Flo and O Parties: Dying But Not Quite Dead

Flo and O Parties: Dying But Not Quite Dead

“You may break my party, but you will never break my spirits” - John F Kennedy or something

Flo and O-Weeks were notably quieter this year, with Covid cases on Castle sending a chill through North D’s collective spine. Apart from the usual suspects, though, most students seemed to make a reasonable effort at following the rules.

Flo saw a sleepy Castle, with few students on the streets and action largely confined to flat parties. On Wednesday night, Critic Te Arohi paid a visit to Racecourse, the host of the evening. Or, at least, we tried to get into Racecourse, but were stopped by metal fences and a bouncer saying that they’d hit the 100-person limit. Good on them. In between checking vaccine passes and tackling people trying to sneak in through bushes, he told Critic Te Arohi that he won’t be paid and was just doing this to help his mates. While we couldn’t check the party out, it looked pretty banging from the outside, not gonna lie. 

Apart from Racecourse, Castle was dead quiet. The cops we spoke to said this didn’t exactly make their lives easier, as it was harder to manage and monitor lots of little flat parties. They did have their eye on one or two flats, though, and were placing bets to see who would get slapped with a fine first. Despite their observational skills, the fuzz couldn’t catch James, who spent a good 15 minutes boasting to Critic Te Arohi outside Big Red that he “provides for all of Castle” before extending an unconditional offer of “free gear, weed, beer” at his flat any time. King. 

If Flo had Castle sleepy, O had it dead as Covid ripped through parties like a fat bong. At 8 Man, the one party that was going when we visited on Monday, the bouncer told us numbers were pretty steady. They held around 40-50 most of the evening. One cashed-up group even rocked up to the front door in an Uber. Must be nice. This bouncer was a paid professional, for a change. 

The host of the party told us they had signed their flat “just so we could host Gender Bender,” and were naturally gutted by the restrictions. She did mention that all the mahi their flat had put in, trying to stay within the rules while making sure it was still a good time, had actually “brought us closer together,” which was sweet. What was not so sweet, though, were the persistent rumours of people going to parties despite testing positive, single-handedly ensuring they both have a mediocre time and help shut down parties for everyone else. Well done, fuckheads.

As the clock struck 10, we observed hordes of freshers migrating to the cemetery, a seasonal occurrence that felt a bit like watching a nature docco. We even observed their natural predators in the wild, with reports of eggings on Forth Street and a particularly feral red hatchback on Lovelock Ave that seemed determined to run some first-years over. Gotta love Dunedin wildlife.

We spotted a group of freshers, with almost every hall represented except St. Margs. Almost all cited being “bored” as the reason they were trekking up the hill to their promised land: a field surrounded by graves, filled with glass, goon bags, Bluetooth speakers and a single couch, somehow. In theory, halls had their own events planned to keep the freshers happily occupied. In practice, while some halls seemed to do well (go off, Studholme), others seemed to miss the mark, and their kids were running around in the cemetery. 

Apart from a reported bottling and the usual creeps (older man offering the open goon bag to fresher girls, we see you), the vibes seemed generally all right. It was hard to estimate numbers, but they were nowhere near the 400-600 reported by the ODT. Police presence seemed light, with a van making periodic patrols and a couple of unlucky guys banging on the windows from the inside. Even when they finally swooped back on the cemetery around 11, it looked like a pretty chill and orderly move, with most folks around the back of the party not even aware that cops were ever there.

Omicron had North D’s party animals dying but not quite dead, with students determined to make the most of it and have a good time without copping a massive fine. Almost everyone held out hope of a better time in Semester 2. And when the parties crank up again, Critic Te Arohi will be right there, doing our journalistic duty by getting on the piss at as many as we possibly can.

This article first appeared in Issue 1, 2022.
Posted 2:56pm Sunday 27th February 2022 by Denzel Chung, Keegan Wells & Ruby Werry.