It’s 3am, the devastation sets in after the DJ has played his ‘one more tune’ the 5th time, he beginnings to point at the security, the promoter or the club owner. Standard practice, “where’s the afters at?” It’s not now and again, it’s every night out across Newcastle and no doubt the UK, maybe not metropolitan, forward thinking cities where licenses extend to 5am, 8am or even 24 hours. Yeah we know, not many of the, in the UK, maybe Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, certainly not in Newcastle that’s for sure!
Yesterday the Evening Chronicle posted a recently released video from Northumbria Police and Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Services meant for the students and the youth of Newcastle , warning them of the risks of having these ‘wild house parties’ usually in the early hours of the morning, stereotypically Jesmond has been named as a popular jaunt for these events.
They state students are turning their homes, usually Victorian terraces built a hundred years ago, into makeshift raves, with 100s of revellers cramped into tight spaces, smoke alarms covered up, smoke machines in every room, strobe lighting and most cases even mattresses’ over the windows (to help reduce sound bleed and ultimately a police shutdown).
Councillor Nick Kemp, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and regulatory services said the council does not want to stop parties but people need to understand the danger.
He added: “We’re very supportive of young people having fun but this is about protecting people’s safety.
“It’s a family house made for five or six people, having upwards of 200 people in there – when you say it aloud you realise how stupid it is.
“It is going to end in disaster.”
Local promoters have been voicing their opinions stating that health & safety videos and press releases only go to patronise young people, and don’t go anywhere close to stopping the issue which can clearly put their lives at risk. The issue is about extended venues licenses, increase more freedom to host licensed events in unique spaces and at diverse times, young people will always want to express themselves, most through dance, you cannot stop free spirit!
Rachael Hope, community safety advisor at Newcastle City Council, said: “We are not trying to ruin the party. We’re trying to make sure we’re protecting the residents and the students themselves.
“What we’re seeing is heightened levels of club drugs.
I think what the powers that be fail to realise is that they license premises correctly, and make them adhere to certain levels of safety, and governed by the laws of the land, so if there are no premises like such to go to then people will continue the party in private homes at their own risk.
Our verdict: 2 more 5am licenses in the city, more flexible temporary event licenses. Problem solved (kind of!)