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Martin S

No Alcohol License Function - Would You Attend?

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This is my first "new topic" posting which poses some interesting questions. The town I live in, Deadhill as it's known locally, has virtually nothing in the way of entertainment especially for young people. There was a large nightclub here which was demolished about 5 years ago and the flats are finally going up on that plot. Granted many of those attending that club were the last people you or I would want to meet on a night out. There are only 2 pubs on the town centre side, one is a Spoons and they don't entertain music, the other is in the absolute prime position in the town for a music venue but sadly the owner is so obsessed about losing his license rather than using it, yet he tells me in his 3 years there he has never had a single incident. Our 2 hour chat one summers evening in which he was keen on my proposal for 2 or 3 nights per week of functions was a waste of time ultimately. Such a shame because if he'd given me the venue on every Thurs, Fri, Sunday, the place would have been buzzing by now. In desperation with no other available venue in the centre, this got me thinking, when we first started going out in our youth, (note that my functions are not youth targeted but how many comments under old music do you see people saying they were born 10 years or more, too late, thus suggesting there is demand), where was it? The majority on here will probably say church hall discos as did I and the first 3 friends I asked.

As a result of such I made some enquiries with 2 church halls, which were reasonably well received, neither of which has an alcohol license which I personally saw positives in. Others may, but I don't "need" an alcoholic drink when I go out, especially when given unlimited use of the venues tap water at no expense as is the case here. One offered me the venue for Saturday nights from March onwards, with a closing time of 23.30. It also has a full canteen available at an extra cost, which got me thinking about further opportunities if the functions became successful. No alcohol license equals no age restrictions, thus potential family appeal and a community spirit.

Ultimately the music policy is what pulls most people on this site to a function but with an ageing listenership I can't help feeling that there needs to be more flexibility in order to pull in wider audiences long term. Personally I think there's little worse at a function than hearing 4 hours of exactly the same style of music and from the same narrow band of years, [played to a crowd largely made up of senior citizens, many too infirm to carry on dancing through years of excess at weekenders, only joking there btw]. Appealing to a minority market is likely to eventually be reflected in attendance numbers.

Going back to the subject of trying to get a younger audience through the doors, I will just refer to the functions I have in mind which will be covering early 70's to mid 80's soul funk jazz fusion, early 2000's soulful house, and some reggae. There will be some obvious floor fillers such as Cheryl Lynn Got to be real, Level 42 Love games, Shakatak Easier said, Loose Ends Hanging on a string, and Southern Freez, but from the same years there's just as likely to be Starpoint Bring your sweet loving back, Status IV Loving you, Sunfire Never too late for your loving. Stepping back into the 70's maybe Anacostia, Bloodstone, Earl Connelly, Crystal Motion, Duprees, Got-Cha, Hokis Pokis, The Joneses, Monday After, The Philly Devotions, whilst entering the current century Naked Music, Migs, Jay J & Chris Lum, and Physics. In summary enough to capture multiple audiences. 

So, putting the question out there, based on the above, the fact that the venue does not have an alcohol license and I have no interest in the complications applying for one, 23.30 is the latest finish, and the crowd could be made up of any age group, if you were relatively local to a weekly function such as this with an entry fee of a fiver, would you be likely to attend or would the fact that alcohol would not be available sway your decision outright? I believe that without alcohol available, the functions are likely to attract a more responsible crowd overall. 

I look forward to hearing your opinions. Thanks, Martin

Edited by Martin S

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Alcohol is now the socially acceptable drug of choice nowadays for venues - good or bad 

Personally I think you would struggle nowadays to fill a venue 

The kids round my way have never had a youth club , wouldn’t know what one was , use it or more importantly how to interact once they were there ! 

Social media distfunction generation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Yep and when I was in the army - based in aldershot  early 90s I use to leave my mates clubbing in town and go to a church hall nearby - no alcohol - for a dance - but I was brought up in that generation - take it or leave it 

I personally don’t think that is the case nowadays - people like venues - vast majority Soul nights with a bar 

Edited by The Tempest

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I'd be interested - I usually drive so only have one drink and it wouldn't bother me, but if I took a friend or my wife they wouldn't want to go somewhere without alcohol. Interestingly the church hall opposite my office does monthly swing dance nights, they're popular with no alcohol but you can bring your own drink and food, they share the food communally on a table. Perhaps the opposite of a soul night crowd though - couples in their 20's, I'm usually the token 'older' person at 50!

 

Edited by Timillustrator

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personally , NO

the NO ALCOHOL policy wouldnt bother me, there is a soul venue in Blackburn in a hall which is a BYO or tea and coffee and water from the "bar" or canteen

but I would not attend at all based on that music policy, no idea who any of them were never mind the records and too old to change

I dont even know anyone who would go to a venue playing whatever you said above in post #1 , although I am sure that you think its attractive to some people, each to their own I suppose. the 23.30 finish wouldnt appeal either

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Hi, thanks for the replies so far. Remember these ideas I touted were out of desperation with no other options in the town so I'm trying to work with the only tools left in the box. The most important question is the alcohol issue. The finish is 11.30 (23.30) Steve, I assume your 12.30 was a typing error. The target audience is very open and experimental due to trying to attract a wide age range including a new audience. I'm doing it for the love of the music, any financial gain is a bonus.

Put yourself in this position, it's 2019, you're in your early 20's, you live in a town that is dead, you are desperate to go out. A mate says let's go check this out at the church hall. That night for the very first time in your life you hear Southern Freez, Dayton Sound of Music, Advance Take me to the top, Patrice Rushen Number 1, Lesette Wilson Caveman boogie, Atlantic Starr When love calls, Bernard Wright Master rocker, Firebolts Everybody party, Norman Connors Mr C, it blows your mind, you are hooked and can't wait for the next function. Word gets round town and before you know it the numbers are increasing rapidly and a brand new audience has been created.

Due to the early finishing time it's more likely one would have to rely on a relatively local crowd which could be out there, currently untapped. Note I have seen the full T&C of the venues operating license and extended hours are not possible due to residential premises adjacent. There are two halls in the venue, one is small and holds approx 100, the other is huge and can easily accommodate 400 but I recall it being licensed for between 200 to 300. 

Edited by Martin S

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22 minutes ago, soundsOKEH said:

I would not attend at all based on that music policy, no idea who any of them were never mind the records and too old to change.

I dont even know anyone who would go to a venue playing whatever you said above in post #1 , although I am sure that you think its attractive to some people, each to their own I suppose.

Thanks for the response no matter how intriguing and contradictory it was. 

Having no idea who any of the artists were or the style of music they played, is hardly good evidence with which to come to the conclusion that you already know you have no interest in them, and likewise everyone you know, LOL. 

It's surprising you didn't know any of the artists considering 10 of them were from records I had to hand from 1975. Surely as a member of this site the Philly Devotions can't have escaped your attention?

You probably wouldn't have enjoyed what I propose anyhow as it's likely there would be a high risk of happy people attending.

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1 hour ago, Martin S said:

Put yourself in this position, it's 2019, you're in your early 20's, you live in a town that is dead, you are desperate to go out. A mate says let's go check this out at the church hall. That night for the very first time in your life you hear Southern Freez, Dayton Sound of Music, Advance Take me to the top, Patrice Rushen Number 1, Lesette Wilson Caveman boogie, Atlantic Starr When love calls, Bernard Wright Master rocker, Firebolts Everybody party, Norman Connors Mr C, it blows your mind, you are hooked and can't wait for the next function. 

It's a nice thought. I think I do tend to agree with soundsOKEH though (at the risk of being called grumpy), it may be regional thing but I don't know of any venue in the Midlands or North that plays that type or age of music; there may well be an audience for it in your area, there may be in mine but I don't know because it's just not something that gets played out anywhere. There is definitely an audience for 60's/70's northern soul, there is certainly a (mainly completely different) disco audience, there are a few modern soul places. None of them is particularly made up of people in their early 20's though. Having said that if there's nothing else in town who knows? But equally perhaps playing mid 80's hardcore punk would? or 90's indie? or rap? I wouldn't have a clue.

Edited by Timillustrator

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Yeah, provided it served coffee. I don't, nor have I ever had any interest in drinking, no more than I have drugs. I've been to plenty of soul nights, niters and dayers, though not recently, where the booze has been flowing freely, or where wrigley's could have been the sponsor, and I don't think I've ever stayed the distance. If someone needs to drink, or get off their head on Durophet, or whatever to have a good time, then I don't and won't have anything to do with them. It invariably ends with someone doing something stupid.

Edited by MotownSoulMan
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1 hour ago, MotownSoulMan said:

Yeah, provided it served coffee. I don't, nor have I ever had any interest in drinking, no more than I have drugs. I've been to plenty of soul nights, niters and dayers, though not recently, where the booze has been flowing freely, or where wrigley's could have been the sponsor, and I don't think I've ever stayed the distance. If someone needs to drink, or get off their head on Durophet, or whatever to have a good time, then I don't and won't have anything to do with them. It invariably ends with someone doing something stupid.

Thanks, those are the same thoughts I have on the subject.

I shouldn't had bothered mentioning the music policy because on the evidence of some of the earlier replies, it appears many people on here are stuck in a time warp with a very narrow selection criteria in terms of what they feel they need to listen to. 

Edited by Martin S

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I seem to recall when we put on nights in church halls in the 1980s that we could get a pub landlord or licensee to set up a portable bar which they could do as they had a travelling license or suchlike.

Edited by LiamGP

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People like a drink, I like a drink, given the choice of alcohol free event and one with a bar, then the alcohol free is going to lose out.

its a myth to suggest that we didn’t drink BITD, we just filled our guts at a soul night before moving onto the nighters.  Coach trips etc awash with ale.

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Speak for yourself mate - never drink at nighters to speak of even when I can and never have (and well remember a universally angry reaction to people who were drunk).

And actually the first night Pete went to the Wheel the old crew that took him said in the pub that he was 'allowed' 1/2 a Stout (because it fortified you) or if he REALLY wanted a drink then one Rum and Coke (though they made it clear it would be frowned upon) - of course they also gave him three Red and Browns.

Dx

Edited by DaveNPete

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Martin S I actually gave up going to niters for a long time after one of After Dark Promotions at The Drill Hall in Lincoln in the 80s. There was more people smashed out their tiny minds than not, from the start, and the dance floor was like ice with the spilt drink on it. It made a mosh pit look humane. Also that night I went up with a couple of geezers from Spalding. We decided to go to the chippy just down the road from the Drill Hall where one of them was throwing out abuse at the owner, and the other one p***ed up the counter. Needless to say, we had the rozzers into the Drill Hall twice in the first hour. Needless to say, I abandoned the idiots from Spalding, got in the car, and drove home. It put me off Northern Soul and Niters for a long time. I never did go to another After Dark Promotions event either.

Edited by MotownSoulMan
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5 minutes ago, MotownSoulMan said:

Martin S I actually gave up going to niters for a long time after one of After Dark Promotions at The Drill Hall in Lincoln in the 80s. There was more people smashed out their tiny minds than not, from the start, and the dance floor was like ice with the spilt drink on it. It made a mosh pit look humane. Also that night I went up with a couple of geezers from Spalding. We decided to go to the chippy just down the road from the Drill Hall where one of them was throwing out abuse at the owner, and the other one p***ed up the counter. Needless to say, we had the rozzers into the Drill Hall twice in the first hour. Needless to say, I abandoned the idiots from Spalding, got in the car, and drove home. It put me off Northern Soul and Niters for a long time. I never did go to another After Dark Promotions event either.

glad you've got that off your chest !!  🙂

 

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jez jones if I thought for one minute those two cretins from Spalding area were on this site, I would name them. Like I said before, if you need to get smashed to enjoy yourself, then you've got a problem, and I don't care who you think you are, I don't wanna be anywhere near you. (That's not a personal attack against you. It's speaking generally.)

Edited by MotownSoulMan
Corrected a sentence

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5 minutes ago, MotownSoulMan said:

jez jones if I thought for one minute those two cretins from Spalding area were on this site, I would name them. Like I said before, if you need to get smashed to enjoy yourself, then you've got a problem, and I don't care who you think you are, I don't wanna be anywhere near you. (That's not a personal attack against you. It's speaking generally.)

Yeah fair play mate..I know its general..and s**t does happen when you get ratted....luckily nowadays I think incidents like that are few and far between....I hope !!

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23 minutes ago, MotownSoulMan said:

jez jones if I thought for one minute those two cretins from Spalding area were on this site, I would name them. Like I said before, if you need to get smashed to enjoy yourself, then you've got a problem, and I don't care who you think you are, I don't wanna be anywhere near you. (That's not a personal attack against you. It's speaking generally.)

That's fair enough, whereas I find most of these types a lotta fun - That's a compliment to you jez jones :wink:

:D

Len :thumbsup:

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Cheers guys. Back then Spalding was full of clowns like that. If you looked remotely like a scooter boy or a soulie, you could hardly go into a boozer in town without someone coming up to you and trying to sell you some pills or powder. I truly couldn't tell you how many times I went up there from Peterbrough and ended up bopping some tosser. The main culprit is brown bread now, but I wouldn't mention him by name anyway, because he actually woke up to the real world, and turned out OK by the 90s. There used to be a dive of a boozer at the top of Pinchbeck Road and one weekend in there I had 2 skins try it on. Shame for them that some local girl called Clare warned me well in advance what was gonna go down. That ended with one of them in a choke hold, and the other getting thrust kicked everytime he got close enough, till I got bored, and let one go limp and punched the other really hard in the Solar Plexus. The best crack was it was me that was asked to leave ha ha. I hated most of that lot in Spalding, but unfortunately my girl at the time lived there.

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2 minutes ago, MotownSoulMan said:

That ended with one of them in a choke hold, and the other getting thrust kicked everytime he got close enough, till I got bored let  one go limp and punched  the other really hard in the Solar Plexus. 

Hehe..nice.

 

Dana White just called.

Are you Conor McGregor in disguise ?

If not, would you be available for UFC 235?

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12 hours ago, hornet said:

They had green n clears 3 4 £2 

Three for four quid? FFS. Inflation really must have kicked in after I left the scene at the end of 75. Last time I bought Green'n'Clears they were five for a quid, and I thought that was steep! 🙂 

Edited by Joey

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48 minutes ago, Soulsides said:

Isn't that the most important thing though seeing as you're suggesting putting on a music event?

I'd imagine it would be the first thing people would want to know about.

 

Exactly this.

I live in a pretty quiet place like the O.P. where not a lot happens music wise,I've tried to get a few of the local kids into music production doing stuff like making beats with samplers or learning how to play an instrument etcetera and literally none of them are interested,unfortunately so asking them to come to an event with both no alcohol and a music policy they neither know or understand would be absolutely pointless in my opinion.  

 

That's my point. You may say I am "stuck in a timewarp with a narrow selection criteria" but I am only pointing out what does work, at least in my area. I'm into loads of music but accept that whilst I'd love to go to a night of, say, free and avant garde jazz or delta blues or 70's and 80's hip hop I'd probably be the only one there and can't imagine any local kids being interested in attending. 

Edited by Timillustrator

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Being Tea Total it would not bother me in the least, and from personal experience i used to run a Soul Nite (Soul Scene) at The Central Community Centre (Scunthorpe) from the Early 70's To '83, No Alcohol Just Great Music, 60's Soul And Current Obscure new releases at the time (so NO Time warp for Me) and that is still my Music Policy, Don't remember reading anywhere that they stoped making good Soul Music '69 Onwards 🤣

Those that wanted a drink used to go to the Pub First, then in they would flood, but i have to say back then Music was Always at the Forefront of a Soulful Nite, unfortunately that is not always the first choice theses days for a lot of people, (Not All it has to be said)Just Get Out There and enjoy Yourselves While you can, and enjoy some of the Greatest And Most Beautiful Music On The Planet 😍

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3 hours ago, soundsOKEH said:

What a patronising reply and you have no idea what my background was back then. I think that you believe that a DJ is there to play what they want and not what the audience want ! A classic mistake made my many people on the different scenes.

You don't even talk about needing door staff and an anti drugs policy or what the police or council will want or require.

Likewise you have no idea of my background at all and to put it bluntly your suggestion about me thinking a DJ is there to play what they want and not what the audience want makes pathetic reading. You took another incorrect wild guess in the same way you did re the artists you'd never heard of whose music you'd already decided you didn't like. 

I could quite easily make a fool of myself in response by saying all you play and own is Northern Soul, but I won't, why? Because firstly I think carefully about what I type before posting it and secondly I have no evidence with which to base such a statement. 

To clear up your concerns as per my first para above, if you'd actually bothered to carefully read my music policy for the proposed functions, you would have seen it spanned in excess of 30 years of music which could be broken down into 5 specific genres thus appealing to a broad audience. If that still doesn't convince you, let's deal with the last residency I had. 3 years of Friday nights at the Country Club/Grasshopper Westerham, over 30's club, average attendance approx 650, the only club of it's kind for miles. 20.30 to 22.00 soul/jazz fusion warm up, 22.00 to 02.00 mainstream commercial chart plus any genre back to the mid 70's, so could be Kylie, George Michael, DTrain, Players Association, Bob Marley, plus a bunch of obscure titles for the warm up. Most Satudays a private function, either in that club or out with my own sound system for weddings, birthday parties. Specialist functions 70's/80's soul boogie disco jazz fusion early rap house. I would suggest that if anyone knows how to play to a crowds demands on here I'd be one of the leading contenders. I'll willingly an accept an apology for your oversight.

Re the other points you raise, firstly an anti drugs policy? Oh, do other venues openly allow drugs and this function would be an exception if it didn't? Door staff? Why would I need to discuss that on here when the main question related purely to the issue of alcohol? Police or council? This is a private function in a church hall with PRS already licensed by the council for entertainment, not a fking rave! 

Edited by Martin S

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I think his antagonistic and patronising posts sum up his bad attitude to anyone who doesn't agree with him and he is more interested in provoking people than listening to their concerns which is pathetic and I can assure this Humpty that he won't be getting an apology from me because I won't apologise for anything I have said

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2 minutes ago, soundsOKEH said:

I think his antagonistic and patronising posts sum up his bad attitude to anyone who doesn't agree with him and he is more interested in provoking people than listening to their concerns which is pathetic and I can assure this Humpty that he won't be getting an apology from me because I won't apologise for anything I have said

I won't be taking it personally, I simply weigh up the facts. You're the only member who has sought to wildly deviate from the original simple question/s and create an argument. Even that posting followed so quickly that I'm surprised you had time to read that which I just posted. It's reassuring however that almost every other poster has offered meaningful opinions, for which I thank them.

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22 hours ago, Spain pete said:

Maybe if you called it a retro  revival . pop music night  and built it up from there  you never know what  intrest you might create then you could think about   moving  elsewhere

Pete, I quite like your "retro revival" phrase, thanks.

Edited by Martin S
Posting was deviating from the main questions too much

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9 hours ago, LiamGP said:

I seem to recall when we put on nights in church halls in the 1980s that we could get a pub landlord or licensee to set up a portable bar which they could do as they had a travelling license or suchlike.

Thanks for the posting Liam. I will take a look at the licensing T&C again in the premises as I recall it was in relation to alcohol being "consumed" on the premises which would still suggest an application would be required and the venue is only permitted 12 per year which they will probably prefer to use for their own functions or a wedding reception for example. The problem with age monitoring comes into play once alcohol is available on the premises. I know several families who would attend if it were convenient to bring their kids. Whilst on that subject, perhaps we could add that to the discussion. My own feelings are that UK society would benefit enormously if this massive gulf between adults and what we would loosely call kids, was closed in relation to entertainment policies. Teenagers only mixing with teenagers are only exposed to those likely to behave in similar ways, place the same group in a respectable adult audience and is it likely you'd get the same outcome?   

Edited by Martin S

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