Honey I Shrunk The Party: How Big House Parties Are So Over

Big House Parties Are So Over - Here's Why


by Contributor |
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Parties have fallen out of fashion, says a new report. But a whole new gathering is on the horizon says Stevie Martin...

Back in the Noughties, house parties reigned supreme as the place to get drunk, find a friend- approved date and ruin someone’s carpet with mashed Monster Munch. Friends would bring friends, new groups would be forged and couples emerged after a snog on the coat pile.

But now, parties are in decline, along with nightclubs, which have dwindled by nearly half since 2005, according to the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR). We’re turning away from the chaos in favour of more intimate partying.

‘The last great house party I went to was years ago,’ says photographer Raja, 30. ‘I just don’t get invited to them any more. And I haven’t hosted one in years – it’s too much faff.’ A faff, yes, but now house parties are also a lot less crucial to the dating scene, with Tinder and Happn et al letting us flirt from our sofas with zero effort. In the gap, though, what’s emerged are ‘Insta-parties’ – smaller sister of the house party with more class and less broken glass. Someone might cook. There will not be a paper cup in sight. The guest list is small and select – friends you hope to set up and people you know you’ll have real conversations with. The reason for their name? You’re sure to get loads more likes on social media for them (not that this reinforcement is the real reason we’re even socialising at all now [cough]).

What’s more, this new breed of party is helping us date in ways that technology can’t match, and are less high-maintenance than you’d think. So how do you know you’re at an Insta-party? Let us explain...

It Won't Trash The House

We’re pretty much all part of Generation Rent, which means we’ve got vast deposits to worry about never getting back. And landlords threatening us with ASBOs if we turn the music up past ‘gentle dinner party’. And even if you’re lucky enough to be on the property ladder, the prospect of someone vomiting up that wall you just painted in Farrow & Ball’s Mole’s Breath isn’t a joyous one.

‘The first time I bought a flat, we threw a house party and within minutes a guy nobody had ever met before had spilt red wine over my bedroom carpet,’ says Laura,28, a doctor from Humberside. ‘House parties stress me out; they’re not worth the hassle.’ At an Insta-party, the host fully controls the guest list, meaning there’s zero chance of randoms showing up.

You'll Be Invited By Text

If someone texts you an invite instead of setting up a Facebook event, it’s an Insta-party. The message will usually say: ‘I’m having a few friends over for drinks/ food/cocktails next week,’ and there will probably be a jam jar with a tealight in it.

Photos Are De Rigueur

Candlelight (as above) makes everyone look super-hot. And the thing with Insta-parties is they’re likely to equal Insta-likes. ‘It’s not really that cold yet, so we might put up some fairy lights and get everyone out in the garden,’ says Tanya, 32, a teacher from Kent. Sure, you might end up freezing your fingers off, but if you’re drinking under the stars in the name of a good snap, you’re definitely at an Insta-party.

You Can Matchmake Properly

While house parties are suffering because it’s so much easier to sit at home and swipe right, apps aren’t great for singletons who want something more than a one-night stand. ‘Chemistry can’t be found in a WhatsApp conversation,’ says dating expert Teresa Welch. ‘We spend a lot of energy messaging people we haven’t met when you can make a decision much more easily face-to-face.’ Yes! At Insta-parties.

‘You’re more likely to find an actual partner rather than a random snog,’ agrees Emma, 26, who’s a regular IP host. ‘I have friends who have hooked up at smaller parties and are still going out now. You can really see what the other person is like when it’s not carnage.’ Success rates will also be higher when everyone can hear each other, and guests have essentially been pre-filtered for craziness by your mates.

You're Getting Fun Drunk, Rather Than Awful Drunk

‘My favourite thing is get my closest friends round for a bring-a-cocktail party,’ says Holly, 32, a teacher from Bath. ‘Everyone eats beforehand and brings ingredients for a cocktail, which we make together.’ This way, everyone’s dignity is kept intact – probably thanks to pre-party grub and a lack of drunken 2am minesweeping.

So what are you waiting for? Text your pals, sort out a killer Spotify playlist, get in some wine and join the Insta-party. Bonus points for every single person you can ‘accidentally’ place next to each other.

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