grace. 

The flat had charged $33 for a ticket which went towards Gravity Events, who they hired to set up and bring in the other necessary equipment. One flatmate, Bella* reported that they had saved some money for damages: “But not enough, oh my god.”

Rumours are now spiralling that students had heard about the amount the flat had left over for damages, and inflicted the carnage “to get their money's worth.” Poppy*, a third flatmate, said “people paid $33 for a ticket, calculated how many people were coming, timesed it by that and then thought that total amount was everything we had for damages, which it just so wasn't.” 

On top of the severe damage done to the house, one guest added fuel to the fire (almost literally), after setting off fireworks inside. It’s unknown whether this was before or after the fire alarm was ripped out. Flatmate Stella* said that people were coming up to them and saying, “I didn’t know you got smoke machines.”

Stella told Critic that she had an especially rude awakening the next day: “I woke up to some boy throwing a bottle at the window and I woke up covered in glass.” According to the flatties, the fire brigade showed up on the night to remove the fireworks, with Campus Watch and Police arriving the next day.

“A lot of people thought that we had like nine grand for damages, so you could do whatever,” said another girl. It’s not the first time something like this has happened at the North D ball. Students have often viewed their ticket price as an invitation to fuck up the flat. In 2022, similar attitudes led to 11 broken windows, and an entire toilet being ripped out of the floor and thrown out the window at the same flat. 

A few boys had been identified on security cameras as culprits and are shouldering some of the cost, but for the most part, the girls will have to fork out the money themselves. They surprisingly remained upbeat about it all and had embraced the DIY spirit. Stella said she was “sitting with the builder on Sunday night, and he’s just teaching me how to plaster.” 

Asked if they would go back in time and do it again, Critic Te Ārohi got a “no”, a “hell no”, and a “yup”. A singular optimist in the midst. Only two days after the ball, the girls’ landlord for their flat next year asked their current landlord for a reference. Despite the 8am call they received from her after she caught wind of the event, they still wrangled a good reference.

*Name changed.

This article first appeared in Issue 13, 2024.
Posted 8:18pm Sunday 26th May 2024 by Harriette Boucher.