“On my first try, the bouncer laughed at my ID. and said ‘that’s not you’ and wrote a huge X on my hand…Then I tried again by drawing the stamp on my hand and hot glue gunning a wristband to myself…The bouncer ripped that off me. Then I tried to hop the fence, but I was wearing a skirt so that failed. Then I tried to sneak in through the back…AND I GOT POISON IVY! After going back in line with my hair in a different style, sunglasses on, and my shirt tied up, I paid for a SECOND ticket and finally got in…” – Anonymous

Over the fence and through the back, look out Palooza, here they come! Every season, Mad River, a bar in Manayunk, throws an all-day, indoor-outdoor party with lots of alcohol and live music. On these days, Riverpalooza transforms into a watering hole for St. Joe’s students. Seniors celebrate their approaching graduation, juniors celebrate their long awaited 21st birthdays, and sophomores and freshmen celebrate their ability to sneak past the bouncers.

If you ever decide to attend the event, you quickly become aware of the influx of underaged girls and boys getting shots of Fireball from strangers with 5 years on them. These individuals usually range from 17 to 20 years old, and act like escaped prisoners in order to get into a day club. There’s something so compelling about Palooza that makes it irresistible to our younger Hawks. This begs the following question: Is it worth it?

If you clicked on this article, there is some part of you that’s curious about this underage phenomenon. Do you want to see what the young and reckless are up to nowadays? Do you want to try one of these yourself? Are you a bouncer? Regardless of what brought you here, we’ve compiled a list of the popular ways to surpass Mad River’s security system. Fair warning, these approaches aren’t foolproof.

False Identification

Welcome to college: land of the fakes, home of the dupes. Whether you get your fake I.D. card from someone in the dorm down the hall or the even sketchier idgod.ph, you’ll walk up to the bouncer with sweaty palms. To give yourself more insurance, come prepared. When ordering your fake, use your real name so that you have another card with the same name printed on it. If your name is Drinking Queen, your credit or Hawk card must say Drinking Queen. (Warning: you may encounter additional problems if your legal name is Drinking Queen.) Bring both of these cards, as well, because many bouncers will prefer to see your face on another official card with the same name. Anyway, if you have a dupe, your job instantly becomes tougher. This is a term used to describe the real I.D. of someone who looks a lot like you but is of the legal drinking age. Therefore, your chances are more promising. Under both circumstances, this is when the bouncer breaks out his scanning device and either lets you in or asks for a second form of I.D. so be ready. Act like a seasoned pro and put on an act to accompany your fake I.D. Sometimes the bouncers ask to check your social media. Before you even think about going out, change your Facebook “about” page… The most important aspects are your birthdate and address; make sure they match the information on your fake I.D., and if you have a dupe, change your entire name.

Success: In reality, a good fake I.D. typically works around Philadelphia. Underaged Hawks at Palooza are successful with their fakes even after the double and triple checks. It can be as simple as a scan and a stamp to the hand, and you’re in. It’s a chance you have to be willing to take. Try to roll up with a gang of 21-year-olds so you look less suspicious.  Go early so it’s not too busy, know every bit of information on your I.D., don’t get sloppy, and stay confident.

Fail: One student at SJU lost two fake I.D.’s and a dupe in one day to a relentless bouncer. Don’t be that girl.

Hopping the Fence

Hawks may have wings, but we don’t. Once upon a time, underaged boys and girls bailed on their poorly made fakes and hopped over a fence to get into Palooza. If you have to hop a fence in order to have fun, you start to consider the obvious option: not going to clubs if you aren’t of age. But alas, what kind of meddling kids would we be if we didn’t try? I’m sad to say Mad River has caught up on our antics. You can no longer hop the fence, because they Trump’d us and put up a wall.

Success: Who would’ve thought the “good ol’ days” would be when fences were still hoppable? Some students opted to go over the fence instead of facing the bouncer, and it worked like a charm for the sneakier, athletic individuals. Life’s a climb, right?

Fail: With the wall and another obstacle for people under 21, students were forced to get creative. One boy army crawled under the patio portion of Mad River. He made it far but got busted at the end. We must commend the valiant effort.

Amazon Wristbands

SJU breeds intelligent Hawks. Someone decided to do research one day and came across a multicolor pack of wristbands on Amazon. They’re the exact wristbands used as proof of entry for Mad River. Some people who are dedicated to the game purchase their own pack of wristbands so they can get in with whichever color Mad River decides to use for the day. Others get someone of age to buy a wristband and meet them outside. You can bite the black button then reassemble it on your own wrist. No hot glue needed!

Success: YOU. Click here.

Fail: To the girl who got a wristband hot glued to her then ripped off by the bouncer, this one is to you.

Stamp Exchange

Once you get into Mad River, you receive a stamp on your hand. Sometimes when the stamp is just juicy and inky enough, you lick your hand and stamp your younger buddies’ hands. Now that is friendship. You also use a Sharpie to draw the stamp onto your hand if you have an artistic side to you.

Success: One girl charged a dollar to recreate the stamp-of-the-day on a bunch of people’s hands. Genius.

Fail: Sometimes, you’re just left with saliva on your hand and not enough years on this earth to get into a bar. Then you’re just a Paloozer.

So What Do You Think?

Is it worth it? Is it worth it? The rather eloquent speaker of the first quote and poison ivy victim says, “I had fun, it was a great time… This whole experience is something I can look back on and laugh about. If you have a good I.D. or a dupe, you might as well try! But otherwise don’t waste your time.”

The final consensus is that if you can manage to scheme your way into Riverpalooza, then power to ya! We’re rooting for you. If you can’t do it, and you aren’t willing to army crawl or get licked, just wait your turn. If you go somewhere before it’s your time, you’ll be sick of it by the time you’re legally allowed. Trust the process, you’ll be 21 in no time.

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