Published on February 27, 2013 | by Chloe Spencer

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Good, clean, responsible fun

ALN Online Editor Chloe Spencer [Hildegard Titus]

After the fire at the nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil, I started thinking about the types of situations we put ourselves in to have a good time.

At the ripe old age of 21, I wake up most weekends in the dark with sore kidneys and an embarrassing story that I can’t think about without physically cringing.

As horrible as I feel, this is usually the most damage I’ve done to myself and to my bank account.

I haven’t been in a situation that even comes close to the tragedy in Brazil, but I have been to many places that looking back now, wouldn’t have passed any proper health and safety inspections.

Parties in abandoned buildings, disused car parks and grimy working men’s club’s are such common place now, that it appears we have become lazy about our personal welfare.

The simple fact is, no one really cares, I don’t know if I really care but mix a dodgy staircase with a bunch of drunken revelers and you’ve got yourself a potentially fatal casualty.

Last year my flat mate was seriously injured at a licensed New Years Eve house party – I use the term ‘licensed’ very loosely – the house was so crowded that after a fight broke out, two of my friends were crushed at the bottom of a stairwell.

One escaped with a sore leg and the other spent a week in hospital, having had two operations and ended up with a metal arm.

Evacuated 

Last summer I was evacuated from Bloc after queuing in hell for two-and-a-half hours.

We had barely been in there 20 minutes and though I was more concerned that the bar had run out of alcohol, the hundreds of people climbing the fences and crashing through the barriers was enough to make me start to panic.

I watched Snoop Dogg’s backdrop for half an hour then got shoved on to a shuttle bus by a barrage of riot police and dropped in Canning Town, which, might I add, is not somewhere that you want to be at one in the morning.

We got our money back eventually and the organisers went into administration after releasing a statement that touched upon overcrowding and health and safety.

Reports on the nightclub fire claimed that hundreds of people were unable to escape the blaze, as only one of the exits was available.

What it should have said was, “Bloc was shut down due to over crowding caused by greedy promoters and security guards who had given up checking tickets.” Nice and safe.

Most things eventually become a funny anecdote but there have been a few occasions when I’ve taken a step back and thought, “Shit, this is pretty bad.”

One party I went to at a warehouse in Seven Sisters ended up with a collapsed second story staircase and knife wielding gypsy fight.

In the middle of nowhere, with a lack of security, at a technically illegal party, we probably should have seen it coming.

Tragedy

In all seriousness, I do think that people need to be less concerned with what’s cool and more worried about how the night might turn out.

Reports on the nightclub fire in the student town of Santa Maria, claimed that hundreds of people were unable to escape the blaze, as only one of the exits was available.

This is a tragedy that potentially, could have been a lot less destructive if those responsible had followed basic health and safety regulations.

Trying to vanquish the evil warehouse party might very well be a lost cause, but if the décor resembles a seventies strip club, there’s a good chance that it was a seventies strip club and therefore hasn’t been renovated in 40 years.

I suggest that you try and keep your wits about you and maybe check the exits.

@LO_ECH

 

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