Guestival: How to throw a House Party

How beautiful was the weekend?! I see we’re back to overcast and muggy, which makes up about 60% of British summertime but if the sun is saving itself for the weekend again, I’m happy.

So on Friday, my bro and I threw a little festival-themed shing-dig at our house, to try and make up for the fact that none of us are at Glastonbury this year (*sob*). While we didn’t get to have any live bands (Kasabian are real busy at the moment, y’know) the festival spirit (and lots of spirits!) were there- minus the mud and the portaloos.


Our family have always been party-animals, from my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and of course my parents. One of the best memories I have is our whole garden full of people with my Uncle on his decks and everyone singing along to “I’ve Found Lovin,” smoke-machine included! I was only about 9 but its cool that even in our stupidly small house, we’ve managed to have New Year parties, mile-stone birthdays, Halloween, BBQs etc and although there’s always the mess to clear up afterwards, it’s always a bloody good night.

I hope to carry on the family tradition once I’ve moved out of the nest but for the time-being, our parents are cool with us having people over, no Project X style gatherings of course! I’ve always wanted to do a festival themed party and of course, with this idea, I could let my creativity run wild ha! I raided Amazon, eBay and Poundland for party accessories, including bunting, a checked tablecloth, inflatable guitars and these personalised wristbands (below)- £4 for 50 from UK Wristbands Ltd and they’re perfect for any themed occasion.

Guestival Wristbands

I thought it’d be good to share with you a few house party planning tips since we’ve had a fair few over the years, seeing as ‘Organised’ seems to be my middle name ha!

1. Invite people you know personally. Fair enough if people want to bring their other halves but if its someone asking if their ‘friend’s cousin-twice-removed’ can come, forget about it. Aaaand if you do create an event on Facebook, make it ‘private’ so that you don’t end up with half your town in your house!

2. Budget accordingly. It’s so tempting to go crazy with decor, drinks and snacks etc but make a list and see what you actually need. Half the time we have stuff left over from previous parties (cutlery, cups etc) so check before you go out and buy.

3. Ask guests to bring their own booze. At the end of the day, you’re not going to be able to cater to everybody without spending a fortune so just provide the basics and perhaps greet everyone with a home-made cocktail or a shot!

4. Food Deals. If you’re providing food and you’re on a budget, look out for cheap deals in the supermarkets. Iceland do some awesome party-platters all year round that you can just chuck in the oven before your guests arrive and of course, at this time of the year, there’s always offers on BBQ goodies. Again, keep the spread simple, it’s a house party not a wedding!

5. Remove breakables. Do a sweep of your house or where the party is predominantly taking place. Most people hang out in our kitchen, hallway and garden when we have parties so we remove any breakables (ornaments, photo frames, glasses etc) beforehand and cover anything up that can be easily stained. Buy throws or cushion covers for sofas and chairs and if you have carpet, why not see if you can get your hands on some cheap tarpaulin from eBay or a hardware store.

6. Tidy on the go. There’s nothing worse than waking up to a complete mess when you feel like a complete mess. Although you don’t want to kill the atmosphere by asking people to put their cans/bottles in the bin, provide bin bags around each area so that guests are not tempted to just leave things everywhere. Of course, tidying up the day after is expected but you can help yourself by trying to keep it to a minimum.

7. Respect your neighbours. Give them a heads-up beforehand that you’re having a few people over and that there might be some noise, that way they’re less likely to complain! Maybe throw a couple of beers their way to keep them extra-sweet!

8. Make it interesting.  Most of the time house-parties have a relaxed atmosphere so that people can pour their own drinks, dance in the hallway like a loon if they want to or chill out in the garden. Having a theme always provides for an awesome night and of course, this is usually where drinking-games come into their own. Get everyone involved in Beer-Pong or a game of drunken Twister. Always drink responsibly of course!

9. Sort your play-list. No house-party is complete without a stellar play-list. We have a couple of friends who are DJs so they always do us a mix or just connect your iPod up to some speakers or a dock. Spotify is brilliant for making play-lists and if you upgrade to its premium service, you can play music without ad interruptions. Here’s one of my play-lists below:

10. Don’t stress out. It’s not a nightclub and that’s why house parties are great. If people want to sit and talk all night and they’re still having fun, it creates a better atmosphere. Obviously you want to make sure your home isn’t getting trashed and you have the absolute right to kick anyone out who’s misbehaving. If they’re true friends, they’ll respect your home anyway and if it’s an awesome night, people will always want to come to the next one. Huzzah!




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