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Emergency Meeting Solves Mad Friday Puzzle

Tuesday October 25 2011

PUBS and clubs in the town centre say this year is the first in 17 years they will have to promote Mad Friday due to the wholesale confusion surrounding the date.

At a crisis meeting held this afternoon (Tuesday, October 25) the members of the town centre Pub Watch agreed that Mad Friday will be taking place on December 16.

Pubwatch Chairman Danny Stuart, who runs Voudoo, Retro, Chambers and Igloo, said: "It's the first time in 17 years that we have had to do something like this - but we have had to step in because of all the confusion around the date.

"Mad Friday has to be the week before, the 23rd just leaves it too late. It's been all over Facebook and no-one knew when the date was.

"We had the meeting this afternoon and all decided that Mad Friday is the 16th - that's when we will be doing all the party promotions across the town centre. I'm sure the 23rd will still be a good night out - but it isn't Mad Friday. Mad Friday is the start of the wind down, it can't be any later than the 16th."

There's been widespread confusion as to the date that 'Mad Friday' the traditional Barnsley party night falls on this year. The council Christmas party (traditionally known as BIMBOs) will be held on December 16 in Escapade.

If you just can't wait: here's a video we shot last year to show you all the Mad Friday goodness :-)


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Reply Posted by Guestymcguest on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 12:35
So glad you are giving so much press to this embarrassment to the town, busiest day of the year, for pubs, and door staff, and police in the town and emergency services will get their largest influx of alcohol related incidents for the year.

I used to work in a bar on "mad Friday" and I as well as most other people who have ever worked one will probably tell you they hated it. Too many people packed into pubs some seeing it as an excuse to act absolutely disgracefully. Too many people that cant handle their beer, getting into fights, being sick, smashing glasses littering the streets.

The only people profiting are the breweries and bar owners, where as the bar staff, door staff the police and the emergency services get to babysit once a year drunken town goers for around 14+hours, whilst Barnsley town centre becomes a no go area for anyone not interested in getting drunk.  Well done We Are Barnsley glad you saw fit to dedicate the time to have an "emergency meeting" and clear up this important matter.   Filming people that can barely speak due to drink isn't something I would want to be used when trying to raise the image of the town.

Reply Posted by on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 14:10
Hello Guesty - We Are Barnsley didn't have the emergency meeting. Pubwatch did. And, love it or hate it, Mad Friday is a valuable part of the night-time economy and a time-honoured tradition for some locals. I personally am tee-total - but I still go out Mad Friday to be with my friends...

Reply Posted by Miss.N on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 14:19
I have to agree that Mad Friday is not a great night. It is known as the night where loads of bad stuff happens. I would stay as far away from town on Mad Friday as possible. Terrible occasion in my eyes.

Reply Posted by Loubie on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 14:24
Not everyone are idiots...... what about the people who go out just for a good time..... you get idiots out on any night of the week, it just makes me laugh that because you in particular arnt interested in this day that no one else should be..... what about all the football matches that take up police time, and boxing matches, and horse racing and so on and so on people get equally as drunk on these days! Appears we have a bah humbug on our hands here!!

Reply Posted by Head Doorman on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 14:28
I've worked as a doorman for 20 years and this is by far the worst day of the year, highlighted by the fact that now, not only have we alcohol to contend with but the MKat warriors who seem to think that the only good night is to spoil someone else's.  Gone are the days when 'Mad Friday' was a celebration and get together, it's now merely an excuse to see how much people can drink, fight and put strain on the emergency services and of course our goodselves whilst we try and provide a secure environment for the good people.  

Reply Posted by Big Gav Bfc on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 14:31
Load of crap they kno that folks will go out both dates I will b out in the 23 not the week before!
I think bar owners ar just trying to cash in also I don't break up until the 23 like alot of people!

Reply Posted by Abenson1975 on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 14:31
Also don't forget the poor taxi drivers that have to pick all these people up. Most of which are self employed and if someone is sick in their cab they have to go home which means no wages :(

Reply Posted by Guestymcguest on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 14:44
I'm afraid I've got to disagree, it's valuable to no one other than the owners of the bars  and breweries as I said before and I think  they should be footing the bill for the cleanups, medical support and policing. As for time honored tradition it's been going on probably less than 20 years so hardly time honored and putting tradition in front of something doesn't make it a good thing either. Its going to take something bad happening like a death serous injury for the local council and/or police to step in. You did not mention anything about the state that the town is left in after the event afterwards either. The vomit and blood on the pavements, the urine in the shop fronts greggs pasties and pizza boxes scattered all over the streets, the vandalism that will have taken place, oh but let that go it's a "time honored tradtion in Barnsley" Go to Barnsley District and General on your way home this mad friday do a we are barnsley report from a nurses perspective now that I would like to see.

Reply Posted by nicky on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 15:10
Hello Guesty - We Are Barnsley didn't have the emergency meeting. Pubwatch did. And, love it or hate it, Mad Friday is a valuable part of the night-time economy and a time-honoured tradition for some locals. I personally am tee-total - but I still go out Mad Friday to be with my friends...

Reply Posted by Guestymcguest on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 15:11
Loubie, work one and then see who's bah humbug.  To be fair they were a good laugh when it was bimbos. But now they are out of control too many people can't handle their booze, not everyone is an idiot but there are definitely a lot more of them out on mad Friday.

Reply Posted by on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 15:39
And that's a report I'd be happy to do, if they'd let me. The fact is I will always try to be positive about our town - of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion and you clearly speak from experience Guesty. But the nightlife economy is a local business too. WAB is here to support and inform our community - it's for the locals to decide whether or not the event is for them :-) Thanks for your insight though, it's interesting to hear about it from someone who has 'worked' it. (I worked in a pub in Hoyland when I was younger and remember Christmas occasions well.)

Reply Posted by on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 15:40
Mkat Warriors? How'd you mean? People spiking drinks? :-(

Reply Posted by JG on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 17:11
Well Guesty I have worked in several of the bars in town for a large proportion of my adult life until I went into teaching and I admit I didn't look forward to working it because it's exactly what it says on the tin 'mad'! But, perhaps unlike you, I didn't look forward to it because of the insanely long hours I'd be working, running up and down to change barrels and deliver change from one bar to the next whilst treading on a flooded and glass strewn floor behind the bar for 10 hours plus. However, we had relatively low levels of violence and problems in comparison with serving hours of weekend nights.
I do agree with you that whilst I worked in the bar I used to say I'd never go out on a Mad Friday but then proceeded to go out for every single one since I have left so I can't have disliked them that much.
I do not agree that bars should have to foot the bill, they pay tax on their takings and this pays for police, street cleaning etc. If their takings are up, they pay more tax and so on and so forth.
It has to have been going on for longer than 20 years, Gents has been closed most of my life and I'm knocking on for 30 now.
The first aid tent in Peel Square will have really taken the onus off of the hospital but I'd like you to go and visit A&E on a regular Friday/Saturday/Sunday day/night. An influx of people off of work, not all alcohol related.
I enjoy Mad Friday and it's not half as busy as it used to be and if it continues to decline at the rate it has been then the issues you have raised will have less of an impact then surely. However, it mean mean bars will close, people will lose jobs, less people will come into Barnsley, the nightlife is already a shadow of how it used to be, do you really want to see it empty every night of the week whilst we all sit in watching Strictly?!
I have been going out in the town centre for 10 years now, I have never been in a fight, have never been sick in the street, have never been arrested and have never had to go to A&E for anything alcohol related. I get drunk and often fall off of my stupidly high shoes but I drag myself home well enough as do the large majority of people who frequent the town. What you have described are the minority and it's those minorities that give us a bad name.
People in this town should be promoting it. (Plus, it's not just a Barnsley thing by the way)

Reply Posted by JG on Wednesday October 26 2011 at 17:23
They are businesses and will have to make a profit but the main reason is that breweries don't do deliveries on Christmas Eve so the bars would need to order enough stock for Mad Friday, Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, and pay for it up front. If you have seen how crap town is lately it's difficult for the smaller bars to save enough money to pay for three big days worth of stock. Having it the Friday before means they can then order stock for Christmas Eve and boxing day with the profits from Mad Friday.

Reply Posted by Head Doorman on Thursday October 27 2011 at 08:02
The now predominant drug on the streets, cheap horrible plant food that does what it says on the tin, turns ppl into plants!!  

Reply Posted by Guestymcguest on Thursday October 27 2011 at 09:34
couple of points.

SR Gents closed down in 2005, not that long ago. 

Yes pubs pay taxes on their profits but that is not a separate tax to clean up the streets it could be better spent elsewhere. every business pays tax on their earnings  A village pub is taxed the same way as a town centre bar, so is a shop.

As far as helping the economy half the bars in town are empty throughout the week and employ only part-time workers so not doing that much, saying that I go out in Barnsley over the weekend and enjoy it just not mad Friday.

As for the strain on resources and as your opinion is that there are low levels of violence on mad Friday, why is there such a police presence then? The police will not allow leave on this day to anyone. The NHS will triple their staffing at the hospital, and as you put the tent in peel square for first aid, why would this be needed?

official figures from the NHS show that between 12pm and 5am 70% of all A & E cases are alcohol related, I couldn't find any figures specifically related to mad friday I can tell you this though, all security guards, which were only introduced in the late 90s to deal with trouble causes btw will be on duty at Barnsley General on Mad Friday.

The NHS now spends 2.7 billion pounds a year now on Alcohol related injury/illness, I ask you is that okay?

Saying that I have not been out on mad friday for coming on 4 years and was properly disgusted the last time I went out (it was only for a couple of hours before going to a gig in  manchester) that I said I wouldn't go on one again. So if it's declining then I think it's for the better, it was allowed to get too big and was not managed properly.  This year should be better as it's the 16th therefore some people won't be able to go, what's wrong with people going out on the 23rd anyway? it will spread the crowds and make it more manageable.

To all those that say I should avoid town on the 16th, why should I? it's my town and I have as much say in what goes on as anyone else.

Working 7 years behind a town centre bar I pretty much saw it all, and what I saw wasn't always particularly nice on Mad Friday.

Reply Posted by Guestymcguest on Thursday October 27 2011 at 09:49
Hi Nicky, why not get on touch with the hospital then? you could do interviews of the nurses and the patients, get an honest opinion on it from the services side of things, you could cover things like how many staff are on their opinions on mad friday, film the waiting room and find out the costs and impacts of mad friday on the services? if you could do it impartially then theres no way it could be a bad thing.

Reply Posted by nicky on Thursday October 27 2011 at 12:13
I have a meeting with them on Friday. This is something we have asked to do before: but there has always been problems with liability and consent...

Reply Posted by Nycbnb on Thursday October 27 2011 at 21:45
As a venue Manager in the town centre, can I just point out to Guestymcguest that we pay thousands of pounds per year in rates which by far covers our share of income to the authorities to deal with clean ups etc....

Reply Posted by B* on Tuesday December 6 2011 at 13:23
"Not everyone are idiots"

Reply Posted by Guestymcguest on Thursday December 22 2011 at 22:35
rates? everybody pays rates, as far as im aware you dont pay a pick the drunk off the street tax.