Concert gets booze licence
The liquor licence for January’s Gibbston Valley Summer Concert has been approved and the organisers say ‘‘common sense has prevailed’’.
The Queenstown Lakes District Licensing Committee made the decision after a hearing on November 30 involving Greenstone Entertainment, police, Public Health South and the Queenstown Lakes District Council.
The licence will allow every concert-goer to buy four unopened beers or four unopened ciders and one 750ml bottle of wine each time they go to the bar. Police opposed it being sold unopened, the quantity available to purchase at any one time and the hours alcohol was able to be sold.
During the hearing it was revealed police caught people trying to smuggle alcohol into previous events using colostomy bags, frozen alcoholic ice-blocks and umbrellas.
Greenstone Entertainment site manager Dean Calvert said he was ‘‘very pleased’’ the application was supported by the committee.
He wasn’t surprised there had been opposition to the licence, but it was the first time it had gone to a hearing, he said.
‘‘I do believe that [with] special licences there is a process and this is the way the police, Ministry of Health and the council can put their point across. They are trying to put in place a standardisation on what can and can’t happen. I think a hearing was the right process.’’
Calvert said Greenstone was well-aware of concerns police and the Ministry of Health had and they would make sure processes were in place so everyone had a good time.
‘‘Provided we address things properly, we shouldn’t have a concern.’’
A sell out crowd of about 16,000 people is expected to watch Bonnie Tyler, Alan Parsons Live Project and Icehouse at the popular annual concert.
At last month’s hearing Sergeant Tracey Haggart said: ‘‘ I question why it is necessary to promote the high level of alcohol sales per person.’’
At the same hearing Public Health South medical officer of health Dr Derek Bell said Greenstone’s application did not encourage safe and responsible consumption of alcohol.