A tattoo parlour whose Pride party was turned into an unauthorised rave by a pirate radio station last year has been given the go ahead to throw another this year after promising she has severed links with the rogue DJs.
Chapter XIII in Pool Valley agreed to let Trickstar Radio do a live broadcast from her ticketed party on the Saturday of the Pride weekend last August.
But to owner Jessica Stocker’s horror, that morning she turned up to work to find a stage had been erected in the coach park there – and that evening, about 350 people were partying hard outside her shop.
As a result, she was served with a noise abatement order which is still in place – and environmental health raised concerns that another Pride party would breach this and put her at risk of a £20,000 fine.
But this afternoon, Brighton and Hove City Council’s licensing committee decided to give her the go ahead after hearing she had now severed all links with the radio station – and she promised to stop the outside music by 10pm.
Miss Stocker told the panel: “I guess if you dance with a pirate radio station you get a little bit burned.
“It was meant to be a party inside my premises and the DJ was going to do a live broadcast from within my party.
“But I turned up the night before and I saw this stage going up outside. I said you are going to get shut down, that’s not part of my party what are you doing?
“He promoted it all over the radio station. I was angry and it got me in a lot of trouble. I have learned a lot from doing parties in conjunction with anyone else.
“I have held another ten since last year with no problems and no complaints.”
She added: “I think people expect a certain amount of noise during Pride, it’s not a quiet weekend. But I’m not going to have a crazy party and if anybody is shouting or screaming, they will be removed.”
The panel also heard from environmental protection officer Mylene Heywood, who said: “On the Saturday of Pride last year, we were called to the Pool Valley area and were faced with a large unlicensed gathering estimated at 350 people, speakers outside and a stage.
“This area of land is council land and used as a bus and coach station. We required the services of the police on that day to close down the party, disperse the large gathering, and protect public safety and prevent public nuisance.
“This became even more of an issue when a National Express coach tried to gain access to the Pool Valley coach stop.
“The current notification is requesting an event which will include up to 150 people in an area surrounded by residential and hotel accommodation, and an area where buses and coaches have free access and commercially operate.
“This is also happening during the Pride Festival Weekend therefore encouraging passing members of the public to congregate and participate in this outdoor event and have the potential to escalate and be difficult to manage and control.”
She also noted that the venue had by then notched up complaints about outside parties in July and October the previous year.
Police licensing officer David Bateup said: “I had to deal with a number of unhappy police officers. Pride is a huge resourcing issue for us and we want to facilitate celebrations and keep people safe.
“A number of police officers had to go to Pool Valley to ease the situation. Things got quite interesting. The opinion of two of my uniformed colleagues was that Miss Stocker and the pirate radio station guy did know each other and there was some agreement between them for the pirate radio station to be there.”
However, he said that following a “breakdown in the relationship” between Chapter XIII and local officials in the aftermath of the party, he had organised a meeting around the table with police and the council and it was agreed that Miss Stocker would send draft temporary event notices to police before officially applying.
He said this has worked quite well, with a number of notices being unchallenged for up to 150 people, but inside the venue. And he added that on balance, the police had decided not to challenge the notice for this year’s Pride party.