2.30 am Friday 13th June 2014
Thursday afternoon, while I was at rehearsals with Sandy and Greg, I got a phone call from the Beachcomber telling me that due to a serious issue with an ex-member of staff, their application for the all-night dance licenses had not gone in until this Wednesday. Licenses must go in to the authorities ten working days before an event or five in exceptional circumstances. They had been trying to get the council to change their mind all Wednesday and Thursday morning to no avail. Once I had recovered from this bombshell, I too pleaded as an independent promoter with no control over these events and despite our 20 + year good record and the fact that people were travelling from all over the country and all over the world, the licensing official refused to budge. She would not even allow us to keep the music going after the 2 am license the club already holds. Subsequently we are going to have to stop all music in the venues at 2 am on Friday and Saturday and 12.30 am on Sunday.
The Northern soul scene was built on all-nighters so to hold a Northern Soul Weekender without them is hugely unsatisfactory. This is such short notice; travel and accommodation arrangements are all in place and everybody is geared up for a weekend of soul, that I intend to continue to run the weekend in its new limited hours form. To soften the blow I will refund £20 on all weekend passes and £10 on Saturday night passes. Again due to the short notice I will have to arrange most of these next week once I have new cheque books ordered. Any PayPal payments can be partially refunded, relatively quicker and I shall start doing that on the Tuesday, once I have sorted the financial aspects out. For people waiting to pick up passes and still to pay, we will deduct those amounts from the admission money at reception so it will be £39 for a weekend pass and £18 for a Saturday night pass.
I realise this is a huge blow to all of us who love to dance through to the early hours but this year I am afraid the late night partying will have to be done in the caravans. I am sure we will all make the most of it and an earlier entrance to the dance halls is the obvious way to do that. I am re-scheduling the DJ times out of necessity and to maximise the time we have. My apologies go out to the DJs who will all miss out to some degree. Sandy and Greg are concerned but are ready to give us a rousing Northern Soul show on Saturday and I am sure all the DJs will pull out the stops for this unique occasion.
Please accept my apology for this major inconvenience. It has taken me some hours to be able to get my thoughts together, work out what was the best way to proceed and compose this letter. I will be driving to Cleethorpes most of the morning so will not get a chance to answer many queries until later.