4 thoughts on “Beer festival glass ban is ‘pure snobbery’”

  1. I would like to see a coherent response to the Police statement that said the ban was in place because wine drinkers went home in minivans (no damage) and beer drinkers went through town (with resulting broken glass).

  2. It’s time that someone stood up to the ‘fear raising’ nonsense that stops grannies taking knitting needles on a flight, kids playing bull rush and drinking beer from glasses at festivals. We’re going to be there on Saturday with t-shirt petitions and http://www.notional.org.nz have something to say (in a comedic way) about this ‘hypothetical trouble’ rubbish… save the glass!

  3. OK Anonymous, here's a hopefully coherent response…The beer festival is held at Blenheim’s A&P Park, which is situated about a half hour’s walk from Blenheim town centre.The festival is attended by about 7000 people – mostly local Blenheim folk. Now what do you think most local people do when they've had a hot day out in a field drinking beer? Sure, some walk into town and continue drinking, but the vast majority simply walk off (in many different directions) to go home for a sleep.Given the festival stops serving drinks one hour before the music finishes there is a steady stream of people leaving the site rather than a mass exodus.By contrast, the Wine Festival takes place out of town at Montana's Brancott vineyard. When the festival closes (remember it is open for two hours longer than the beer festival and the alcohol being served is around three times stronger than beer), festival-goers have to queue for large buses (mostly 50 seaters), which then drop them in large groups at six locations around Blenheim.The wine festival takes place exactly one week after the beer festival and is also attended by 7000 people who, like those who attend the beer festival, are still carrying their festival wine glasses. These glasses are thin, stemmed XL5 tasting glasses which, unlike the toughened glass beer mugs, are highly breakable.Unlike at the beer festival, the majority of people at the wine festival are visitors to the region. Most of these people staying in motels around town and, after the festival, many want to find somewhere for an evening meal or to continue drinking. The end result? Loads of people in Blenheim with glasses in their hands.So now let’s look at the Police’s reasoning for the glass ban…According to The Marlborough Express “At a special hearing last week, Sergeant Naera Parata of Blenheim police said they were concerned that the glasses could be used as potential weapons by intoxicated patrons heading into town after the event.”But doesn’t exactly the same logic apply also at Wine Marlborough?Sergeant Parata’s concern about Blues and Brews is that the festival mugs “could be used as potential weapons”. The words “could” and “potential” – both suggest what might happen in the future, not what has actually happened. According to festival organiser Graeme Boon, there had been, “no problem with the glasses in the 13-year history of the Blues and Brews” (Marlborough Express, Friday 17th November 2006). It seems, however well-meaning, Sergeant Parata’s concerns are hypothetical; they are not based on historical evidence.But when it comes to glasses actually being used as, “weapons by intoxicated patrons heading into town after the event” there is documented history of just that! According to The Marlborough Express in February 2004 Blenheim winemaker “smashed a glass into another man's head” – on his way home from Wine Marlborough! The report continued, “Both the victim and the winemaker were taken to hospital and treated for their injuries.”Isn’t it then perverse and totally unfair that the glassware ban has been imposed on the beer festival but not on Wine Marlborough?Coherent enough for you?Geoff Griggs

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