Nightclub is fined £10,000 after police find hundreds of revellers dancing in a marquee that owners tried to pass off as an OUTDOOR venue
- Body-cam footage shows police entering Lab 11, in Birmingham, West Midlands
- Organisers claimed event outdoors even though marquee had roof and walls
- In the video, loud house music can be heard being pumped from the speakers
A nightclub has been fined £10,000 after police found over a hundred revellers dancing inside a marquee – which the owners tried to pass off as an outdoor venue.
Body-cam footage shows officers entering Lab 11, in the trendy Digbeth district area of Birmingham, after concerns were raised on Saturday night.
The organisers, who claimed the event was being held outdoors even though the marquee had a roof and walls, were fined £10,000 for breaching coronavirus restrictions.
In the video, loud house music can be heard being pumped from the speakers as police enter the specially constructed marquee and find around 120 people inside.
A nightclub has been fined £10,000 after police found over a hundred revellers dancing inside a marquee – which the owners tried to pass off as an outdoor venue
One officer can be heard saying to his colleague: ‘I don’t think this is outdoors. You’ve got walls all the way along there and all the way along there.
His female partner replies: ‘Never in a month of Sundays.’
The cop can then be heard explaining to the owner: ‘If we go back to why we’re trying to do this, we’re trying to get the air to circulate out aren’t we so the virus won’t spread.
‘You’ve also got groups in there who are dancing, they are supposed to be sat down aren’t they. You’ve got a responsibility to control your patrons.
‘This is not a game anymore, people are dying, you’ve got to understand this alright?’
The popular warehouse nightclub – which promises revellers a ‘intergalactic rave in the beating heart of the Midlands’ has become the fourth venue in the region to be recently slapped with a hefty fine.
A shisha lounge, hotel manager and illegal rave organiser have all previously been hit with the £10,000 penalties by West Midlands Police.
People in Birmingham and most of the West Midlands are banned from mixing with different households indoors under the tier 2 ‘high’ coronavirus alert level.
Sergeant Nick Giess, from Birmingham police’s licensing team, said: ‘The venue tried to argue that it was an outdoor event, but there were walls and a roof so it was essentially a building and did not fall into the same category as a beer garden.
‘We spoke to people sat at five tables, and four of them had people from different households on.
‘People were being allowed to freely move around without masks on and dance to really loud music – all of which goes against the rules that have been put in place to stop the virus spreading.
‘People shouldn’t think that we’re trying to stop people’s fun. It’s the opposite – we’re trying to protect people and limit the spread of the virus so that restrictions can hopefully be eased.’
Body-cam footage shows officers entering Lab 11, in the trendy Digbeth district area of Birmingham, in the West Midlands, after concerns were raised on Saturday night
In a statement on the nightclub’s website, they revealed they have now been forced to close down.
They wrote: ‘It saddens us to say this, but LAB11 will temporarily close with immediate effect.
‘We have done everything within our power to create a safe, enjoyable environment, following the restrictions and guidelines throughout.
‘Despite very difficult, self funded, re-investment and changes to the venue, the latest set of guidelines and our discussions with authorities, has cast elements of doubt over the legalities and practicalities of being open.
‘Being enforceable, we must respect the guidelines along with efforts to maintain them.
‘Providing a safe outlet to socialise for people who normally enjoy nightlife whilst also trying to protect numerous jobs at the venue and supporting companies has been our priority throughout these last few months, unfortunately at this point, this is becoming unfeasible.
‘With a lack of funding support given to the venue this has added further pressures to our survival.
‘Any ticket holders will be issued a full refund within 7 days.
‘We will assess the viability of re opening as and when the guidelines change in the future. If we consider it safe to do so then we will be back at that point.’
The organisers, who claimed the event was being held outdoors even though the marquee had a roof and walls, were fined £10,000 for breaching coronavirus restrictions
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