Promoters slam 30-hour closure of Jack’s Bar

Bar owner, Darren (Jack) Barry speaks with a senior police officer during last week's raid. (Darren Coyne)

Bar owner, Darren (Jack) Barry speaks with a senior police officer during last week’s raid. (Darren Coyne)

By Darren Coyne

Organisers of two events in Lismore have been left thousands of dollars out of pocket after police slapped a 30-hour closure order on Jack’s Bar in Lismore.

The closure order came just a week after 25 police raided the bar, prompting accusations that the venue was being unfairly targeted because the licensee refused to sign the local Local Accord.

Acccording to documents served on the licensee, Richmond Local Area Command Detective Chief Inspector Cameron Lindsey applied for the closure order on 3 March, the day before a protest party was set to take place at Jack’s Bar.

The gathering had been organized by members of Third Eye Productions, who are involved in a legal battle with Richmond Valley Council over the attempted cancellation of a new year’s eve outdoor party at Rapville.

Another party, organized by Just Cause events, was set to feature Spanish DJ Reeko but also had to be cancelled because of the police order notice.

In their application, police claimed that the closure was necessary ‘to prevent or reduce a significant threat or risk to the public interest’.

‘Briefly, the applicant contends, on the basis of the information and other material contained in the Application, that there is a strong indication that management, staff and the licensee are aware of the supply and possession of drugs on the premises and that the business operator and licensee have actively assisted some persons in possession of prohibited drugs at the premises to avoid detection by NSW Police’.

Bar owner, Darren (Jack) Barry has denied the bar was being used to distribute drugs, with last week’s raid resulting in police finding only small amounts of cannabis dumped by patrons when police raided the bar.

Mr Barry believes his business is being unfairly targeted because he has refused to join the local Liquor Accord.

In a post on Facebook, the organizer on Saturday night’s event featuring Reeko, slammed the police.

Kevin Riddell said the closure followed ‘more than a year of highly inappropriate and continual harassment by licensing police to force the venue to become part of the Liquor Accord which the venue has NO legal obligation to oblige’.

‘They have had an inappropriately high presence at events held there by external promoters simply to put pressure on the venue owners, making the events uncomfortable for patrons who have attended, thus obviously lessening the attendance for future events and placing even more pressure on the venue through loss of income – and sadly, also on the promoters who stick their necks out to put on events there,’ Mr Riddell said.

‘During my own conversation with senior licensing officer Wayne Crotty on the night of Resonate on Boxing Day last year, I asked him what would stop him from pressuring the venue, because it’s costing me money as an outside promoter and it all seems a bit extreme.

‘He said that all would be fine if the venue simply joined the Liquor Accord.

‘The situation is black and white – the venue is being pressured with heavy handed tactics to either force them into signing up with the Liquor Accord or else force them out of business.

‘Either way, it’s absolute extreme harassment of the highest order.’

Echonetdaily has attempted to contact the licensing officer Wayne Crotty with no success.


4 responses to “Promoters slam 30-hour closure of Jack’s Bar”

  1. Mez Merrit says:

    Important to note Jacks bar only received a copy of the “application”, they were never ordered to close by the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority – meaning the application was unsuccessful, most likely due to lack of evidence.

    None the less, it appears Jacks bar was cooperative and compliant with the Police and closed the bar anyway without appealing the application. I think this action fully demonstrates Jacks bar have no issues with the laws which govern licensed establishments and are 100% cooperative with authorities.

    High-Fives Jacks bar! And thanks EchoNet for covering the continuing story of vexatious litigation against EDM venues that no other media outlet dares to! xx

  2. Hannah says:

    I was present on Friday the 26th of Febuary when the 25 police raided the bar and would like to add that their statement claiming they are ‘protecting the community’ from threatening situations involving drug use is crap!
    200 people were sent outside into the main street to wait until the raid was over. 200 people were seen laughing, talking, looking upset and somewhat annoyed, maybe even angry but NOT FIGHTING!
    After 2 hours of standing around, the crowd either dispersed elsewhere, home or were still waiting patiently to go back inside the bar.
    I don’t know about anyone else but from my years of experience with Lismore nightlife, there are usually fights and plenty of aggression seen on that street!
    I do not know of one fight that was heard or seen. If the people really are a threat then why were they calmer, nicer and friendlier than your average night in Lismore?
    I can even recal ABC’s four corners program running an episode on the violence that is present in Lismore… Except not on this night with a different scene just trying to have fun! Everyone who was there is aware of this including the police present but they rely on these details not getting heard and not being believed!!!

  3. Angus says:

    Police get all the respect they deserve.

  4. Pellie More says:

    Police are getting more and more over the top, especially in Sydney and the northern rivers areas. Something must change as they are turning into massive bullies who don’t seem to be serving the people but more so threatening and arresting the people as much as they can.

    Cops have lost a lot of community support and respect from their actions.

    I believe this has been happening more and more because of the leaders/bosses of NSW police. Something must be done to replace all the hierarchy imo.

    Venues and civil rights are being taken away from us left right and centre. Not to mention how much money the government and police are wasting sending so many police to go bushwalking to find natures plants to destroy, and hardly ever convicting anyone from when they destruct plants. What a waste of money and resources. Especially when so many other places all around the world are relaxing their cannabis laws.

    We need a change of government or police bosses and ministers, these guys aren’t here for us, they are here for their own egos and agendas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers.