Within reason, there's something improper about chastising the hosts of an unruly concert.

Black Barn Vineyards' events manager Francis de Jager has had his manager's certificate suspended following the Kora, Katchafire and Sons of Zion concert in December where fans apparently over indulged in alcohol and fought.

Thing is, the level of host-policing and culpability now expected at these events has changed the event manager's role from host to babysitter.

So much so that the parameters can render the events prohibitive. As is clearly evident at the pared-back Wellington Sevens, it tends to sound the death knell.


Short of breath-testing every concertgoer on entry, tougher alcohol sanctions are the modern day trade-off.

No one has done more than Black Barn to collar high-calibre acts for this region. And sadly, as Mr de Jager intimated yesterday, he may now have to curb his instincts for gigs the market demands, acts which potentially attract a less desirable demographic.

Police alcohol harm prevention officer Sergeant Ray Wylie agreed the concert was "a classic example" of a wider issue of pre-loading and intoxication among a younger crowd at events. That's exactly the point - and exactly the reason hitting the host with a big stick seems mislaid.

The punishment is about as spurious as those who blame McDonald's for its takeaway litter. Both Mr de Jager and the local live music scene are collateral damage to a well-intentioned but directionless penalty.

These concerts aimed at a younger section of our community (whose exodus from this province we're forever lamenting) will soon disappear; babies tipped out with the bathwater.