Hyde St Keg Party - could this year be the last?

  • 31/03/2017

It will only take one idiot behaving badly to see Dunedin's infamous Hyde St Keg Party canned, students have been warned.

Saturday will see around 3500 students descend on Hyde St for the annual shindig, which in the past has been marred by violence and arrests.

Last year's bash was considered a success despite 10 hospitalisations and eight arrests - the lowest in years. In 2012 drinking began just after 5am, there were 15 arrests, a roof collapse and 80 people treated by St John paramedics. In 2011, 25 were arrested and couches were burned in the street.

"We're hoping it will run smoothly and we'll be sitting back this time tomorrow celebrating a successful event with no major incidents," Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) president Hugh Baird told The AM Show on Friday.

OUSA has looked after the event since 2013, and tomorrow will provide 7000 sausages, 6000 churros and chicken on buns to help soak up the excess alcohol.

"There's more than enough grub to go around for these students," said Mr Baird. "It's probably more than they'd get on a good day."

But he admits it's unlikely the event will be without incident.

"Let's call a spade a spade - it is the Hyde St Keg Party."

To combat troublemakers, Mr Baird says there will be security guards among the 400-strong staff at the event, and St John paramedics in case of overindulgence or accident.

"The atmosphere will be great I'm sure, but we've had to jump through a lot of hoops to make sure things run smoothly."

And if they don't, this year's event - the 23rd - will be the last.

"Don't be the ones that ruin it for future years," says Mr Baird. "All it will take is one small event, then there will be cause for it to be canned."

This year's keg party starts at 9am and ends at 6pm. There will be a one-way door policy from 1pm.