A group of girls tottered unsteadily through Guildhall Square as they headed to the next club on their list.
Around them, other revellers fell down drunk, vomiting in the street and urinating up walls.
These partygoers were all taking part in the annual Carnage UK club crawl in Portsmouth.
Participants paid £10 for a T-shirt which gave them access to several clubs for the night.
The event came barely a week after students in the city were warned they faced being kicked out of the University of Portsmouth if they were found to be responsible for anti-social disorder.
Complaints made to the university included noise disturbance, uprooting a tree and urinating and vomiting in streets.
But those taking part in the event claimed it was a minority of drunken revellers who gave them all a bad name.
Amy Papworth, 19, of Manners Road in Southsea, said: ‘People have a bad idea about what things like this are all about.
‘But it is always just a few individuals who take it too far and cause trouble.
‘We’re responsible and although we’re out having a good time, we’ll still be in our lectures at 10am tomorrow.’
Security at the event was strict and those caught urinating or causing trouble were ejected from the area.
Anyone behaving badly was quickly taken to one side, where security guards spray-painted a black cross over their T-shirt.
The tag was a sign to door staff that a reveller was to be barred from entering any more clubs and must go home.
Journalism student Tim Crompton, 19, of Albert Road, Southsea, said: ‘All we are here to do is have a good time.
‘We have all got classes in the morning and we’re all being sensible.
‘There’ll always be a few people who take it too far. but most of us aren’t like that.’
Extra security guards and medics were brought in to make sure the night passed safely.
Hampshire Constabulary said no incidents were reported to them during the night.
PC Keith Hall, from the Portsmouth licensing team, explained: ‘We’ve got a good working relationship with the organisers of Carnage, who liaise with us in planning their events.
‘Our priorities are to maintain the safety of the students who attend – many of them are away from home for the first time – and prevent crime and disorder in the wider community.
‘In past years it’s never generated an excessive amount of calls to the police so it doesn’t require any extra patrols.
‘We had officers on duty around Portsmouth’s bar areas as we do every weekend, including the licensing team who make sure the safety messages get home to the students.’
The firm behind Carnage UK, Varsity Leisure Group, said it urged pubs and clubs not to offer drinks promotions on the night.
It also put on extra taxis to make sure students got home safely.
Flyers and posters were put up around the area reminding participants of the rules regarding alcohol and behaviour.
A spokesman for the company said: ‘Varsity Leisure Group wants the students to be safe and for there to be a boost to the local economy at a time of recession.
‘Similar to the previous 17 events which have taken place in Portsmouth, there were 2,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students who attended the event.
The spokesman added: ‘Medical supervision was provided and paid for by VLG to ensure students were kept safe and well looked-after.’
· 9.24pm – security stewards take beer bottles from a group of students and empty them in the street.
· 9.34pm – queues form outside bars as hundreds of students in fancy dress arrive in Guildhall Walk.
· 9.44pm – a steward snatches a bottle of wine from a young girl hand and throws it in the nearest bin.
· 9.56pm – two girls go up the steps of Portsmouth Guildhall and climb on top of one of the lion statues. Security stewards bring them down.
· 10.04pm – Carnage’s event manager stops a man urinating against the back wall of a club.
· 10.45pm – a police car arrives to patrol the area.
· 11.01pm – a group of youths stagger down Commercial Road, smashing into shop barriers.
· 11.05pm – event managers stop a couple of revellers urinating on the civic offices.
· 11.07pm – the night is over for two young lads who have a black cross spray-painted over their T-shirt by a security guard. This stops them from getting into any more clubs.
· 11.37pm – students make their way to Liquid & Envy in their droves. Bouncers escort them across the road.
· 11.40pm – a drunken student complains to security guards who won’t let him into a club because his shirt is torn.
· 12.15am – a girl collapses outside the Fuzzy Duck club. A group of her friends pick her up and carry her to the medic station.
· 12.45am – a young man’s scuffle with security guards outside Liquid & Envy leads to a confrontation with police. When he is calmed down, they let him go.