Orchestra Forced to ‘Face the Music’ with a £10,000 Fine

Police in Liverpool broke up an outdoor orchestral performance of songs by US rapper and hip hop producer Dr Dre after several hundred concertgoers watched in “close proximity” with ‘complete disregard’ for COVID rules.

The organisers of Friday’s event at the 19th century-built Isla Gladstone Conservatory in Liverpool’s Stanley Park were fined €11,200 (£10,000) for the COVID-19 breach. It had been billed as “a combination of a traditional Orchestra merging with a modern live hip-hop music event” in which 2001, the second album of Dr Dre, would be performed.

£10,000 Fine
Police swooped on the 250-strong crowd at Dr Dre tribute concert in Liverpool. image. Twitter

Organisers ‘No Strings Attached’ had advertised the ticketed event would be operating under “strict COVID government guidelines”, however, Merseyside Police stepped in to close it down after receiving a report of concern at about 8.40 pm. The force posted a Tweet about the event being closed down.

The crowd of about 250 people was dispersed and licensing inquiries are underway, said police.

Superintendent Chris Gibson said, quote: “The vast majority of people who live and work in Merseyside will absolutely despair that such an event could be contemplated in our current circumstances. There were people in close proximity which lays bare the organisers’ blatant disregard for the serious health implications that this may now have for the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“We have additional policing resources across Merseyside and, as they have been since the start of the pandemic, our officers will be out engaging with the public, encouraging people to adhere to the new restrictions, explaining why it is so important and where necessary we will take enforcement action.

“The sacrifices that the vast majority of our communities continue to make are our only path out of this serious situation and we don’t underestimate how difficult it is to keep going. But the people of Merseyside will have to come together, follow the new rules and act responsibly. It is simply the only way we can hope to return to some form of normality.”

Another £10,000 fine was handed out by Greater Manchester Police to the organiser of a wedding party at licensed premises in Longsight, Manchester, on Thursday night.

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Tony Winterburn

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