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Party fiasco could have been a death trap

Erasmus students suddenly faced a dance floor without music and electricity, and were shoved around and verbally abused by bouncers

A hyped up and widely promoted student party organised by the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) at K-3 bar on Friday 3 December was not only a flop. It was a flop that raises serious safety concerns, say some of the involved students.

The bar was plunged into darkness by a power cut, and students were expected to share the floor with five other large party groups, witnesses say to the University Post.

The Copenhagen chapter of the Erasmus Student Network had invited over 1000 students to the party on facebook. It was a Christmas party meant to be ‘unforgettable’. And unforgettable it was, just not quite the way organisers had meant it to be.

Read the Erasmus Student Network’s apology to partygoers here.

Forced to party in the dark

»The party was a real fiasco. The club made us pay for entrance and the cloak room even when they knew that they had problems and they could not fix them«, says Quentin Nicaud, an Erasmus student from France.

However, from a safety viewpoint, the serious problems started with the reaction to a sudden power failure by K-3. When the lights suddenly went off, angry students were placated with reassurances that the electricity will be restored under ten minutes.

Despite full knowledge of the fact that the bar inside was in darkness and the students were getting restless, Samuel, one of the managers of K-3, continued to let people in, students tell the University Post.

»They kept telling us that the electricity will be back. But we waited for hours. I don’t know why they were letting people enter in the dark. They lit candles and put them on in a room with wooden interiors filled with semi-drunk students. Who does that?«, asks Daria Pieczka, a student of Landscape Architecture at the University of Copenhagen.

Foul-mouthed staff

According to Eliska, an exchange student from the Czech Republic, people started leaving the party once they realized that the K-3 staff were doing nothing to bring the situation under control.

On asking for a refund of the amount they had paid, the students were verbally abused by the bouncers.

»The guards and bouncers were so rude and were loudly abusing us in Danish. One of them was even pushing the students out,« she claims.

Facebook anger

Barbara, a biotechnology student at DTU is still bristling.

»Not only did we pay for entering that party, we had to also pay an additional DKK 30 for the cloak room. And they wouldn’t refund any of it. This is such a joke. They need to pay us back.«

To make matters worse, the manager at K-3 charged the students an additional DKK 80 after 2 am, if they wanted to re-enter once they had left.

The ESN organisers were nowhere to be seen. According to some spectators, they left the scene as soon as the situation got beyond control.

»ESN- an awful organization,« reads a comment on Facebook

ESN co-ordinators ‘threatened by drunk students’

According to ESN members, managers and staff at K-3 deliberately swindled them in to believing the party would be a private one only for the Erasmus students.

»We had been planning this way in advance. We spoke to the manager several times and he said everything would be under control. But on the day of the party we realised that the bar would be open to five other parties,« says Andreas Reumann, the national representative of ESN in Denmark.

Some of the students were quite drunk and were getting very violent, he explains. It is understandable that they were angry but the ESN organisers felt threatened and felt it would be safer to leave, he explains

ESN wants new party

In an apology e-mail sent to all the students at the party, Nikoline, the President of ESN-Copenhagen, not only explained the happenings of the night but also promised to take immediate steps to »throw a real party«.

»We cannot refund everyone simply because we don’t know every person who came there that night. But we hope to organise another party and this time entry will be without charge. The party will be at another location. It will never be K-3 again. I hope we can make up for this,« explains Andreas.

ESN hopes to be able to initiate ‘dialogue’ with the managers of the bar this week, the organisation claims. In case they do not co-operate, there are possibilities of legal action against K-3, they say.

The University Post has as yet been unable to contact K-3 for a comment.

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