Late drink bids opposed by police

The Borders’ licensing standards officer and the police are both objecting to late drink applications covering two seperate common ridings, a bike festival and a music event.

Neil Gillies of the Base Nightclub in Baker Street, Hawick, wants an extension from 2am till 3am on Saturday, May 30, for the annual Denholm Ride-Out party and again on June 5 and 6 (Friday and Saturday) to cater for locals and visitors during the Hawick Common Riding weekend.

In Peebles, Kevin Kenny of the County Hotel, is seeking an hour’s extension – from midnight to 1am – to host a ticket-only party for competitors and visitors to mark the end of the two-week Tweedlove cycling festival on Sunday, May 31.

And in Kirk Yetholm, Gordon McLaren of The Border Hotel wants to stay open an extra hour until 1am on Wednesday, June 17, for a Stob Stane Ride-out social evening, organised by the Yetholm Festival Committee.

And the Audio Soup music festival which takes place in a field at Harehead, Cranshaws, near Duns, between July 17-19, is looking to sell alcohol until 2am in its three bars.

All four applications will be considered at tomorrow’s meeting of the Scottish Borders Licensing Board.

Around 1,000 people of all ages are expected to attend the Audio Soup festival which began five years ago at a site near Dunbar and moved to Harehead last year, when a 1am alcohol curfew was observed on the Friday and Saturday night.

This time round, organisers want that terminal hour extended to 2am on both nights.

In his letter of objection, Chief Inspector Andrew McLean highlights the “potential for disturbance to residents nearby with alcohol fuelled violence, noise and antisocial behaviour”.

The likelihood of noise complaints is cited by LSO Ian Tunnah who said last year’s 1am terminal hour “appeared quite adequate for the event”.

The application stresses the “family-friendly” ethos of the festival which will have five performance stages and headliners including Bombskare and Spliff Richard & the Snapping Turtles.

Organisers have offered an assurance there will be “24-hour security with 50 stewards working shifts and a police presence during busy periods” and that children will only be allowed into bar areas if accompanied by an adult.