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HOW YOU CAN HELP SAVE THE BLACK SWAN!

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sven
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« on: January 04, 2010, 17:03:20 »

Mel, the manager of the Black Swan, has another meeting with the council next Thursday 14th January.

He has asked me to be there and has also asked me to pass on the message that if anyone would like to attend then they are welcome to come along. It will be taking place at 9am at the pub and will then continue to the council building afterwards. If you want to make your opinion known then you can attend the meeting at the pub at 9am.

If you canít be there (and even if you can) then please email your views on the Black Swanís closure to myra.mcsherry@bristol.gov.uk.

I have sent mine which is below. It does not need to be long, mine is very long because I got carried away and had a lot to say on the matter, but please ensure it is polite as we will get nowhere by antagonising the council.

ALSO PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU DONíT SEND THE SAME EMAIL.  Write your own message with your own  views. I have only included mine in case any of you are interested in my feelings on the matter.

Danís very valiant effort to get support for the Swan heard over Christmas was noted but it was also noted that many of the emails were almost or exactly the same.

Please join the facebook group which already has 3,730 members! http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=375147270626&ref=ts

Finally Iíd like to let you know how pleased Mel is by the amount of support thatís already been shown for the Swan. Iíd also like to  say how grateful I am for the support that many of you showed to me and to the Mongrel night- Iíve been blown away by the very kind words and gestures people have offered after we had to cancel our New Years show. Thanks!


Dear Ms McSherry,

Iím writing to voice my disappointment in the councilís decision to close the Black Swan in Easton and to request that this decision is overturned.

The Black Swan is one of Bristolís most loved venues and has been host to some of the cityís best and most innovative music events over the years.  It has launched the careers of many local djs, producers and musicians as well as hosting some world class international acts.

I moved to Bristol about seven years ago in large part because of the vibrant music/club scene that the city is known for. Some of the first nights I went to were at the Black Swan. These events opened my eyes to new music and inspired me to start putting on my own club night which I started four years ago. For the last year I have been running these nights at the Black Swan which has been a great and hospitable venue.

In the six or seven years I have been regularly attending events at the Black Swan and in the year that I have been running my own events there I have never experienced any serious trouble- not one fight or act of violence.  That seems to be a pretty incredible statistic given the violence I have witnessed at other night clubs in Stokes Croft and especially the city centre.

I understand that there were some serious attacks outside the venue in the last few weeks and I understand that the police have to take these seriously. I am unclear as to the extent that these incidents were connected to the Black Swan if at all. In any case the police and councilís decision to close the venue as a result of these isolated incidents appears to be extreme and disproportionate.

I spoke to Alison Wakely from the police on Christmas Eve in an attempt to find out whether the event I was promoting for New Years Eve would be going ahead. She advised me that there had been violence outside the venue recently and after last yearís New Year event which I was also involved with.  I made it clear that I had no knowledge of any violence at last yearís event, despite being in and out of the club until after it closed on New Years Day, and my surprise as it had been a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere throughout (as is always the case at the Black Swan). She suggested that the violence may have spilled out from the front bar section of the venue which was unconnected to my event. I made it clear that I had no knowledge of any violence or of any activity at all in the front bar. I understand from Melford Gardener, the Black Swanís manager, that Alison had claimed at the hearing on 29th December that I had accepted knowledge of this disturbance last year and suggested it had come from the front part of the venue. I am puzzled as to why she would have said this and concerned that it may have had an influence on the panelís decision. I am intending to attend the hearing on 14th January and hope I may be able to clarify this matter then.

It is clear that Stapleton Road and Easton in general have some issues with criminal activity. From my own experience I know that the music events that take place in the back section of the Black Swan do not generally attract  violence but actually have a positive effect on the area. If there have been people who have spilled out of the front of the venue who have become involved in violence then perhaps action needs to be taken to prevent this happening in future. I know that after another pub in Easton was closed recently Mel asked the police for assistance as he knew there may be a troublesome crowd who would be looking for an alternative local venue. It may be the case that this element was responsible for the local violent incidents in the area. It seems very clear to me that he councilís response of closing venues down does not solve the problems connected to the area, it simply moves the problems on.

I understand that the council has to take the issue of public safety very seriously but there will always be some risk involved when venues are open late and are selling alcohol. How many incidents of violence do the police have to deal with outside clubs and pubs in the city centre?

I dedicated a huge amount of time, effort and money into the New Year event which was cancelled and would be interested to know if there is any chance of compensation for the money that I lost as a result of the sudden closure of the Black Swan. Of much greater concern to me, however, is the long term future of the venue.

Closing the Black Swan as a whole will leave a huge void in Bristolís music culture which will never, in my opinion, be filled by another venue. It will also terribly damage Eastonís identity and I believe it will cause more potential problems than it solves.

The areaís problem is not with the music lovers who come to the Black Swan for a night of entertainment but those people who are drunk on the streets or are out on Stapleton Road involved in the drugs or prostitution that plague the area. Closing the venue will not help these problems but, by removing alternatives to being out on the street, exacerbate them.

I feel that the councilís attitude to many of the problems with Bristolís nightlife are short sighted and ineffective. By making it difficult and illegal for promoters to properly advertise their events and by closing the more underground music venues you will limit the variety of music in our clubs and force promoters of certain types of events to seek illegal venues instead.

I sincerely hope that on this occasion the council will consider the long term effects that closing what many people consider to be Bristolís best music venue will have on the area and the city as a whole.

Yours Sincerely,

Ben Wright
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2010, 19:58:42 »

It seems very clear to me that he councilís response of closing venues down does not solve the problems connected to the area, it simply moves the problems on.

 Script
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2010, 20:30:05 »

 LIGHTAH!
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2010, 20:44:58 »

yeah man, well put!! Two Thumbs



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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 21:21:52 »

I've been in bristol nearly 10 years, and this is still one of only a handful of venues where I really feel you can hear new artists pushing musical boundaries.... Save Our Swan LIGHTAH!
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2010, 21:23:06 »

Got this reply to my email:

Myra McSherry (myra.mcsherry@bristol.gov.uk
Sent: 04 January 2010 08:02:13
To:  vicky davis (thevickster85@hotmail.com)

Thank you for your email however I am unable to act upon it unless the email constitutes a representation in respect of the review that has been applied for by the Police. The closing date for representations was the 1 January 2009, however there are strict legal criteria which must be applied before a representation may be accepted as relevant and placed before the licensing committee. The first is that the person lodging the representation must either live in the vicinity of the premises or operate a business in the vicinity, representations from recognized residents groups for the vicinity or trade bodies representing businesses in the area. Representation that do not fit these criteria will be rejected. The second criteria is that the representation must relate to one or more of the four licensing objectives which are :Promotion of public safetyPrevention of harm to childrenPrevention of crime and disorderPromotion of public safetyRepresentations that do reflect one or more of these aspects will also be rejected, unfortunately the effect on the Bristol music scene is not an acceptable criteria. I would take this opportunity to advise you that such serious decisions as has affected the Black Swan are based on information which directly relate to one or more of the licensing objectives, and are decisions taken by a licensing sub committee comprised of elected members. Officers do not have authority to make or influence these decisions.Should you require further information in respect of these matters please email me at the address above.
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2010, 21:26:46 »

 Script quality stuff mate.

Let's get writing people  Two Thumbs
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2010, 23:04:13 »

that's very well put sven, well done and good luck!
i hope they compensate you too!

our council really do my head in! they're so retarded in the way they tackle problems
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2010, 23:56:51 »

This is mine:


Dear Ms Mc Sherry,

I am writing to you to express my support for the Black Swan pub in Easton as I am unable to attend the council meeting on Thurs 14th due to work commitments.

Unfortunately I have learnt that the closing date for "representations" was the 1st January, which sadly was before I was aware of the Swan's licence suspension, but I hope that as I live locally to the Swan (less than 10 minutes walking) my views will be taken into some consideration.

I am aware that this hearing is not taking into account the enormous cultural contribution the venue makes to the area as you have stated in other correspondence. As I understand it the licensing concerns are:

Promotion of public safety

Prevention of harm to children

Prevention of crime and disorder

Prevention of public nuisance

As the pub is an 18s and over venue I hardly think it necessary to state how the second of these criteria does not apply to activity within the premises. I can understand that safety is a concern with any venue licensed to sell alcohol to be consumed on premises, but I am of the opinion that the Swan is no greater threat to public safety than any drinking establishment in the city. I have known the licensee Melford for years now and have found both him and his door team to be highly responsible people who take their obligations to the safety of their public very seriously.

In response to residents or police complaints regarding drugs and prostitution problems I would like to remind them that this area is a well known "red-light" district and these problems are completely independent of this venue and are endemic in the wider area in which the Swan is positioned. Closing the Swan will have absolutely no impact on these issues and I believe that doing so is to simply scapegoat a venue that is more a sufferer of these problems than a perpetrator.

Yours Faithfully,









Less focus on how many great nights u have been to there- they do not give a shit, they are simply doing their jobs to the letter of the law so let's argue on the individual points they raise.

Also, try to keep it as formal as possible, I'm sure that a sackload of misspelt ramblings along with some of the less constructive Fbook comments won't help the cause  Two Thumbs
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2010, 00:46:56 »

Well put Dan - can I just ask realistically before I write a letter too, what are our chances of actually keeping it open? Sorry - I have been very busy and not been paying 100% attention to the progress of the case.
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2010, 01:40:27 »

Well put Dan - can I just ask realistically before I write a letter too, what are our chances of actually keeping it open? Sorry - I have been very busy and not been paying 100% attention to the progress of the case.
As good as any

Read the reply she sent vix tho to get an idea as to what they're excepting..

Thank you for your email however I am unable to act upon it unless the email constitutes a representation in respect of the review that has been applied for by the Police. The closing date for representations was the 1 January 2009, however there are strict legal criteria which must be applied before a representation may be accepted as relevant and placed before the licensing committee. The first is that the person lodging the representation must either live in the vicinity of the premises or operate a business in the vicinity, representations from recognized residents groups for the vicinity or trade bodies representing businesses in the area. Representation that do not fit these criteria will be rejected. The second criteria is that the representation must relate to one or more of the four licensing objectives which are :Promotion of public safetyPrevention of harm to childrenPrevention of crime and disorderPromotion of public safetyRepresentations that do reflect one or more of these aspects will also be rejected, unfortunately the effect on the Bristol music scene is not an acceptable criteria. I would take this opportunity to advise you that such serious decisions as has affected the Black Swan are based on information which directly relate to one or more of the licensing objectives, and are decisions taken by a licensing sub committee comprised of elected members. Officers do not have authority to make or influence these decisions.Should you require further information in respect of these matters please email me at the address above.

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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2010, 08:27:31 »

Just pester power I guess. Civil servants just want an easy life same as anyone so I think our job is to make it harder for them to close the Swan than keep it open.
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2010, 09:46:49 »

Less focus on how many great nights u have been to there- they do not give a shit, they are simply doing their jobs to the letter of the law so let's argue on the individual points they raise.

Good point.
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2010, 12:28:28 »

Less focus on how many great nights u have been to there- they do not give a shit, they are simply doing their jobs to the letter of the law so let's argue on the individual points they raise.

Good point.

 Script

It is a good point however I would equally say that their methods in examining whether a venue should close are also deeply faulted.  Why should they not have to take the cultural impact of a closure into account?  The council love to play on the publicity gained from being a culturally diverse and musically exciting place to be and also seem to enjoy playing on all the great and famous artists Bristol produces but then refuse to look at this as evidence in a hearing.... 

Also why should I have to live near to the Black Swan if it's closure will affect Bristol as a whole??

massively flawed imo...   Angry

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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2010, 12:42:23 »

That's the council for you: spectacularly incompetent and innefficient.
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2010, 12:48:59 »

I too emailed a letter expressing my opinions on the Blackswan and the need for it to be reopened and got a similar response to you guys.

Apparently "the effect on the Bristol music scene is not an acceptable criteria" for lodging an objection  I'M SO ANGRY!
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2010, 12:56:45 »

Quote

Myra McSherry (myra.mcsherry@bristol.gov.uk
Sent: 04 January 2010 08:02:13
To:  vicky davis (thevickster85@hotmail.com)

Thank you for your email however I am unable to act upon it unless the email constitutes a representation in respect of the review that has been applied for by the Police. The closing date for representations was the 1 January 2009, however there are strict legal criteria which must be applied before a representation may be accepted as relevant and placed before the licensing committee. The first is that the person lodging the representation must either live in the vicinity of the premises or operate a business in the vicinity, representations from recognized residents groups for the vicinity or trade bodies representing businesses in the area. Representation that do not fit these criteria will be rejected. The second criteria is that the representation must relate to one or more of the four licensing objectives which are :Promotion of public safetyPrevention of harm to childrenPrevention of crime and disorderPromotion of public safetyRepresentations that do reflect one or more of these aspects will also be rejected, unfortunately the effect on the Bristol music scene is not an acceptable criteria. I would take this opportunity to advise you that such serious decisions as has affected the Black Swan are based on information which directly relate to one or more of the licensing objectives, and are decisions taken by a licensing sub committee comprised of elected members. Officers do not have authority to make or influence these decisions.Should you require further information in respect of these matters please email me at the address above.


According to this the closing date for representations was over a year ago, they must relate to one or more of the licensing objectives, but if they do relate to any of these objectives they will be rejected  Undecided

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« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2010, 13:33:50 »

Dear Myra,

I write concerning the closure of the Black Swan in Easton due to it's license being revoked. Being unable to attend the hearing on the 14th I wish to raise points and enquire about the reasoning behind this. Firstly, I understand you are only able to officially recognise people who live or have worked in the area. I have worked at the Black Swan several times throughout the last year, whether this be on the door taking admissions, or in a performance capacity. I presume this will suffice.

I understand there have been allegations of violence concerning the attendees of the Black Swan, I also understand that the following 4 criteria have been set for the consideration of all licenses (please correct me if wrong):

* Prevention of harm to children
* Promotion of public safety
* Prevention of crime and disorder
* Prevention of public nuisance

Seeing as the Black Swan is an over 18 venue and I have yet to see any children in there during the day or night, this cannot be a factor. Promotion of public safety, a wonderfully vague term, but if this entails things such as providing security staff, safe passage for people around the club (fire doors, stair hand rails), toilets (recently refitted) and clean alcohol. Then all of this is provided and also cannot be a factor. Prevention of Crime and Disorder and Public Nuisance must be the causes of the Black Swan being shut, which is perhaps something needs clarifying and expanding on. The security staff at the Black Swan perform standard weapons and drugs searches upon entry and troublemakers are removed from the premises asap, the Black Swan has a council installed sound limiter. So we should discuss the announced problems:

* Police say that up to 100 people have gathered inside and outside the pub at weekends.
* People have been glassed or attacked with bottles but police said none of the victims have pressed charges.
* There was also evidence that a gun was produced and waved around on one occasion, although it was not discharged.

Now apart from the majority of this sounding circumstantial (though I am no legal/forensic expert and have limited information) and the fact that people gathering at a pub/club is how these businesses operate! My key gripe about this is, throughout 2008 and, indeed, since it's opening, The Syndicate on Nelson Street has had over 100 incidents of violence and theft. Policing has cost  £500,000 and a total of 142 incidents were recorded including GBH (as reported on the 1st of August 2008).  Yet this venue was granted a new license without so much of a bat of an eyelid. The Syndicate was allowed to work with the police to reduce crime and violence at the club. Having lived on Broad Street (round the corner from Syndicate), seeing and hearing the damage to private and commercial property the customers of Syndicate cause at 4am in the morning, I can promise one thing, the amount of violence and crime simply moved further down the street.

Instead of recognising that closing troubled venues in the local area, thus pushing troublemakers to other venues, the council and police seem too happy to wield the power they have been granted to force closure of the BlackSwan (whilst dedicating multiple riot vans of police to the city centre on the weekend nights) rather than work with what is a historic and important part of bristol heritage and culture.

My apologies for the tone of this email, but I'm sure you can understand the frustration of people working in music venues and music promotion with Bristol City Council.

Yours Sincerely,
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« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2010, 14:24:52 »

Got this reply to my email:

Myra McSherry (myra.mcsherry@bristol.gov.uk
Sent: 04 January 2010 08:02:13
To:  vicky davis (thevickster85@hotmail.com)
...representations from recognized residents groups for the vicinity or trade bodies representing businesses in the area. Representation that do not fit these criteria will be rejected. ...
can we not be a recognized residents group, or a trade body. does anyone think this would help us to be taken seriously, and does anyone know what it takes to be 'recognized'. Could a group of promoters be a 'trade body'.

It's ridiculous that they won't listen/take into account the views of some people for these reasons, they are meant to be our representatives!!
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« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2010, 15:52:40 »

I just spoke to Myra McSherry from the council.

She is not the decision maker on the licensing issue but can decide if any of us have a relevant case. If we do we will be able to speak at the hearing on 14th.

Whatever we may think about it emails which do not relate to the promotion of public safety, prevention of harm to children, prevention of crime and disorder or promotion of public safety will not be considered. Anything about peoples feeling for the venue will not be taken into consideration.

The deadline for submitting a representation was 1st Jan but she has taken some emails into consideration that have been received after that date if they relate to the above matters.

If she has received your email and thinks you may have a relevant representation she will have emailed you asking for your full name and postal address. If youíre local to the Swan you or are a local business, etc you may have a case for representation and youíll be able to speak at the hearing on 14th.

The hearing at the council house isnít til 12 oíclock, although there will be a site visit to the Swan at 9am. Anyone can attend but youíll only be able to speak at the hearing if itís been confirmed that you have a relevant case.

If you want to attend the hearing and she has contacted you then please get back with your name and address.

Otherwise feel free to let me know if there are any points that you would like me to try and bring up at the hearing.
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« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2010, 16:07:01 »


Instead of recognising that closing troubled venues in the local area, thus pushing troublemakers to other venues, the council and police seem too happy to wield the power they have been granted to force closure of the BlackSwan (whilst dedicating multiple riot vans of police to the city centre on the weekend nights) rather than work with what is a historic and important part of bristol heritage and culture.


POW POW  Slayer
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« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2010, 16:22:14 »

Quote
trade bodies representing businesses in the area.

I think it could be fully acceptable that a society of the promoters that put on events there could be seen as a 'trade body representing businesses in the area'. Residents and Traders Asscoiations are accepted for representations against licenses, and they have no legal staus other than informal list of membership, regular meetings and a code/set of rules by which they opperate (Memorandum and Articles of Association).

Definition of a trade body: An industry trade group, also known as a trade association, is an organisation founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry. An industry trade association participates in public relations activities such as advertising, education, political donations, lobbying and publishing, but its main focus is collaboration between companies, or standardisation. Associations may offer other services, such as producing conferences, networking or charitable events or offering classes or educational materials. Many associations are non-profit organisations governed by bylaws and directed by officers who are also members.

Hijack Industry Forum is therefore a trade body for the promoters of Bristol, set up to enable collaboration, communication, promotion wthin the music industry and venues of Bristol. Regular meet ups are held, fundraising, networking, and discussions are held via the forum. Hijack Indusrty Forum has a membership list and is run not for profit.

As promoters of events at the swan our businesses are effected by its closure, and therefore we have EVERY RIGHT to make full represenations. Infact, we should have been notified of the deadline for representations.


If she suggests that promoters (event organisers) of Bristol is too broad, may I suggest that a sub group be set up on this forum for all those promoters whose businesses will be effected by its closure, i.e. everyone involved in putting nights on,  sign up as members and put the representations forward from the Asociation of Event Promoters Conducting Business at the Black Swan Venue, or something along those lines.
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« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2010, 16:24:26 »

sorry that was long winded.... simplified, club nights are 'business in the area' and therefore an association of promoters should be able to put forward their represenations.
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« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2010, 16:27:46 »

FUCK

I used to work with Myra... Eek
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« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2010, 17:28:21 »

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trade bodies representing businesses in the area.

I think it could be fully acceptable that a society of the promoters that put on events there could be seen as a 'trade body representing businesses in the area'. Residents and Traders Asscoiations are accepted for representations against licenses, and they have no legal staus other than informal list of membership, regular meetings and a code/set of rules by which they opperate (Memorandum and Articles of Association).

Definition of a trade body: An industry trade group, also known as a trade association, is an organisation founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry. An industry trade association participates in public relations activities such as advertising, education, political donations, lobbying and publishing, but its main focus is collaboration between companies, or standardisation. Associations may offer other services, such as producing conferences, networking or charitable events or offering classes or educational materials. Many associations are non-profit organisations governed by bylaws and directed by officers who are also members.

Hijack Industry Forum is therefore a trade body for the promoters of Bristol, set up to enable collaboration, communication, promotion wthin the music industry and venues of Bristol. Regular meet ups are held, fundraising, networking, and discussions are held via the forum. Hijack Indusrty Forum has a membership list and is run not for profit.

As promoters of events at the swan our businesses are effected by its closure, and therefore we have EVERY RIGHT to make full represenations. Infact, we should have been notified of the deadline for representations.


If she suggests that promoters (event organisers) of Bristol is too broad, may I suggest that a sub group be set up on this forum for all those promoters whose businesses will be effected by its closure, i.e. everyone involved in putting nights on,  sign up as members and put the representations forward from the Asociation of Event Promoters Conducting Business at the Black Swan Venue, or something along those lines.
Script Script Script Script many agreements.  LIGHTAH!
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« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2010, 17:39:50 »

Also what is the legal minimum period for representations? surely its working days and therefore 1st Jan wouldn't be counted, and monday 4th Jan would  Huh
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« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2010, 17:53:06 »

Also what is the legal minimum period for representations? surely its working days and therefore 1st Jan wouldn't be counted, and monday 4th Jan would  Huh

The council clearly don't know their asses from their elbows and are simply trying to get as many people as possible to fuck off.

Poppy your a legend for this kind of thing, if they is anyway of finding that the council haven't played by the book the judgment against the Swan would have to be dropped?

Maybe and email pointing out how helpful (i know i know) the Swan was in helping host fund raisers for the festival might be another point to raise? I did make a rambling post on here earlier where my main point was the system the council uses is inherently flawed.
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« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2010, 18:12:26 »

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trade bodies representing businesses in the area.

I think it could be fully acceptable that a society of the promoters that put on events there could be seen as a 'trade body representing businesses in the area'. Residents and Traders Asscoiations are accepted for representations against licenses, and they have no legal staus other than informal list of membership, regular meetings and a code/set of rules by which they opperate (Memorandum and Articles of Association).

Definition of a trade body: An industry trade group, also known as a trade association, is an organisation founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry. An industry trade association participates in public relations activities such as advertising, education, political donations, lobbying and publishing, but its main focus is collaboration between companies, or standardisation. Associations may offer other services, such as producing conferences, networking or charitable events or offering classes or educational materials. Many associations are non-profit organisations governed by bylaws and directed by officers who are also members.

Hijack Industry Forum is therefore a trade body for the promoters of Bristol, set up to enable collaboration, communication, promotion wthin the music industry and venues of Bristol. Regular meet ups are held, fundraising, networking, and discussions are held via the forum. Hijack Indusrty Forum has a membership list and is run not for profit.

As promoters of events at the swan our businesses are effected by its closure, and therefore we have EVERY RIGHT to make full represenations. Infact, we should have been notified of the deadline for representations.


If she suggests that promoters (event organisers) of Bristol is too broad, may I suggest that a sub group be set up on this forum for all those promoters whose businesses will be effected by its closure, i.e. everyone involved in putting nights on,  sign up as members and put the representations forward from the Asociation of Event Promoters Conducting Business at the Black Swan Venue, or something along those lines.

good call
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« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2010, 18:22:35 »

Is is still worth attacking this by letter? I'm local to black swan and I'm sure can find more who are to rally support Smiley  I wonder how much Syndicate paid the po po to stay open, surely money was involved somewhere.  Can we fundraise for the police to get a better presence on event nights as a sweetner to let them keep our venue?
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« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2010, 18:24:57 »

Reading up Smiley  Can the eastside traders(sp?) help?  I know thy work close with government to improve the area and if they are cool with the swan my be a good body to ask to back them Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2010, 18:51:15 »

Also what is the legal minimum period for representations? surely its working days and therefore 1st Jan wouldn't be counted, and monday 4th Jan would  Huh

The council clearly don't know their asses from their elbows and are simply trying to get as many people as possible to fuck off.

Poppy your a legend for this kind of thing, if they is anyway of finding that the council haven't played by the book the judgment against the Swan would have to be dropped?

Maybe and email pointing out how helpful (i know i know) the Swan was in helping host fund raisers for the festival might be another point to raise? I did make a rambling post on here earlier where my main point was the system the council uses is inherently flawed.

Problem is you are talking about two battles: 1) the immeadiate challenge of saving the Black Swan from closure 2) challenging the system that allows it to be closed without considering the wider implications to the scene/area/crime etc. and allowing normal people to have a voice; those that don't understand council jargon or are unaware of deadlines over christmas period etc. The latter challenge involves deep rooted policy change which will effect many areas of licensing and policing, and is something us ordinary people should address through our ellected MPs... maybe email them? It will be a long a slow process of instigating change, and we should bare political parties' policies on licensing and representation processes in mind when choosing who to vote for at the next local elections.

But to the matter in hand now...
In terms of the swan the issue is that the council have acted upon police recomendations following complaints from the public. The council cannot be seen to be ignoring problems and certainly cannot ignore the police. As Myra says it has nothing to do with 'the greater good' but was simply a decision relating to evidence that the swam were breeching their licensing conditions; conditions such as not allowing drug taking on the premisis, and keeping order outside the venue; conditions put in place for the promotion of public safety, prevention of crime and disorder and prevention of public nuisance. A venue's license is like a contract saying that they will do everything in their power to prevent these things happening, and if they don't stick to it their license is revoked. The police have recieved complaints, and perhaps have evidence themselves that the venue was breeching their license terms, therefore closure.

However, instant closure is not the usual approach, especially where evidence is circumstancial or when closure will have a knock on effect to other local businesses or communities. The council have a duty to represent all the communities they serve, which is why they talk about accepting represenations from trade associations and other interested parties. For example shutting down the club may mean bankruptcy for the fastfood stores surrounding it if they rely on the income generated from hungry clubbers - maybe try speaking to them to get them to put in representations too?

They probably chose to go straight to closure as they felt the owner of the venue would either not be willing or not be able to meet the requirements needed to prevent the breachs, such as drastic improvements to security, drugs and door policies. Sometimes the police can choose to work with a venue in order to suggest changes, however over the christmas period I imagine they wouldn't have had time, and this approach usually requires stationing officers outside the venue on busy nights - with full cost recovery falling on the swan. In any case the only way Mel will be granted the license again is if noticable measures are put in place that satisfy both the police and council, probably things such as increased CCTV, more door staff, more searches, police spot checks, security in the garden etc and a real crack down.

The purpose of the appeal is for him to prove that he can turn it around, fulfilling his license conditions to prevent public nuisance etc, and for local businesses and residents to also have an opportunity to also speak up so that their views can be taken into account. I would suggest a representative of the Associations of Promoters (US LOT! as effected businesses) speak up and that you ensure represenatives of the local take-aways speak too.

It will be very difficult for the swan to afford to put all these measures in place, and this is the difference between them and clubs like Syndicate, which even though it clearly creates so much more public nuisance, can afford to up CCTV and pay for policing and so is 'doing everything that is reasonably practicable' to uphold its license. And thats what it comes down to... you can't control every person or assure that no-one will ever take a drug in your loos, but you should do everything that is reasonably practicable and be actively discouraging anti social behaviour. If mel can do this, and there is support from local businesses that will be effected by its closure (promoters and take aways etc) then hopefully it will be ok. If not it may be that the venue is able to reopen under new management later on. In either case any additional costs arising from additional security are bad news for promoters  Undecided

Unfortunately we have to play the licensing game, and the current system doesn't take things such as the scene or greater good for the city into account. Hope my suggestions help though, and sorry for spelling mistakes - very tired.



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« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2010, 18:52:25 »

Is is still worth attacking this by letter? I'm local to black swan and I'm sure can find more who are to rally support Smiley  I wonder how much Syndicate paid the po po to stay open, surely money was involved somewhere.  Can we fundraise for the police to get a better presence on event nights as a sweetner to let them keep our venue?

If you live local to the venue it is still worth emailing and saying why you missed the representation deadline and that you have never experienced any public nuisance from the venue.
 Two Thumbs
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« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2010, 16:31:07 »

Just recorded a new Goatlab Radio special with Sven from Mongrel and Anakissed.

Save The Black Swan!!!

http://www.thegoatlab.com/2010/01/goatlab-radio-save-the-black-swan/  Two Thumbs
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« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2010, 17:58:47 »

Just recorded a new Goatlab Radio special with Sven from Mongrel and Anakissed.

Save The Black Swan!!!

http://www.thegoatlab.com/2010/01/goatlab-radio-save-the-black-swan/  Two Thumbs


Looking good, I'll definitely have a listen tonightÖ

Sent my letter to the council, for what itís worth, as well as signing the petitionÖ

My last sentence pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter,

"Finally, I appreciate that the Council has a responsibility to protect the public in these issues, but I strongly believe that the closure of the Black Swan will do nothing more than deprive the city of one of its leading music venues, while pandering to the media so as to be seen to be doing something about an area of the city that has long been known to have complex social issues unrelated to the venue itself."

...and so I now live in hope of a speedy re-opening (pretty please) Two Thumbs
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« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2010, 18:57:27 »

What's the odds that 99% of the people moaning about it's closure on this board won't bother attending the meeting or even mailing their views.

 I am laughing, but I am also sad
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« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2010, 19:04:39 »

What's the odds that 99% of the people moaning about it's closure on this board won't bother attending the meeting or even mailing their views.

 I am laughing, but I am also sad


i'm sure you'll fill the void with inane shite.
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« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2010, 19:04:54 »

The hearing tomorrow is happening at the council building on college green at 12.

Altho you prob wont be able to speak at the hearing you may be able to make your feelings felt outside.

Sorry I don't know any more details but the council haven't been very clear.
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« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2010, 20:28:54 »

Just got this reply to an email. Hope it goes well tmrw

Black Swan support‏
From:  Glenise Morgan (Glenise.Morgan@bristol.gov.uk
Sent: 13 January 2010 20:23:52
To:   

Dear Black Swan supporters I'm one of the Bristol City Councillors who was inundated with e-mails expressing dismay that the Black Swan premises, had been closed just before Christmas, following serious police concerns. I did read them all! I believe the Licensing sub-committee are meeting tomorrow to review the case and visiting the site. However, please note that I am not a member of the sub-committee which listened to the case originally and it is that same sub-committee which will address the review. I'd like to say that I was impressed by the support for
the Black Swan club, and the music which goes on there, from such a wide cross-section of people and hope that the necessary actions can be taken to address the issues raised by the police and get this venue open again. I know a decision to close the premises was not taken lightly. I also note that the club seems to be a very different venue to the pub itself and that the club is something of an oasis in the surrounding area. The landlord must be very heartened by all the positive comments. Yours sincerely Cllr Glenise Morgan (Lib Dem, Henleaze Ward, Bristol)
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« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2010, 20:32:53 »

Good Luck tomorrow Sven, Mel, and all others who attend, I wish I could make it along.

I wish lib dems were as good at making policy and winning elections as they are at replying to emails....
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« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2010, 21:48:27 »


good luck!  LIGHTAH!
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« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2010, 21:49:19 »

Just got this reply to an email. Hope it goes well tmrw

Black Swan support‏
From:  Glenise Morgan (Glenise.Morgan@bristol.gov.uk
Sent: 13 January 2010 20:23:52
To:   

Dear Black Swan supporters I'm one of the Bristol City Councillors who was inundated with e-mails expressing dismay that the Black Swan premises, had been closed just before Christmas, following serious police concerns. I did read them all! I believe the Licensing sub-committee are meeting tomorrow to review the case and visiting the site. However, please note that I am not a member of the sub-committee which listened to the case originally and it is that same sub-committee which will address the review. I'd like to say that I was impressed by the support for
the Black Swan club, and the music which goes on there, from such a wide cross-section of people and hope that the necessary actions can be taken to address the issues raised by the police and get this venue open again. I know a decision to close the premises was not taken lightly. I also note that the club seems to be a very different venue to the pub itself and that the club is something of an oasis in the surrounding area. The landlord must be very heartened by all the positive comments. Yours sincerely Cllr Glenise Morgan (Lib Dem, Henleaze Ward, Bristol)

She's nice isn't she!

Good luck tomorow, we all got our fingers crossed!!!
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« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2010, 18:20:40 »

After a long afternoon when it looked like the councilors might be paying some attention they came up with reinstating the licence but reducing the swans weekend hours to close at 3am with effect from 21 days. Not exactly what we were after but it may be better than nothing...

(Edit) Sorry got a wee bit confused- it can open immediately as long as Mel doesn't appeal the decision (which he's not)
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« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2010, 18:50:44 »

After a long afternoon when it looked like the councilors might be paying some attention they came up with reinstating the licence but reducing the swans weekend hours to close at 3am with effect from 21 days. Not exactly what we were after but it may be better than nothing...

Sadly I think that's as good as it's gonna get.

Well done Sven for all your efforts - you've helped do a good thing for Bristol in general  Tomato Slayer!
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« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2010, 18:55:19 »

After a long afternoon when it looked like the councilors might be paying some attention they came up with reinstating the licence but reducing the swans weekend hours to close at 3am with effect from 21 days. Not exactly what we were after but it may be better than nothing...

Out of all the things they could have imposed, reducing the opening hours is probably the one thing that addresses their concerns the least yet affects promoters the most!!

Then again, its one of the 'lesser' sanctions they could have put in!
Also, they can probably apply for temporary license extensions for big nights.

Fair play to Sven and all others in helping out.

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« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2010, 19:02:12 »

After a long afternoon when it looked like the councilors might be paying some attention they came up with reinstating the licence but reducing the swans weekend hours to close at 3am with effect from 21 days. Not exactly what we were after but it may be better than nothing...

Out of all the things they could have imposed, reducing the opening hours is probably the one thing that addresses their concerns the least yet affects promoters the most!!

Then again, its one of the 'lesser' sanctions they could have put in!
Also, they can probably apply for temporary license extensions for big nights.

Fair play to Sven and all others in helping out.



 ScriptScript, definitely a good thing to have the Swan back and running again... 3am vs. closure seems like a pretty good result to me.. Good work Two Thumbs
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« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2010, 19:13:03 »

Good work mate! 3am is a lame time of night to have to go home, but that or face never going to the Swan again... Huh

The Re-Opening Party will be HUGE! Slayer
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« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2010, 19:22:46 »

surely this will just encourage illegal after parties.



oh well least the swan is back!
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« Reply #47 on: January 14, 2010, 19:37:30 »

After a long afternoon when it looked like the councilors might be paying some attention they came up with reinstating the licence but reducing the swans weekend hours to close at 3am with effect from 21 days. Not exactly what we were after but it may be better than nothing...

Out of all the things they could have imposed, reducing the opening hours is probably the one thing that addresses their concerns the least yet affects promoters the most!!

Then again, its one of the 'lesser' sanctions they could have put in!
Also, they can probably apply for temporary license extensions for big nights.

Fair play to Sven and all others in helping out.

 Script Well done guys!
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« Reply #48 on: January 14, 2010, 19:53:09 »

still.........that's excellent news!!!  Two Thumbs just means most people will be there from 10-3 rather than 12-5!
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« Reply #49 on: January 14, 2010, 19:54:28 »

still.........that's excellent news!!!  Two Thumbs just means most people will be there from 10-3 rather than 12-5!

Might help the smaller DJs who play early on.
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