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Gatecrasher Respond To Fake Vodka Guilty Verdict



After reports that long established clubbing brand Gatecrasher had been found guilty by Leeds Magistrate Court of selling industrial alcohol as vodka at a student freshers event in their Bed nightclub in Leeds the clubbing community were understandably outraged.  The court saw fit to hand Gatecrasher Clubs & Bars Limited a £5000 fine in addition to £2095.67 costs after on the night of 11th September 2012 officers of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service visited Bed nightclub on New Briggate, Leeds as a result of a complaint that the premises was selling counterfeit vodka. Trading standards officers then claim to have found 656 litres of fake spirit labelled as “Premium vodka”, which the manager had just removed from sale that evening as a result of customer complaints.

Now Data Transmission has received an email from Gatecrasher to address what it feels were misleading parts of the governmental agencies report  and provided a statement detailing the promoters version of accounts which can be found below. So it’s now up to you who you believe on the matter, trading standards or Gatecrasher but what we do know is that either way there was a sizeable amount of counterfeit alcohol on the premises and we’re just thankful that no one was poisoned as a result.

“Further to misleading reports on the trading standards web-site Gatecrasherwould like to address reports about one of its former venues selling counterfeit alcohol.

In 2012, Gatecrasher Bars and Clubs Ltd used a second tier reputable and registered supplier called Midnight Tipples to purchase house Vodka for its Leeds venue. Most clubs use discount Vodka brands for student events.

The club had an existing two-year relationship with the London-based supplier. Midnight Tipples currently serves hundreds of private buyers and many bars, clubs, restaurants, off licences and promoters nationwide.

Gatecrasher was not involved in any back-door ‘cash deals’ for alcohol, the supplier is a VAT registered company who came highly recommended.

Gatecrasher carries out stringent ABV (Alcohol by Volume) tests and also independently taste tests all on its new alcohol products from third party suppliers. All previous ABV and taste tests carried out on alcohol provided by this supplier had passed.

Although an ABV test had not been carried out on the vodka, a taste test was carried out at the bar as soon as the club opened. The manager immediately realised the product was sub-standard and removed the vodka from sale.

The vodka the Trading Standards found on September 2012 was in a storeroom for disposal later that evening. No vodka was ever sold.

Simon Raine, MD of Gatecrasher commented “It is unfair that the actions of a third party supplier now call in to question our reputation. It is unacceptable that we have been prosecuted when the  supplier’s court case has yet to take place. Gatecrasher will seek legal recourse against the supplier and may appeal against the Trading Standard ruling.

We want to assure our customers  that they can continue to feel confident and safe in all of our venues. The actions of this supplier represent a complete violation of our company’s values and standards. We will not tolerate actions that undermine the trust of our customers and call into question the reputation we have built up over the past 20 years.

Gatecrasher no longer uses second tier suppliers and only buys directly from brands. Only branded vodka is used at its venues.”


Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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