what is foam party
Fan favourite or overhyped? | © Zachary Debottis / Pexels

Whenever foam parties start to make their way into the partying scene again, they’re scrutinized as a bizarre new trend. In reality, these soapy raves have been around for decades, yet somehow continue to make a comeback every now and then after years of going under the radar.

But why do foam parties keep disappearing? And what makes us so quick to fall for their appeal time and time again?

History of foam parties

Foam parties don’t necessarily have the cleanest record (excuse the pun). In fact, when they first emerged in a small club in Ibiza in the 1980s, they would end up turning dancefloors and clubs into a literal mess by the end of the night. 

This is mostly because fire hoses were used to fill venues with lots of water mixed with detergent until the entire floor was covered with foam.

The result? Water residue and dirt galore the next morning. 

It was only a while later that the alternative of the foam cannon was introduced to filter out water and only expel soap into the air. This quite literally sky-rocketed the trend into becoming the coolest new way of partying. 

Foam parties don’t necessarily have the cleanest record

Another questionable aspect of their history was due to the fact that they were heavily associated with some risque behaviour.

This was only amplified when the trend made its way to the USA in the 1990s. ‘The foam acted as a bubbly veil’ to disguise what transgressions took place on the dance floor.

Of course, it’s no surprise that clubs would be a hotspot for people getting together. It’s only an issue when it’s not what you signed up for. It was also looked down upon and shunned by many, especially with the country still at the height of its AIDS concerns. 

But that didn’t stop the craze to win the hearts of many and go global.

These days, the most common foam parties are the ones we see hosted at resorts and hotels over the summer. 

It’s definitely a fun and unique experience to go to a foam party when you’re by the pool or vacationing on an island. You can easily rinse yourself off and you don’t have to be worried about getting drenched because you’re probably already wet anyway from coming out of the pool.  

But it’s a different experience to go to an indoor foam party at your local club, especially when you need to leave the venue and take an hour-long bus ride to get back home. No one wants to do that with wet hair and soap in your clothes making you itch. 

You can’t deny the creativity and appeal | © @mateaa97 / Instagram

Regardless, factors of comfort don’t seem to be putting everyone off of foam parties. In fact, revellers are more excited to try out these new and unique experiences whenever they have the chance.

Actual risks and dangers

There’s a reason the trend keeps disappearing every few years: It could actually be quite dangerous.

One Reddit user sets the reality of the actual risks and dangers at foam parties, saying:

‘Only time I’ve nearly died was at a foam party’

Exaggeration or not, you can’t deny that being on a slippery dance floor, surrounded by crowds of drunk people who can’t see past their waists and getting blasted with foam from all angles will pose quite a few health risks.

There are many hazards lurking beneath the surface of these events. For one, getting soap in your eyes is definitely a cause of concern.

One Florida incident in 2012 saw at least 40 party goers go to the ER for eye-related injuries and chemical burns after attending one foam party.

In fact, the health risks of such events continue to be debated today, but for a different set of reasons. Before the UK opened clubs in July 2021, a decision was made by club owners to abstain from hosting foam parties in the wake of Covid concerns. 

A fan favourite?

This decision doesn’t seem to have lasted very long, though. 

History of Foam Party
You can’t deny freshmen their foam parties | © @simplycindy / Instagram

Foam parties are popping up again with the start of Welcome Week at universities around the world. And fresher’s seem to be loving them. 

After previous incidents of chemical-related injuries, many of the companies that manufacture foam machines have made it their mission to use non toxic and non hazardous soap.

Venues are also better educated about possible risks and take precautions accordingly to avoid any unwanted harm.

Ultimately, if you know the hazards and know how to keep yourself safe, why not indulge in this eccentric experience?

There’s no need to rain on anybody’s parade if foam parties don’t sound like your kind of vibe. 

While some people feel put off by the discomfort at these parties, you can’t deny that they still offer a unique partying experience. And that’s why we welcome the trend back every time.