Pre-loading patrons are being blamed for long-lasting consequences faced by a Hawke's Bay winery after a reggae concert.

Black Barn manager Francis de Jager has had his manager's certificate suspended following the Kora, Katchafire, and Sons of Zion concert in December where fans were said to have drunk excessively and got into fights.

Police Alcohol Harm Prevention Officer sergeant Ray Wylie said police had raised concerns about excessive and inappropriate drinking which led to fighting, intoxication and disorder at the concert.

Mr de Jager said: "The one issue was the crowd that turned up on the night.


"We have to completely agree with the police and say this is not the sort of audience we want to try and take responsibility for."

Mr Wylie agreed the event at Black Barn was "a classic example" of a wider issue of pre-loading and intoxication among a younger demographic at events.

He said police generally found those who arrived to such events early were the responsible ones, for whom drinking was second to the music.

"The next wave of people to arrive are those who have had a pre-event gathering with friends who focus more on drinking and the music is ancillary to that," he said.

"The obvious reasons for pre-loading is to save money. A lot of people who preload overdo it, thinking if they drink heavy early the effects will see them through the entire night. Often the case however is they simply get heavily intoxicated early in the night and find themselves in trouble."

It has been reported the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority, in suspending de Jager's manager's certificate, said he allowed people to become intoxicated, and allowed intoxication and disorderly behaviour on a licensed premises. He did not dispute the grounds for the application and agreed to the suspension of his certificate for 28 days from April 11.

But Mr de Jager said: "In no way did the bands themselves encourage negative behaviour and we shut down bars earlier than usual to try and help control the situation.

"Sadly, an outcome going forward is that we will need to look at our concert mix for the coming seasons and make selections based not only on talent of the bands but also on the audience they are likely to attract."

The venue wanted to continue to do everything they could "to ensure we have a happy crowd, behaving responsibly, enjoying great music at a venue that has become renowned for a great night out", Mr de Jager said.