Dutch cops swamped after 'Project X' party

2012-09-22 10:00

The Hague - Riot police went into action in a sleepy Dutch town late on Friday to contain thousands of party-goers who turned up after a teenager's birthday invite on Facebook went viral.

Dutch news agency ANP quoted a correspondent as saying the situation in Haren near the northern city of Groningen was getting out of control as police were pelted with stones, bottles, bicycles and pots of flowers by angry youths.

Describing "chaos", ANP quoted local police as saying several people had been injured, two seriously. Four arrests were made, but police said more could be expected after pictures they took were studied.

The police had been on high alert after the schoolgirl posted a message inviting friends to her 16th birthday party on Friday, but forgot to mark it as a private event, prompting more than 20 000 replies.

Public television station NOS said up to 4 000 people, the vast majority of them young, had turned up in Haren, population 18 000. Cars and doorways were damaged by objects thrown at police blocking the street where the girl lives.

Riot police made several charges to disperse the youths trying to get access to the downtown street. The birthday girl had meanwhile fled her home earlier in the day.

"She posted the invitation on Facebook and sent it to friends, who then sent it to other friends and soon it spread like wildfire across the internet," Groningen police spokesperson Melanie Zwama told AFP.

Several websites have sprung up dedicated to the party and referring to 2012 US teen film Project X - about a suburban birthday party getting out of control after an invitation goes viral.

One site referred to Friday's party as "Project X Haren", counting down the seconds to the event and claiming 150 000 people had been invited.

It also published the party's address, adding: "By all means bring some friends!"

Previously Project X  parties have run riot in different parts of the world including Germany, Australia and especially the United States, where teens wrecked an unoccupied Texas home, causing damage of up to $100 000.

  • harley.quin.334 - 2012-09-22 10:12

    LOL, kids will be kids, but i guess the poor girl is grounded until her 65th birthday

      matthew.patrick.925 - 2012-09-22 11:44

      Lack of the odd hiding to blame, maybe?

  • morgan.pike.33 - 2012-09-22 10:27


  • Jacques - 2012-09-22 10:27

    Savages. I really do not see the appeal in going to such an orgy of an event. You will literally get killed or raped or bliksemi-ed, and for what? To be able to say you clicked 'yes' on some FB event? Pah!

  • leigh.ridgway - 2012-09-22 10:27

    Sorry but these are NOT kids just being kids! My children don't even put their feet up on a couch in someone elses home, never mind crashing and trashing someone elses party and property! They sound like a lawless bunch of idiots with zero parental guidance.

  • boomerangbobotie.dyingbreed - 2012-09-22 10:32

    Ummm ja. Imagine that most of those teens are boys, and they are coming for your daughter. Now if have seen the movie Zombieland, guess what Dad will be doing next.

  • vernon12345 - 2012-09-22 11:23

    I had to laugh when I read this . Crazy

  • Mark - 2012-09-22 11:33

    Now you know where the term "Crazy Dutchman" comes from. ;)

  • arne.verhoef - 2012-09-22 11:33

    Why turn violent though?

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-09-22 12:19

      alcohol will do that

  • Lang Henning - 2012-09-22 11:33

    Isn't that what the hippies called 'happenings', like Woodstock in the nineteen-sixties? Nothing new here!

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-09-22 11:49

    "Angry youths". Don't you mean bored and anarchistic youths?

  • nditsheni.makhado - 2012-09-22 15:59


  • judy.turner.3720 - 2012-09-22 17:31

    I think the birthday girl got the shock of her life. Most of the today's youth are without manners and respect for anything or anybody. I blame their upbringing! Some parents create little monsters who get their own way from early on. No such thing as problem's problem parents, most of the time!

  • christopher.koulouris - 2012-09-22 18:29

    Of course one wonders what inspired a collective of up to 30 000 individuals to see fit to attend a 16 year old girl’s birthday party? One also has to wonder if the party was on some level a metaphor of some degree of discord in the cultural landscape or just disengaged individuals feeding off a viral theme or simply the release of pent up hostility at the hands of a viral mechanism.

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