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G-A-Y owner Jeremy Joseph condemns Super Saturday as a Disaster
Jeremy Joseph, the owner of London club G-A-Y, has branded overcrowding in Soho last night (July 4) as a disaster – and lashed out at the government for easing lockdown restrictions too early.

Jospeh was just one of many people who expressed concern last night when videos and photos circulated on social media showing huge crowds gathered in Soho, which is home to a number of queer venues.

In a statement posted to Facebook, Joseph said the easing of lockdown restrictions was “a complete disaster”.

G-A-Y owner Jeremy Joseph slammed the UK government for easing lockdown restrictions on a Saturday.

He spoke of his own discomfort at the photos and videos circulating online, and said Old Compton Street was “uncontrollable”.

“One can hope it was a one off, but inside venues was a different story,” he said. “It was seated, screens in between tables, limited numbers inside and background music.”

He said it was “obvious” that the streets in London would be packed, and slammed the government for significantly easing lockdown restrictions on a Saturday.

“It should have been a soft opening on Monday,” he said.

Joseph said the only way bars can survive is if customers adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Meanwhile, others have suggested that the focus on Soho – an area popular among queer people – is unfair when other areas suffered overcrowding too.

It is ‘crystal clear’ that drunk people cannot or will not socially distance.

The controversy comes as pubs, hairdressers and other businesses were allowed to re-open yesterday (July 4) as a part of government easing of lockdown restrictions.

However, 31 per cent of pubs, bars and restaurants have chosen not to re-open this weekend, according to the Night-Time Industries Association.

BBC News reports that many pub and nightclub owners chose to keep their doors closed for the first weekend due to fears about maintaining social distancing.

The chairman of the Police Federation John Apter said it was “crystal clear” that pub-goers will not adhere to the one-metre social distancing rule.

Apter was working in Southampton last night, where he observed “naked men, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights and more angry drunks”, according to The Guardian.

He said that drunk people “can’t/won’t” socially distance and said there had been issues in some areas where police officers were assaulted.
Note: No trees were destroyed in the sending of this contaminant free message. However, I do concede, a significant number of electrons may have been inconvenienced.
[-] The following 1 member Likes andy's post:
  • eastofeden

Basically everything went wrong with the reopening in the US. New Infections are skyrocketing and it’s mostly young people - those who go to bars... I’m very sad to see that BJ is back to being his stupid self, ruling undisturbed by common sense, bad examples (that’s the US) or even science.

Being gay is not for Sissies.
[-] The following 2 members Like Bhp91126's post:
  • andy, eastofeden

The US has really handled the reopening poorly. States opened up too early, and now those states have skyrocketing numbers of new cases.

Here in NJ, we were supposed to have indoor dining again, but two days before that was supposed to happen, our governor cancelled it due to the large increases in other states.
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[-] The following 2 members Like CellarDweller's post:
  • andy, eastofeden

So bad they rushed it! I think the governments were just trying to avoid having to pay any more Furlough cover payments! So cheapscate... 6 months would have been a much safer timescale!
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[-] The following 1 member Likes andy's post:
  • eastofeden

At my job, we've been told we'll be working from home until at least September. Even then, there will be a restricted return to the office, with certain people coming in, and others staying home.
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[-] The following 2 members Like CellarDweller's post:
  • andy, eastofeden

people are letting their guards down....Cafes and restaurants are packed with people with no evident social distancing...tables are very close to each other. I fear a new wave will come too soon here...
[-] The following 2 members Like seeking's post:
  • andy, eastofeden

Ah - probably a long post here. 

As some of you already know - I was a bartender in a very busy gay club back in the 70s=80s-90s - almost 20 years and five nights a week for almost all of it.

I rarely have told anyone this next part because I was so damn mad it took me probably two years to stop ranting about it - my poor husband is a saint - really - and I did thank him for letting me go on but told him next time just slap me and tell me to STFU Big Grin I have calmed down now enough to talk about it without getting enraged. 

Bars and Clubs have their own dynamics as does everything else in life and people who have no idea what the dynamics are really shouldn't make any rules for them. If you are gonna take the time to play Ms Nancy you could easily find someone who is suited for the role. - and that is the source of my anger then - and now after reading this.  

Back then we got two punches in a row. The first punch - no one is allowed to smoke. While I agreed with the rule - try telling someone who is drinking and used to smoking they can't do it anymore - especially when you are already tired and worn out from too many years at a job NO ONE should do over 2 years - it is almost like being forced to eat shit because you are going to get abuse - and we all got lots of abuse bartending. BUT - that wasn't even the breaking point. 

The fine people in Sacramento decided as a "gift" to the LGBT and Minority communities we would be the lucky first ones to go to a class training us all for a week how to cut people off because the new law states that if a person leaves your club and crashes into a car or kills someone the bartender and bar is now responsible - and our reward was to get CERTIFIED (in other words we are now officially responsible) HUH? WTF! Half of the people come in after already having drinks and then alot of others are on drugs of some sort which impairs them so even one drink and they have an accident means we lose everything. THAT was my last straw. 

Not only that - I asked my friends who worked at restaurants or hotels or straight bars if they had been told of any such rule and they said NO and of course NO RULES = NO CERTIFICATION = NO RESPONSIBILITY - and then I wondered if you were only responsible IF you got the week long class? But again - how nice it was to educate just the LGBT and Minorities and make us solely responsible.  Dodgy I never forget that there are people around who want to undermine us because we are LGBT and "sinning in the eyes of god" - I never forget because they don't let me.

So FF to today - 


There is NO WAY ANYONE DRINKING IS GOING TO RESPECT SOCIAL DISTANCING! Bars are NOT a place where social distancing is gonna happen.

Cases of Covid-19 traced to bars here are insane - through the roof - and the obnoxious people STILL don't care. 

I am now convinced that anyone who thinks that masks and social distancing are not relevant are either narcissists, sociopaths or psychopaths because essentially you are saying you don't give a damn if you kill someone else. 

Bars and Gyms and Movie Theaters and Concerts - NO - JUST NO. This is a pandemic - they have been around since the beginning and there will be more to follow. Some things are just going to have to change and keeping bars closed is one of them.

I pity the poor bartenders who try to enforce any of the rules with people who clearly don't give a damn and are dangerous if they are drinking or on drugs. 

Gay bars would especially be prudent to keep closed as they are highlighting them. There have been alot of cases of straight bars reported here as well BTW

END OF RANT! Angry Angry Angry
[-] The following 5 members Like eastofeden's post:
  • , , andy, Bookworm, seeking

eastofeden - its hard to argue with someone who has so much insight and time served in the pub/club industry - you are the type of person i wish our government had talked to before doing super Saturday here in the UK , the crowded streets of drinking and drunk people with compromised judgment of social distancing has shocked everyone - the news footage showed the police overwhelmed to enforce any rule - the next wave is coming soon for the UK i fear.
You and others like you could have told the money men how this would go - but also gave suggestions how to help limit this happening and open bars safely
[-] The following 1 member Likes matty7's post:
  • eastofeden

Thanks for the vote of confidence @matty7 BTW - so nice to see you again! I think it would take someone more up to date on the current social protocols and vibes but I can give my two cents. 

My recommendation is that they not open at this time with no exceptions. HOWEVER - there are ways to get creative. 

The thing to consider - why do people patronize a bar or club? 

If consuming alcohol was the primary reason then no problem - just consume it at home - case closed.

The thing is - bars and clubs provide an important link for alot of people. It gives some people who might not otherwise engage a place where they "belong". It gives other people a chance to socialize without having to play by the same rules as one would do outside a bar. It gives people a chance to unwind and have conversations - to meet possible dating prospects or form new friendships or find sex partners 

OR to people watch - to flirt - to sing - to socialize - to dance - to laugh - to hug - to make out - you name it. 

An ugly underbelly is also a driving force. Unfortunately it is a common phenomenon that oppressed groups of people oppress each other and LGBT people can be horrible to each other - and enjoy doing it - like a drug. Of course - it reveals who they are as an individual and says nothing at all about the object of their scorn but they never realize that. 

In other words - alot of gay men especially spend alot of time tearing apart other peoples looks or bodies or clothes and it is a VERY COMMON reason these types of people go to clubs unfortunately. These types of people who belittle people for fun are especially hard to deal with if you shut them down - I know because I shut them down all the time as a rule 

Consuming alcohol is not the problem as it can be done alone at home but it is a very big problem when the person consuming alcohol is in a larger group and does not want to do as they are asked - and since some form of social interaction is basically the purpose of this experience - it is  a disaster during a pandemic. 

If I owned a bar in this particular time - I would set up a zoom or some kind of social group to meet just like a bar so they could get the socialization - or flirting - or whatever it is they seek - until it is over and/or safe to be in a close space again - face to face contact via a screen. 

I don't see any other way. 

As a bartender - I would be scared to be in that environment. When I worked in a club - on any given night there is the possibility of pretty much anything happening that you can imagine - and things you would never imagine - and a skilled bartender has to be able to deal with whatever is in front of them at any given moment. I regularly got grabbed by surprise and got ALOT of wet kisses - tongues - VERY AFFECTIONATE EMBRACES (yeah - use your imagination Big Grin - and it probably happened) - hands up my shorts - down my shorts - people taking off their clothes - things that people do when they drink go mild to wild and if covid existed during any of these things I would be infected as would anyone else. 

Of course - this was in the 70s-80s-90s - things probably have changed a bit as social norms change but drinking and being drunk - never gonna change when it comes to social distancing in that environment.
[-] The following 1 member Likes eastofeden's post:

I'm still waiting to see if my area is going to have a spike in the next few days.

At that point, it will be 2 weeks after Independence Day (July 4th) and there were huge parties on Fire Island in NY, which is considered a gay party scene. There were tons of pics of people crowded together, no masks, no social distancing.
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