Friday, July 04, 2008

Strange goings on in York

Just what is happening in York? Tim Hornsby - who founded and used to manage the legendary Fibbers venue in the city - has been attempting to open a new venue, The Duchess. We got an email earlier this morning from Andy, who told us about the troubles the Duchess were having getting a licence.

The Police, Fire Service and Council were - it appears - all happy, but a series of objections apparently coming from Barfly - who now own Fibbers - was throwing things off kilter by filing objections and ensuring the licence application was subject of a full enquiry. A post on the Duchess website attempted to rally local support in advance of the independent hearing:

If you really agree with opening the live music venue that everybody in York has wanted for so long; and if you genuinely believe that we pose no threat to public safety, local traders and neighbours or even our own customers, please drop us a quick line, start your own petition, anything! No vendettas or "boycott Fibbers stuff" please. Your messages of support will be presented to the enquiry.

All fair enough - and the post stressed that it was perfectly legal for Barfly to object and trigger this part of the process.

Curiously, though, that post has been removed and replaced:
We have received a solicitor's letter this morning from Barfly advising us to remove this news story.

Perhaps Barfly objected to the tone of the piece; maybe they just don't want the story playing out in public. But it seems a little unfair to insist that your rivals remove a story soliciting support for their campaign - especially when the Duchess had taken great care to ensure the focus was on support for their venue rather than a pointless war with the Barfly group.


Jim W said...

The first half of the original post was all "why does this multimillion pound Barfly chain hate our little company so much, they're going out of their way to stop us getting the license with pathetic objections".

Which, while hardly destroying their reputation makes the cease/desist letter more understandable if not justifiable...Tim just doesn't see any reason to destroy the name of Fibbers which he ran for almost two decades.

It is all a little farcical - York doesn't have much of a gig scenes with 'name' bands rarely visiting the town and 200-capacity Fibbers never selling loads of tickets. So Tim leaves to set up a new 500 capacity venue in an old snooker club literally, er, next door. I can't see both surviving and it seems more likely that Fibbers will lose out...

Jim W said...

But Facebook slanging matches by Barfly employees is equally unprofessional...

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