South Wales police are calling for two new “saturation zones” in the city, to cover Greyfriars Road and Churchill Way. The purpose of saturation zones is to restrict the number of licensed premises in a bid to counter a surge in alcohol-related violent crime. Greyfriars Road and Churchill way have been identified as burgeoning trouble spots, with almost five times as many reported incidents of violent crime this year than in 2009.
The plans would prevent anyone opening a new licensed premises in these areas, which would rule out any new live music venues. Of course, one way round such an obstacle (apart from simply opening a venue in a different part of the city), would be to open a live music bar that didn’t serve alcohol. Bring me coffee or tea, as Can would have it. It would be an extraordinarily unorthodox idea, but might be an answer if further saturation zones make it nearly impossible to open a new venue. It would also have the positive consequence of opening the venue to under age music fans.
There are no such plans yet, and even the above proposal has not yet been put into place, but hypothetically, the issue raises some good questions. Do you go to venues for the booze or the bands? Can you imagine an alcohol-free live music night?