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Oval Space may be forced to close following alleged shooting at club

todaySeptember 23, 2022 2

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East London venue Oval Space‘s license has been subjected to review following an alleged shooting at the club.

In a document obtained from Tower Hamlets council, the grounds for review are stated as: “That in the opinion of a senior police officer of the Metropolitan Police the above premises are associated with serious crime and disorder or both and concerns in relation to public safety and prevention of public nuisance. Lack of management of the premises and lack of adequate searching leading to serious incident to take place.”

The application for the review of the club’s license is available to read online, which describes an incident at the venue in the early hours of August 30 in which someone allegedly fired a gun on the dancefloor.

Police were called to the nearby Temple Street at 4:20 AM after a member of the public discovered a man with injuries to both his legs on the street.

According to the report, the victim had been at a Notting Hill After Party at Oval Space, and was seen on CCTV fleeing the venue with another man in pursuit. He later police told shots had been fired inside venue.

The report also notes that two members of security claimed they “did not see any altercation occur outside the club” around this time. Another security guard claimed that around 4:15 AM there had been a bang on the dancefloor which they believed to be “the sound of a balloon bursting”. They also said a “large amount of people left the club.”

CCTV footage reviewed my police shows a man bypassing the queue and a security search, who bouncers said regularly attends the venue with promoters. This man was seen being passed a bag by the man suspected of firing shots, and after bypassing the security, he was seen handing this bag back to the suspect.

The report notes: “The officers strongly believe that this bag contains the firearm.

“Officers then believe a shot is discharged in the club which leads to the crowd to dispersing, the victim fleeing and shortly after being chased down the road and being shot twice.”

Another police officer confirmed that a firearm was discharged within Oval Space, which “has been seen on CCTV”.

This police officer also stated that “five days of the investigation have been wasted as the General Manager [of Oval Space] was not contactable and has given the account that her phone was lost/stolen.”

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This week Oval Space has been rallying for its survival, calling upon the public and attendees of the club to contact Tower Hamlets with a letter of support, which could be sent out automatedly via the Night Time Industries Association website.

“We need your help and support. Oval Space is to have its licence reviewed after an incident at the venue,” the venue announced on Instagram on Saturday.

“If you love our venue, have celebrated there, danced there, spoken there, and been inspired by our breadth of culturally diverse events, then please support us.”

“Oval Space is an important cultural venue In London. Since opening in 2013, it has quickly developed a reputation as a key part of London’s cultural tapestry,” the team said in a second post.

“We need everyone to send representation in support of Oval Space through our pre-formatted letter which highlights the importance of these spaces in major cities across the country.”

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The pre-formatted letter was created alongside the Night Time Industries Association and encouraged those filling it out to add personal support for the club. In just five days, more than 2,000 letters were sent to Tower Hamlets Council.

Oval Space first opened in 2013 as a multi-event venue in Bethnal Green, East London. During the past decade, the club has seen performances from Groove Armada, Goldie, Peggy Gou, Floating Points, and plenty more.

The deadline to send a letter to Tower Hamlets Council was yesterday, September 21, with the result of the hearing to be announced. Mixmag has contacted Tower Hamlets and Oval Space and is awaiting a response.

If Oval Space’s license is revoked, the club has the opportunity to appeal the decision.

Tower Hamlets council’s website states: “The appeal must be made to the Magistrates Court. A notice of appeal must be given to the justices’ chief executive for the Magistrates Court within a period of 21 days beginning with the day on which the appellant was notified by the Licensing Authority.”

Patrick Hinton is Mixmag’s Editor & Digital Director, follow him on Twitter

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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