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.

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