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Haren braces itself for Project X party

Friday 21 September 2012


Street signs have been removed, streets closed off and alcohol is banned at the local train station: the Groningen commuter town of Haren is ready for thousands of youngsters who are threatening to turn up to a party on Friday evening.

What should have been a small-scale 16th birthday party has grown into a massive internet hype after 15-year-old Merthe announced plans to celebrate on Facebook, but did not add the event is a private gathering.

Word spread from friend to friend, and by Tuesday, the event had gone viral with spoof videos, dedicated websites, t-shirts and 'after-parties'. A number of YouTube films were put together, promoting the event under the moniker Project X Haren, after an American film based on a suburban party that got out of hand.

Live streaming

According to news agency ANP, one film production company is planning to offer live streaming from the party location from 16.00 hours, using a drone aircraft to film whatever happens.

Nos television reports the girl and her family have now gone into hiding.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people have pledged to turn up in the town, which has a population of 18,000. The council on Thursday rejected a licence to organise an 'alternative event' because 'we cannot guarantee public safety', a spokesman said.

Marketing expert Angelique Lombarts told the NRC Haren can benefit from the hysteria. 'Everyone knows its name, and this is a unique chance because you never get so much free publicity,' she said.

Are you going? Use the comment form below to share your thoughts.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Very stupid to post this on Facebook. It happened recently in the UK, resulting in a) people unknown to the 16 yr old female poster & family arriving and b) tragically one party go-er being stabbed to death. Facebook can be so dangerous to one's privacy.

By Andrew | 21 September 2012 4:22 PM

@Andrew, Facebook can be dangerous to your privacy?
This particular story is about a teenager who posted personal info without considering the consequences.
You can't blame facebook for that.

By Donaugh | 21 September 2012 5:23 PM

Consequences will never be the same!

By Doughboy | 21 September 2012 9:00 PM

Thank you for the invitation to the party.
I am due to arrive from Auckland within 28 hours. I trust the party will still be on.
see you there

By nissim | 21 September 2012 9:31 PM

As a young person, she was probably so excited about turning 16 that she never realized she needed to make this event private, and kids just want to have a place to party. It's not facebook's fault, just a very unfortunate incident that hopefully others will learn from.

By Kim E | 21 September 2012 9:42 PM

Andrew, Are you serious? Nothing on the internet is more dangerous to anyone's privacy than their own stupidity.

By MaxPower | 21 September 2012 10:52 PM

Update: Situation has completely gone out of control of the police. Confirmed are several severely injured people, and a Albert Heijn Supermarket has been looted.

This is what happens if ignorant lowlifes get the idea they can have a night of free anarchy.

By MW | 22 September 2012 12:10 AM

This is a perfect opportunity for gun-wielding drug dealers to take over small towns and rape all the under-13 girls they can snatch.

Just you watch.

I'm packing up and leaving.

By Cherish Bloom | 22 September 2012 12:35 AM

Facebook nor the girl have anything to do with the - as we know now - tragic events of last evening/night. There will always be people who seize the occasion to fight, damage private/public property and to create chaos. You can't blame FB, you can't blame the media. It's these individuals who deliberately seek confrontation. They are the ones, and the only ones, to blame for what has happened. People have to be held responsible for their choices. These people chose to go to Haren with vicious intentions, let's keep them responsible.

By Eduard | 22 September 2012 1:05 AM

And again the party ended with riots,military police was put into action to get the fighting crowd seperate and the most people where gone aftter midnight. Leaving many broken windows,beer bottels and garbage behind. Now project X made nieuw party posting on facebook for city " gouda" just to let people know it can go well? Anybody join??? NOT from the dutchnews was this posting

By mickey | 22 September 2012 1:23 AM

A stupid decision made with a powerful tool (facebook, gun, etc) is dangerous..

By CLouD8521 | 22 September 2012 5:29 AM

I agree totally: the problem is between the keyboard and back of the chair, not FaceBook. If you post stuff publicly, then it's your responsibility, not FaceBooks:)

By Anton Nieuwenhuizen | 22 September 2012 7:09 AM

One blames Facebook, the other blames the girl, but who blames the municipality of Haren? Nobody knew about all this until suddenly there was a press release that there will be no party in Haren and this girl mistakenly published her birthday party as public. It was only then that the masses learned about the event in Haren. Then, there was another press release that there will be an alternative party. Naturally, this will cause thousands of people to come to this village, even though a third press release told the alternative party was cancelled, but a fourth told about a gathering at an abandoned soccer field.
Had the municipality made no press release whatsoever, nothing would have happened.

By Pee-Tor | 22 September 2012 7:55 AM

Just because one posts a sign on the door that says "open" doesn't mean they're inviting a herd of buffalos to come in and stampede.
Some people decided to start something of an online marketing campaign for a mass party that was really none of their business; that's illegal organizing of an event, and then some people came looking for trouble.

By Patrick D | 22 September 2012 8:47 AM

Anarchy is the only political system that will ever work long term, survival of the fittest is natural law.

By phil | 22 September 2012 5:35 PM

Face book? Yeah, a good step towards ending privacy, careful what you post on the net, it might be there forever!!

By The visitor | 22 September 2012 11:26 PM

This is neither Facebook nor the girl at fault. It is the irresponsible and immortal behaviour of those who know they are unwelcome yet continue to cause distress to the community by turning up. Equal criticism goes to those who involved with unwarranted publicity.

By si | 23 September 2012 1:22 PM

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