Oktoberfest planned for Portsmouth - but police have concerns over social distancing and drunkenness

THREE Oktoberfest events could be held in Portsmouth next month - but police have concerns over social distancing measures and 'drunkenness.'

Friday, 4th September 2020, 5:19 pm
Updated Friday, 4th September 2020, 5:47 pm
Three Oktoberfest events could be held in Southsea next month. Pictured: The Haigh Oktoberfest, at Haigh Woodland Park, Wigan.

The owners of Clarence Pier, in Southsea, are looking to host a family-friendly German beer festival over three occasions in October.

The events, which will be held within the boundary of the amusement park after the Solent Wheel is removed, will offer a range of German beers inside a beer tent and traditional food including wursts, fried potatoes, pork burgers and pretzels.

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Three Oktoberfest events could be held in Southsea next month. Pictured: The Haigh Oktoberfest, at Haigh Woodland Park, Wigan.

A decision on the necessary temporary licences for the events is due to be made at a meeting next week, however, Hampshire Constabulary has requested the application, submitted by Clarence Pier and Blackstar Live Ltd, is rejected.

Police officer Peter Rackham said it was not clear ‘how the applicant will manage the access and egress of customers attending the event safely and also in a way which promotes social distancing’.

He added: ‘It is unclear from the application how the applicant will manage the sale of alcohol responsibly preventing drunkenness and the sale of alcohol to children.’

But the organisers told The News that the events would have a maximum capacity of 75 people and a four-drink limit would be imposed. A one-way system to encourage social distancing will also be in place.

A spokesman for Clarence Pier said: ‘The events are small scale, family oriented with an excellent array of control measures in place.

‘We have an excellent track record of running safe, successful and compliant events. In light of our responses and control measures, we see no legitimate reason to disallow this event.

‘We hope that the licensing sub-committee see that we take our responsibility as experienced event operators most seriously, and balance this responsibility carefully with our role to deliver well-run entertainment to sensible family audiences, both local and visiting.’

It comes after a separate Oktoberfest due to be held in Castle Field in Southsea was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

If the licence is approved the Oktoberfest events will be held on October 9-11 and 16-18, with an additional Halloween themed event during the half term week of October 27-31.

The licensing meeting will be held virtually on Friday, September 11.

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