Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday.

Red Red Whine after bar closes at UB40 gig

UB40 frontman Ali Campbell in action at the Kainui Road Winery in Kerikeri. Photo / Peter de Graaf, Northern Advocate
UB40 frontman Ali Campbell in action at the Kainui Road Winery in Kerikeri. Photo / Peter de Graaf, Northern Advocate

Thirsty UB40 fans were left high and dry when they couldn't get enough red, red wine at the second gig of the band's New Zealand vineyard tour.

The chart-topping UK reggae stars wowed a crowd of 9000 at Black Barn Vineyards in Hawkes Bay last night.

But some fans were fuming the bar closed an hour before the end of the show, leaving them without drinks. Others complained there was traffic chaos after the concert.

"The bar was shut early after the police apparently decided to cut down on the amount people were drinking," Deirdre Hambleton, from Havelock North, told the Herald on Sunday. "UB40 were great but it was a complete shambles getting out of the car park afterwards. It took us 90 minutes to travel a 10 minute journey home."

UB40 -- fronted by founding member Ali Campbell -- have dubbed their latest series of gigs the Red Red Wine Vineyard Tour.

Campbell today raved about last night's gig on Twitter. He tweeted: "Peeps of Hawkes Bay, you made our night last night, thanks for coming down!"

But some fans have taken to Black Barn's Facebook page to complain about the lack of wine available at last night's show.

One disgruntled fan posted: "We were prevented from even buying a bottle of wine, management changed the rules early to glass-only sales ... then they closed the bar completely before the end of the first half hour of the show."

Another concert-goer wrote: "2 drinks before the bar shut down and food closures ... So much for a red red wine tour ..."

Francis de Jager, event manager at Black Barn Vineyards said the bar was shut early on the advice of the police.

"It was closed about an hour before the end of the show and some people were not happy about this," he said. "But the police were monitoring the levels of intoxication and the problem is some people pre-load at home or in the car park before events like this.

"But no one was ejected for drinking too much out of a crowd of 9000 people and safety is our primary consideration."

De Jager said traffic delays afterwards were caused by 3000 vehicles leaving a paddock car park directly on to a country road.

"This was the first show of this size we have had at the venue and we did have a few teething problems," he said. "But we will learn from this when staging concerts here in the future."

UB40 next perform tonight at the Lakefront Reserve in Rotorua.

- NZ Herald

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