Students upset that event called off due to ‘rave’ allegation
THE organiser of a student gathering in Leamington that was cancelled at the last minute following police objections has spoken out in defence of the idea.
As reported in the Courier in January, an application for an all-night event - with an expected crowd of 350 people - to take place above Cleary’s Gym in Wise Street was submitted to Warwick District Council’s licensing department.
But it was withdrawn days before the event was due to take place after a senior police officer dubbed the gathering a “rave-type event” and objected to the application “in its entirety”.
Sgt Paul Calver of the Leamington and Whitnash safer neighbourhood team also voiced fears of the event leading to crime and disorder in the area. Another objection was received by the council’s environmental health department.
But the organiser, who asked to remain anonymous, spoke to the Courier this week to explain what he was trying to do.
He said: “It was never going to be a rave. We had arranged to have a security company come in and staff the whole event. We also offered to pay for a police unit to be there.
“We wanted to bring students something different but legally-run. This was a chance to allow students to do what it is they want to do - something other than a nightclub.”
Although the original application had stated that guests at the event - who would be restricted to Warwick University students - would be able to bring their own alcohol, it was then changed to state that there would be no alcohol permitted inside the premises.
The organiser said: “It was not going to be a rave. There would have been no alcohol and certainly no drugs. We would have had regimented searching in place.
“There have been events in the news where these events have been so big that every man and his dog have turned up, but this would have been only students and we would have controlled that.
“If the crowd isn’t in a controlled environment, they are going to be in the middle of town. We wanted to work with the authorities to avoid this.”
He said notice of the event had “gone viral” on Facebook - but despite interest from hundreds of students in the area, no one turned up on the night because he had managed to tell them all that it had been cancelled.
He said: “We were completely in control of who we were speaking to so nobody turned up on the night. It has upset a lot of students.”
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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