14 September 2009

Rowdy Oasis Concert Forces Rethink Of Murrayfield Alcohol Policy

Edinburgh fans' last hurrah loses rugby stadium its unfettered licensing privileges.

Following a troublesome Oasis gig held at Murrayfield in June, stadium managers will be required to apply for an alcohol license each time they host a non-sporting event.

Following unsavoury scenes at the concert, Murrayfield will only be granted a license to provide visitors with alcohol at concerts on a case-by-case basis, subject to discussions between the council and event organisers.

Scottish Rugby Media Manager Isobel Irvine told The Journal: “The [licensing] board asked that we submit a variation of our licence to cover individual concerts.

“This affords the council the opportunity to discuss the arrangements around the concerts in advance, both with Scottish Rugby and the promoter, and ensure that the appropriate measures are in place.”

Non-sporting events comprise a very small percentage of Murrayfield’s overall use, with the Oasis concert being the only such event hosted at the stadium over the last 12 months.

The nature of the event highlighted the possible need for a policy change regarding the sale of alcohol, as numerous local residents complained after large numbers of rowdy fans engaged in anti-social activities, including fighting, littering and urinating on the streets.

In addition to the council’s licensing division, amendments to alcohol-related policies at Murrayfield will be influenced by the Scottish Rugby Local Residents Group.

The group comprises representatives from Scottish Rugby’s Communications and Public Affairs team, Murrayfield’s Stadium Manager, Lothian & Borders Police, Murrayfield Community Council, City of Edinburgh Council West Neighbourhood Team and a number of local residents.

Ms Irvine continued: “Should the potential arise to stage a non-sporting event at the stadium in the future, Scottish Rugby would apply to the licensing Board for a variation of our existing license and they would ultimately decide.”

The Scottish Rugby Union has held the right to sell alcohol at sporting, corporate and banqueting events taking place at the stadium since 2007.

Source: www.journal-online.co.uk


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