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Thursday 13 October 2011

How licensing tried to stop B.N.O.

If anyone hasn't heard the gutting news, the licensing authority for Lincolnshire have forced the B.N.O. bar crawl to postpone for a month - kicking off 48 hours before the event. B.N.O. is run by my good friend Mike, who's put so much work into it and is now fighting for the bar crawl to be held, working with licensing to make it possible. To put the rumors to bed I'll explain what's going on, as he can't really speak freely at this stage.

The licensing objections were regarding two phrases on the advertising, said to encourage binge drinking. The first was 'beer pong'. Beer pong is a game where opponents try to knock ping pong balls into pint glasses with a tiny bit of beer in the bottom to make the opponent drink. This game is slow paced and designed so that players don't have the opportunity to drink dangerously, and occurs at bars in Lincoln regularly - unfortunately, licensing don't understand this, and have claimed this completely legal game to be a breach of the 'no drinking games' rule for bars.

The second objection is to the bars giving complementary shots to punters. Anybody who's witnessed full glass bottles of vodka being given to punters by Lincoln bars will recognize that this is laughably tame. Instead of allowing B.N.O. to contact its participants stating changes to the advertisement and an apology, they have threatened participating bars with 20,000 pound fines if they host the crawl. The sickening thing is, B.N.O. would never have found out about this sickening behavior if it wasn't for a voicemail message from a bar asking what was going on - the B.N.O.ers would have all arrived on the night only to be turned away from every venue. All this happened 48 hours before the event.

Understandably, Mike, his team and all BNO's guests have been devastated by all of this, but there's another angle to the situation. The attack on B.N.O. was started by another company, who want to maintain their monopoly on bar crawls. They seem to have underestimated the persistence of the B.N.O. team.

The good news is that B.N.O. is happening next month, better and stronger than ever, and all those who've bought wristbands will be able to go, so fear not B.N.O.ers!

On the bright side, I'm up a page on youtube!

Sam x

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