Tara – Squat Parties

Tara – Squat Parties
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This is Tara. When she finished school she moved to London and into an eight-bed dorm in a hostel where she lived for year. And then… Eat. Sleep. Squat party. Repeat.

Being tres illegal, how did you find out about squat parties?
There was a number that you called at 1am on Friday night for a recorded message that simply stated an address. The buildings were really run-down abandoned warehouses and the toilets never worked. Entry was 1 or 2 pounds, and there was always a bar selling really cheap booze and water.

What was da crowd like?
There were some dodgy characters – usually on the Monday when the party was wrapping up – but in general, it was the same crowd most weekends and everyone was really friendly and looked out for each other. People were just there to dance and have fun.

What’s the longest you partied for in one go?
Four days – something I do not recommend! I had to keep splashing water on my eyeballs as they were too dry to blink properly.

Craziest one you ever went to?
New Years Eve 2001. It was a seven-storey abandoned building in South East London. There were thousands of people there, and the party went on for days and days. The police turned up a few times to shut off the electricity, but the organisers somehow managed to keep turning it back on. They kept coming back to try to make us all leave, but they didn’t have the numbers.

You’re a travel agent and backpacked the world solo – what’s the best country you’ve been to?
I love the landscapes of Bolivia, the history in Egypt, and the people of Turkey. I’ve recently enjoyed experiencing our own backyard; if you haven’t headed north yet, do yourself a favour and visit the Kimberley region – breathtaking.

And now you’re a mum living in Melbourne with baby vom on you – surreal much?
I couldn’t think of anything worse than my old partying lifestyle as I’m now approaching my forties. I have absolutely no regrets though which is all you can hope for. I’m happy to be pulling all nighters with my daughter covered in breastmilk and spew.

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