Drinks promotions nights heading for disaster

What does it have to take before any genuine action is taken against anything within our society?

Student promotion nights across the country are on the precipice of a fatal disaster, and have been for a while now.

In late January the popular ‘Messy Mondays’ night provided 1,500 students with the ‘Copper’s crush’. Seven people were seriously injured in the queue for Copper Face Jacks, with one young girl left in a critical condition.

Two weeks ago another promotions night, this time in Galway city, provided students with another major crush. Security at the Electric Garden nightclub were forced to close their doors due to their queues being dangerously overcrowded.

At the source of most of these promotions nights is the Nightlife Promotions company.

A brief bio of the company shows up a vacant address as their registered company HQ; a telephone number which connects to a taxi firm; and an unhosted website.

A company more suited to a scene from ‘Only Fools and Horses’, than a company entrusted with running safe student nights.

Since 2009 the company has grown and grown with students from across the city flooding in for €2.50 drink combos and various guest list incentives. Although after a number of close calls, it took only one night in the Copper Face Jacks venue for the inevitable to occur.

The iconic Harcourt street nightclub put the crush down to a lack of experience in running such nights. And they vowed it would be the last such night they’d ever have.

Ironically though, less than 24 hours after the incident, while a young girl remained in a critical condition in hospital, the same promoters were back in the same venue, hidden behind another name; Chooseday at Coppers.

In fact, the Nightlife company have actually been running events in Coppers for over a year now.

So what was the cause?

Nightlife Promotions is a young and successful company. Clearly having the realms of Social Media entirely mastered, and equally so the desires of their young audience. Come to Choosedays at Coppers where you’re “guaranteed the shift”.

And let’s be frank, for the nation and generation who brought us Neknominations, the stimulus is pretty obvious.

But all that aside they are providing a huge revenue for these pubs and clubs. You’re talking about the difference between a handful of people on a quiet Monday night, and a couple of thousand thirsty teenagers filling your tills.

But as these students come in their masses, like puppies to a stick, neither the promoters nor the venues are doing anything to ensure their safety.

And if natural blinded greed was their excuse at first, after the two lucky escapes in the past six weeks, what excuse is there for the continuation, and furthermore the increase, in negligence?

Amazingly, given our drink culture in this country there are no laws on door staff requirements, although Garda inspectors do recommend one door staff per 100 people.

Messy Mondays is now back in business in Club Dandelion, off Stephen’s Green, under the new name Messi Mondayz (a move one Dublin city radio station likened to the ploy of a tax evader).

They have been boasting over a thousand attendees at this event, a number which is supervised by a handful of door staff, but above all maxes their 890 capacity.

Worse still, since recent media criticism, these nights have reduced drink prices to €2 and added the promise “guaranteed to be busy”.

In New York city promoters are typically given tables with a certain quota to fill. Going over this is not an option. In many European cities such as Barcelona, there are strict guidelines on alcohol advertisements and on the supervision of alcohol centered activities.

It’s worrying to think that these promoters care so little about providing a secure environment for their patrons. It’s longevity which makes the good companies great. But in my eyes these promoters are more interested in making their quick killing. And maybe they will.

Eamon Donoghue is Opinions Editor of The College View.

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