Police: Far too much booze at Gibbston gig
The Gibbston Valley Winery Summer Concert liquor licence is being opposed after incidents of people carrying alcohol to the venue in colostomy bags and umbrellas.
Queenstown police, the Ministry of Health and the Queenstown Lakes District Council all opposed an application by Greenstone Entertainment for a special licence to sell alcohol at its January 21 concert.
A sell out crowd of about 16,000 is expected to watch Bonnie Tyler, Alan Parsons Live Project and Icehouse at the annual concert.
Under the proposed licence, every concert-goer could buy four unopened beers or ciders and one 750ml bottle of wine each time they go to the bar.
Greenstone are also requesting an hour longer liquor licence than last year.
Sergeant Tracey Haggart told a Queenstown Lakes District Licensing Committee last week that people could buy too much alcohol at any one time and that unopened cans would lead to stockpiling.
Haggart was ‘‘adamant’’ beer and cider should be opened upon purchase.
Police also opposed the hours alcohol could be sold and questioned how Greenstone assessed who was drunk and who was not.
Haggart said there had been instances where people had tried to bring alcohol into the venue including in the form of alcoholic ice-blocks, wine bladders, in umbrellas and in colostomy bags.
Public Health South medical officer of health Dr Derek Bell said the application did not encourage safe drinking.
The Guidelines for Managing Alcohol at Large Events document recommended no more than two standard drinks per serve, he said.
Greenstone Entertainment site manager Dean Calvert said they had not once, in six years, breached their liquor licence.
An older demographic attended the concerts in groups. Typically one of the members of the group would buy the drinks and take them back to drink gradually throughout the day, Calvert said.
Reducing the amount and opening cans would lead to people becoming more intoxicated more quickly, he said.
Committee chairman Bill Unwin reserved the decision, which was expected in the next fortnight.
Concert-goers enjoyed this year’s event at Gibbston concert, which has attracted submissions against its alcohol licence for next year’s event.