James Weir recaps: Byron Bay Schoolies pummelled by wave of destruction

Byron Bay’s Schoolies weekend has been derailed by a wave of destruction in truly chaotic scenes. James Weir recaps the carnage.

Byron Bay’s Schoolies weekend was pummelled by a wave of destruction on Saturday night in chaotic scenes that couldn’t be blamed on vodka Red Bulls.

After a breezy afternoon of sun, surf and sand, partygoers were ambushed in the early evening by a severe thunderstorm that rolled over the northern New South Wales hotspot, bringing with it destructive winds and heavy rainfall that kickstarted an hour of pandemonium on the city streets.

“Boys! It’s pissing down! It’s f***in’ pissing down!” one school leaver screamed to his mates as they ran into the eye of the madness like Helen Hunt and her fellow storm chasers in the 1996 classic film Twister.

His baseball cap blew off and flew across the pavement. Bravely, he risked it all to scurry back and save it. can confirm both the boy and his hat survived.

But not everyone got away unscathed.

A group of quick-thinking girls who ducked into a chemist on the main drag of Jonson Street to purchase blue plastic rain ponchos thought their armour would be enough to conquer the weather. They were wrong.

A bold decision to run west into the nightmare was quickly abandoned. Only seconds after charging forth, they reversed and fled back east with their tangled ponchos and an inside-out umbrella.

Their bloodcurdling cries will not be forgotten by witnesses.

JAMES WEIR RECAPS: Click back to on Sunday for a full Schoolies recap

A police riot squat 4WD mounted a footpath and blocked pedestrians as strong winds tore a long piece of metal off a shop roof. Later, a police vehicle blocked a street while the local council chainsawed a fallen tree.

Sometimes in life, you find yourself in situations where you have to make a choice. It’s not always easy – and Schoolies is the perfect place to learn this. Our graduates were given a split second to decide: get rained on, or run into oncoming traffic?

Public transport is limited in the shire. And with some graduates staying out of the city centre, Ubers suddenly became more valuable than those life rafts on the Titanic.

“Is this ours?” one drenched girl screamed at her mate. “Just get in!” her friend lunged into the back seat.

Halfway through the hour-long storm, word started to spread about the ponchos. Hunched-over figures wrapped in blue, yellow and white plastic bopped frantically through the streets. Still, some people refused to be saved. It’s a lesson we all learn repeatedly in life – usually with crappy boyfriends, but also in a deluge.

“Where did you get your ponchos!?” one soaked girl yelled at a group huddled near a Westpac ATM.

“The chemist!” one of the plastic-clad girls advised.

“… Are they free?”

“Four dollars!”

The girl in need let out a dissatisfied noise. The price was clearly too steep. Though on second thought …

“… Is there pink?”

Click back to on Sunday to read James Weir’s full recap of the Byron Bay Schoolies party.

Twitter, Facebook: @hellojamesweir

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