WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PROMOTERS FLYPOST

Info vs. Humour – you decide

You may want to skip this next one as it’s about flyposting, is a bit boring & is up here to highlight the type of everyday, behind the scenes stuff you have to do to run a Club & protect your reputation (assuming you care about that & at WHQ we do).

If you want laughs, there are a tonne of funnier scenarios in the Corner if you keep moving.

That said, we have done a half arse job of funnying this up a slice recently, to make it more accessible, as it’s an important point we make – so it’s your call.

Skip it, or give it a go & see how you get on…

(Editor’s note: Though it appears in the midst of it, this aforementioned ‘funnying up’ was actually the final act, in the creation of this website & took place at 5am on launch day – Let’s cut them a break…!)

Whenever we get an opportunity to do so, we always want to represent ourselves correctly & challenge any misconceptions, or negative assumptions anyone may make about us.

This is especially important as we are an underground Club. As such, many people in this city have never been to, or even heard of World HQ & therefore may have at best second hand information, or very often, absolutely no idea whatsoever, of what it is we actually do…

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So rather than be lumped in with other places, we always take the time to ensure that people understand our commitment & the fact that we acknowledge our responsibilities as a business.

They just have to get their heads around understanding that we do good stuff on our own terms, unique within (& yet also separate from), the rest of the city’s night time economy.

In doing that, we always aim to operate without contributing to & always challenging, the negative preconceptions Newcastle nightclubs in general may be (sometimes deservedly) tarnished with.

One of the reasons we built & wrote this site, is to help promote shows at the Club, so we can advertise events without littering & messing up the city. We have evolved since Edinburgh in the 1980’s (see History). Times have changed & we do things differently now in 2017.

Here is a letter we got in 2011 from a local Councillor, our reply & other replies from the various people who were copied in on the original correspondence…

 

Hankerchiefs at the ready.

To WHQ  – from a City Councillor 

Dear Sir,

Please find enclosed a copy of an A3 flyer found in the underpass between Windsor Place & the footpath to Jesmond Parish Church.

As you will be aware fly-posting is illegal. I would be grateful if you could draw this to the attention of those who are responsible for your venue’s publicity, so that this does not happen again.

Yours sincerely, Councillor Namechanged.

Cc: Councillor Other Dude, Mr Me As Well, Licensing Authority.

 

Earplugs at the ready….

From WHQ  – our reply to the City Councillor  Dear Mr Namechanged.

Thanks for your recent letter (enclosed) that you sent us, having found an A3 poster advertising an event at our premises in an underpass.

(Reader’s voice: Yeah it was a wee bit…)

Having taken on board the tone of your letter, we feel you might be assured by a little background information on our operation. With this in mind we would be very grateful if you could take the time to read the content of this letter & then give us a little more detailed information regarding this matter around the points below.

Could you, let us know the following relevant information please? When the poster was found. Whether it was lying on the ground, or if it was attached to to a wall in any way. If it was attached to a wall, how it was in fact attached (sellotape, glue, blue tack, pinned etc.).

Please feel free to either write to us, drop us an e mail, or give us a call to let us know at your convenience. We would greatly appreciate that, as we will obviously be taking the matter up with the person concerned.

For your own information, you are totally correct, in that we are fully aware that fly posting is illegal in Newcastle. We really couldn’t be more aware, as we have a 27 year career (Editor’s note: it’s now 2017, so it’s 33 now actually…) in independently operating unique Public Houses & Nightclubs in the city centre since 1984.

During that time our Managing Director served for many years as Pubwatch Committee Treasurer & accepted an invitation to sit on the City Centre Panel, also spening time as a member of the Licensing Advisory Group.

At present, as well as operating our Multiracial Arts Venue at Curtis Mayfield House, he is the Independent Chairman of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Audit Committee & a Director of NE1, the Business Improvement District Company for Newcastle City Centre.

As I hope you are able to tell from our background & the many unpaid activities with which we involve ourselves, in order to give something back to our home city, we are great fans, cheerleaders & advocates for Newcastle. The last thing we wish to see is it littered via illegal fly posting.

It is with this in mind that we strive to always operate our venue in what we feel to be a totally responsible way, as an example of best practice. This belief was endorsed by both the City Council & Magistrates Courts in their granting of our 5am licence some years ago, which is still to the best of our knowledge, the latest Nightclub premises licence in the City.

With regard to this specific incident, we attach for your further information a copy of the hire agreement for rental of our premises. A copy of this was filled in & signed, in advance of the event being promoted, by the independent promoter who hired our venue to present the event in question.

This was done during a face to face meeting with us, when every clause within the contract was read out to the promoter & discussed & explained to him in full, as outlined in clause 39.

This hire agreement document has in the past been supplied by us to another venue in Newcastle, for them to copy & implement, upon the suggestion of an officer of the City Council Licensing Department.

All promoters who put on the diverse array of musical & cultural events we regularly host, sign a copy of this agreement prior to us hiring them the venue. Whilst the entire document makes an interesting read, we draw your attention to clause 10 in particular…


10. The hirer agrees that no fly posting or attaching of billboards to lampposts or buildings with relation to the event shall take place. Nor shall any publicity be attached to any telephone kiosks, underpass or other public place controlled by the City Council.

It is also mandatory that anyone distributing flyers for this event must obtain and display a Flyer License, as issued by Newcastle City Council. Should this be contravened, the hirer agrees to reimburse Newcastle/ or the relevant City Council / organisation for the cost of the removal of said posters, boards etc.

Also Chalk or painted murals may not be placed in public view relating to the event as this also is not permitted.

As you can clearly see, we take our responsibilities seriously & clearly communicate them to all the many promoters we work with.

In fact for many, many years prior to our receipt of your letter, in which you instruct us to ‘draw this fact to the attention of those responsible for your venues publicity,’ we have already been doing so.

Having thought objectively about this issue, I hope you will also be able to take on board that it is not realistically possible for us to ensure that ‘this does not happen again’.

We can only put in place best practice, to ensure the chances of it ever happening again are minimised & ensure that if the clearly understood & communicated rules are contravened, we make it as easy as possible for the Licensing Department to apprehend the offenders, with both the minimum of fuss & the minimum of cost.

With that in mind, from our experience, the usual and established protocol in an incident such as this, would be for the City Council’s Licensing Department to give us a call, alerting us to the problem, or perhaps drop us a line with a digital photo of the offending poster in place.

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This initial contact would contain the additional information we request from you on page one of this letter.

We would then immediately hand deliver them the relevant signed hire contract to the Civic Centre, so they can easily identify the perpetrator, with a correct name, address & telephone number.

That way we can be sure that they have everything to hand that they would need to reprimand, or even prosecute the offender & thus help speed up the investigation process for Council officers.

Due to this proactive strategy, occasions of fly posting occurring as a result of events held at our premises are very rare, especially given the fact that we regularly work with more independent promoters, than the majority of the city’s other nightclubs put together.

(Editor’s note: Having never intended to simply ‘push our buttons,’ the Councillor was now sincerely hoping to find the ‘Mute’ one…)

If ever this has regrettably taken place in the past, every effort on our part has been made to rectify the situation & the WHQ hire agreement has evolved over time, to keep pace with any new trends that have popped up (i.e. chalking advertising murals in subways etc.), to try to prevent any recurrence.

So, we trust this puts your mind at rest to a degree & you realise that despite the appearance of this single A3 poster, the policing & enforcing of this type of matter in relation to WHQ & Curtis Mayfield House is taken very seriously by us.

Wherever possible we in fact go out of our way to make strategies & relations between ourselves & Licensing Officers as effective as they can be, in dealing efficiently with this type of incident.

If at any time in future you would like to discuss issues around reducing fly posting etc. in Newcastle & the surrounding areas, we would be happy to have a chat with you & share the ideas & potential solutions we could suggest around this issue.

(Editor’s note: That they never took us up on, thus the problem in relation to other venues still remains)

We look forward to receiving the relevant information requested & invite you to have a read through our website at www.welovewhq.com so that you are aware of the kind of business we run & what it has represented in Newcastle, spanning the last three decades.

Thanks again for getting in touch Mr. Namechanged.

We realise that you were simply acting in what you saw to be the public interest & we can fully appreciate & endorse that.

Assuring you & all Council representatives of our fullest cooperation at all times.

Best wishes,

World Headquarters Ltd.

Cc: Cc: Councillor Other Dude, Mr Me As Well, Licensing Authority.

Encl. Original communication from yourself & a copy of the WHQ Hire Agreement.

 

Hark..! The penny drops………

To WHQ  – the reply we then got from the City Councillor 

Firstly thank your for your in-depth response. It is greatly appreciated!

To answer the questions directly, the poster was attached to the wall of the underpass from Windsor Place to the path leading to Jesmond Parish Church with blu tack.

(Reader’s voice: Errr… Hello..?!)

I seem to recall it was there last Thursday. There may be a clue in that a couple of days later a poster for Newcastle Uni’s Fine Arts Department was in the same place, also attached with Blu Tack – but I am no Poirot!

I would like to stress no personal slight was intended, as you show, your own procedures are robust, indeed I am convinced this is a one off, and I fear the culprit will possibly not know they have done wrong!

I do hope that you understand though (pardon the pun) my rather curt letter is sent to you, I am absolutely of the knowledge that WHQ is a model business model if you see what I mean – all your satisfied customers formally in Marlborough Crescent, now in Carliol Square, are testament to that!

Again, thanks for such an in depth and fulsome response!  Councillor Name change.

 

When you’ve got the skills – flash them…

(Editors note: What follows is the greatest Student related, historic photo, topical local shop & community hub, interracial inclusion, image rollover… of all time)

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To WHQ – another reply we got from another Councillor who had been copied in

I just wanted to add my perspective to this. I’m not sure whether this leaflet was attached to anything or had just been dropped in the subway.

Our area (South Jesmond) does get a fair amount of fly-posting at times. However in the 10 years I’ve been representing Jesmond I can’t ever recall encountering posters or even unsolicited flyers concerning World Headquarters. It’s fair to say we’ve had fairly serious problems with most other venues however.

(The Jesmond Ghetto – Pictured earlier last century)

(Editors note: Having seen the rollover, the student community of Newcastle now stands & applauds in unison, loving WHQ unreservedly forever)

If someone hiring the venue has offended it’s certainly a one off.

Given the very proactive approach explained in WHQ’s letter of 25th May I’m not at all surprised we’ve never had any problems.

Thanks for your diligence, Councillor Manor House Cavendish, South Jesmond Councillor.

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& The moral of the story is…

So the fallout of what happens when promoters flypost & why we try to make sure they don’t, is that we have to write to people, explaining ourselves in detail, to ensure they are aware & reminded that we run a cool place, that isn’t gonna be a thorn in their side.

Since this exchange we have had to add stickers into the clause of our hire agreement we quote above, after one of our promoters put a load of stickers all over town & they all had to be taken down again.

You just have to constantly try to keep on top of things, as best you can & we always will.

That’s just the way it is, the way it has always been (in our World) & therefore, that’s the always gonna be deal with us.