Southampton club Junk might be forced to reduce its closing times from 4 AM to 2 AM.
The decision is the result of a license review that took place on April 27th. Under the club's new licence, doors must shut by 2 AM, with last entry at 12:30 AM. (It was previously 3 AM.) The club also isn't allowed to apply for any Temporary Event Notices (TENs), which permit the venue to occasionally stay open until 6 AM. Junk has appealed the decision, with the court date set for later this year. In the meantime, the club may operate as normal, staying open until 4 AM.
The reason for the review hearing traces back to Friday, January 22nd, when, according to local newspaper the Daily Echo, there was a stabbing involving three men in the vicinity of the London Road venue. (Two of the men involved had recently left Junk.) In response, local police immediately issued the club with a closure order, which was later revoked after magistrates ruled in Junk's favour. Even so, the authorities called for a review of the club's license.
Junk Club's promotions manager Luca Pilato issued this statement to RA.
We had the review hearing on April 27th and much as we were successful in keeping our licence they have imposed much earlier closing times—now 2 AM as opposed to 4 AM, last entry now 12:30 AM instead of 3 AM, and they’re also currently not allowing use any of our 15 Temporary Event Notices which allow us to trade until 6 AM on the bigger 15 Saturdays.
That said due to how the system works we are now in the process of appeal against the council's decision and getting it taken back to Magistrates Court where we won this case the first time around, because we're appealing the early closure cannot be enforced unless by the court, the court date is likely to be in October/November so until then we can still allow people in up until 3 AM and trade until 4 AM as per our still existing licence.
The whole process has cost us in the region of about £40,000 in legal costs, loss of earnings, extra security measures. The estimated legal costs, loss of earnings etc we're looking at potentially £100,000 across the year which is already placing a huge burden on the business as it is but we're not going to roll over. We work really hard in what is already a turbulent and saturated market place to provide a unique clubbing experience on the South coast and we're proud of what we've achieved. It would be a huge loss for the South coast to lose one of the only remaining small venues showcasing quality underground music in the UK.
As a club we cannot be responsible for policing the city streets and it seems that councils / licensing will stop at nothing using statistical analysis to close venues and lessen the pressure on their undermanned services. It's no surprise that with 75% cuts to nighttime policing we feel clubs in the UK are being made the scapegoat for the lack of law enforcement during late hours. The buck is being passed to the clubs to ensure a safer community. We want to work with the police to make the clubbing environment safe for everyone and have tried to do so at all times but this has been ignored. It's also worth noting that our voluntary efforts to work closely with police making various security changes and extra training supplied by the police in December 2015 resulted in the granting of an extension of our license operating hours with a new 3 AM last entry time from early Jan 2016. We were a squeaky clean club one minute and then painted to be some sort of criminal enterprise a month later.
Junk currently has seven parties in the pipeline, including dates with Youngsta on Friday, June 10th and the launch of JunkLove on the 11th with Detlef. The JunkLove series will continue across the month, with slots for Ejeca on the 18th and Hot Creations' Mark Jenkyns on the 25th. The only July date announced so far is a NotYourThing party on Friday the 2nd featuring Richy Ahmed.