The Breeding Ground – an open letter after being blamed by the venue owner for its closure…

TBG Organizers Response To Newspaper Articles in Daily Post, The Visitor and The Journal concerning the closure of The Breeding Ground @ Celebrities. Rhyl.

Once again TBG finds itself on the receiving end of unchecked newspaper reporting. The organizers of TBG are seething at being blamed for the closure of Celebrities in Rhyl, to be also branded as ‘greedy’ is an insult and an outrage! It would appear that Mr. Hughie Shaw in his desperation to regain his entertainments license had to point the finger at anyone and everyone but himself. The fact that newspapers (for the 2nd time this year) ran an article concerning TBG without 1st checking the facts is a disgrace.

Since the closure of Celebrities on July 6th TBG has maintained a dignified silence whilst awaiting the outcome of the court hearing. We also did this to be ‘gentlemanly’ to Mr. Shaw and not say anything which would damage his reputation or his chances of regaining his license. Mr. Shaw received several police visits and numerous letters of warning prior to the closure, although none of these letters contents were revealed to us despite us asking to see them, asking what was going on and what instructions to follow.

On reading the comments printed in the newspaper apparently made in court, we now feel the need to present our side of the story, present some facts, and also defend our until now, good reputation.

Let’s get this straight. The promoters did NOT let a room from Celebrities. It was NOT hired. The room IS in a poor state. The TBG organizers have for some time been looking for alternative premises such was the concern about this. In fact it was the promoters who regularly carried out repair work on the roof as promises to have it fully repaired were not carried out.

TBG operated under license of Celebrities. We can only operate within that framework. IE. Do what we’re told and follow instructions.

The venue was supposedly closed due to noise and disorder. TBG is noisy. It was a live music venue. But it operated within the environmental noise limit of 85db. Celebrities does have a history of trouble and disorder. This is not the 1st time the venue has been up for having its license revoked. The problems have been there for a long time before TBG arrived.

TBG events ran for 17 months, in that time the police were called just once!!!! Trouble has occurred at Celebrities and in The Marina on other nights which were absolutely nothing to do with TBG. IE, The recent School ROAR evening hosted at Celebrities. Hosted without security because someone was too tight to pay for it! This night ended in a ruck with the barstaff being assaulted. These same barstaff actually said to us they felt safer working at TBG events because they were the only properly organized events with security staff on.

There was also regular trouble at The Marina Karaoke nights, again due to no security being employed and the amount of under age persons allowed in.

The TBG organizers and security were instructed to allow persons in as young as 14 as this was allowed on a Cabaret license on the condition they didn’t drink alcohol. When we first set up these nights we made up ‘No Under 18’ signs but were told we couldn’t display them. All other legally required signs were displayed.

TBG hired 3 – 5 council badged security people (depending on expected attendance) for every gig. If these people weren’t correctly trained, they wouldn’t be badged! They did a sound job. The security was always above the legal requirement.

WE DO NOT compromise peoples safety whatever the cost. TBG hired the rig, additional doorstaff, engineers, floorwalkers, paid for advertising, ticketing, maintenance etc, etc. The point being. IT DIDN’T MAKE A LOT OF MONEY!

The bar did very well selling over priced beers, but we didn’t get a penny from it. So who’s greedy? TBG were TOLD to increase its events from once a month to twice a month. Who was being greedy?

These alledged greedy promoters are now up to their necks in debt, lost their homes in the process, were never in a position to give up their full time jobs and yet have been branded as the guilty party. It stinks!

The people who have been let down are the people who came to these great nights, the bands who have now lost a venue, and us as promoters who been branded greedy amongst other things, when our only crime has been to try and provide the town with a decent alternative night out and give our up and coming musicians a professional platform on which to perform. Something which we succeeded in doing very well.

Talks are currently under way to find a new home in Rhyl. We will also be liaising fully with the police. TBG 2 opens in Chester later this month as originally planned before the closure of Celebrities.

We’d like to place on record our thanks to Mr. Shaw and the staff at the Hotel Marina for their support over the last 17 months, although Mr. Shaw’s comments in court leave a very sour taste. We thought more of him than to do this to us.

We will be back!

TBG Organizers.