If the first 50 drinks being handed out for free at the Tussock Cafe weren’t enough to bring the fresher’s to a flock, then it must have been the free food. Or was it the mean beats of DJ-Dog’s tunes that drew in the first years? Or maybe it was just the simplicity of attending MAWSA’s organised Toga party, in the effort to meet some mates and have a good time.
Being an ex Christchurch resident, I for one was keen to experience a night where the only quakes and shudders were the beats of the bass and the stamping of bare feet on the Tussock Cafe floor. So of course it didn’t take long for me to decide that I was definitely attending this event. Some of my friends however were a little harder to convince as a ‘toga party’ seemed an apparent lame event compared to Wellington’s Jim Bean Home Grown that took place the weekend before. But sure enough as Friday night rolled around the preparations began. With a little coaxing and the odd bribe here and there, I managed to convince my flat mates to go. Soon enough my (male- I might add) flatmates had downed a few beers, finished off two cans of spray tan and were ready to gap it to Tussock. So off we went. Half of us were representing the embodiment of Aphrodite. While the other half, let’s face it, did a pretty good impersonation of a God-like Donald Trump.
On the way there we passed a heap of people dressed in togas heading back to the Basin dorms. Suddenly I thought ‘Oh no, it can’t surely be that bad!’ But to my relief these were the eager people turning up too early and the doors hadn’t officially opened yet. Admittedly we, (Yes I) may have struggled to find the right entrance into the Tussock. But we finally made our way there around 8.30 being drawn by the flashing lights, loud music and the small cue of party-goers lined up at the open doors. I had been into Tussock a few times before on the campus tour and open day but never had it looked anything like this. Surrounded in a clad of darkness the Cafe had been completely transformed with the room radiating a revelry atmosphere. After introducing myself to security as ‘the writer,’ I skipped the cue and waltzed straight on in receiving my V.I.P card on the way.
Of course I was expecting the slightly awkward chit-chat and empty room, but was amazed by the amount of people who had already trickled in. Sheets of all colours, prints and patterns, shapes and sizes were scattered amongst the room. Fluro bracelets, necklaces, headbands and tights blazed from afar. And a common trend of brightly coloured wigs, leaves and bare feet was apparent. Girls dazzled in sparkly nail polish and glowing face paint. While some guys thought outside the box by literally strapping Tui boxes to their backs. One guy even braved a morph suit which would have totally stolen the spot light had it not blended into the darkened room. I noticed him by colliding head first into him. Multi-coloured swimsuits, towels and vivid jackets stood out amongst the crowd. All of it creating a whirlpool of colours amid the shady room. And of course let’s not forget MAWSA’s Luchadore decorations garlanded about the room.
With no hesitation we joined in the fun, meeting and greeting other first years as we danced to DJ-Dog’s tunes. Lil John’s ‘Get Low’ seemed to be the night’s ice breaker. As soon as Wiz Khalifa, Kanye West and Sub Focus came on over 300 people were crammed into Tussock, overflowing out onto the court yard.
With the $25 voucher MASSIVE gave me, my friends and I took to the bar, waiting a good five minutes to get to the front of the cue. It was definitely the early birds who cashed in, scoring the free drinks and mouth-watering free food. The mini-hamburgers, triangle sandwiches, asparagus rolls and ice blocks went down a treat. While the hydration station kept everyone cool and ‘sober’.
The highlight of the night was dancing to dub step’s tunes, even if it is “f***ing hard to dance to!”The only disappointment of the night was that it came to an end as most people headed off to another O-week gig; Trei and Sticky Buds. Huge props have to go to the MAWSA team for organising this event and the solid effort put in by the Huge crew who volunteered to walk people home on the night.