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Bulls stadium concert’s failings detailed at review
Concert organisers should have pulled the plug on 80s pop star Rick Astley when his performance went over time, a licensing meeting heard.
PC Su Dawson, licensing officer for West Yorkshire Police, said a 1980s revival concert at Odsal Stadium overran by eight minutes.
She said Bruce Springsteen and Sir Paul McCartney had the plug pulled on them when they over-ran at a concert in London last year, and that this should also have happened at Odsal.
PC Dawson said the matter was one of a host of alleged licensing breaches by OK Bulls Ltd on the day of its 80s Strike Back concert in May, which led to the police calling for its licence to be reviewed.
At a meeting of Bradford District Licensing Panel yesterday, PC Dawson described the “chaos” on the day as long queues of frustrated concert-goers overwhelmed staff at the Marquee Bar.
She said: “If the queue for the Marquee Bar had gone badly wrong, then we could have been in the Coroners’ Court rather than the licensing committee.”
The panel heard it was a condition of the licence that at concerts, not only would there be a designated premises supervisor present, but there would be two further personal licence holders at the stadium.
But PC Dawson said these two people were seen drinking in a VIP area and when she asked OK Bulls to put them on the Marquee Bar, she was told this would not be possible because they were guests of Bulls owner Omar Khan.
She said: “This was not in the spirit of the condition and was mischievous on their part.”
Ryan Whitcut, general manager at the Super League club, said the allegation of “chaos” was unfounded and there had been no injuries, evictions or complaints from residents.
He said: “This was our first concert and there were a number of lessons learned from it.”
Mr Whitcut said it would not have helped to put the personal licence holders on the Marquee Bar, which is why the police request had been refused.
The panel’s legal adviser, Frank Suadwa, said regardless of his opinions, a licensee could not breach conditions of their licence.
He said: “It’s not for you to say, ‘I don’t think it’s going to make any difference’ and not comply.
“Firstly, it’s a breach of the law, and secondly, it leaves you vulnerable to having your licence taken away.”
The panel made two changes to OK Bulls’ outdoor events licence. The first was to firm-up the wording to specify that when on duty, personal licence holders should be identifiable and working where drinks were being sold.
The second was to have an event management plan approved by the panel before its next concert.