Carnage UK’s expansion raises fears of drunken havoc

September 17, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

Britain’s most controversial student bar crawl is expanding its events by 24 per cent for the new university term – raising fears of drunken havoc in cities across the country

Carnage UK has become notorious for organising boozy pub crawls where thousands of students don fancy dress, down cheap drinks and engage in drunken debauchery.

In recent years out-of-control boozed-up revellers have been caught urinating on war memorials, knocking out passers-by and terrifying other pub-goers.

One talented university student was tragically found hanged the night after he attended a Carnage UK bar crawl three years ago.

But Carnage UK’s organisers Varsity Leisure Group today announced a 24 per cent increase in events ahead of Autumn’s university term.

Outraged alcohol campaigners have accused the firm of promoting ‘irresponsible drinking’ and say it represents the worst of ‘Booze Britain’.

Rachel Seabrook, of the Institute of Alcohol Studies, said: ”Anyone can look at what they and see they are not promoting responsible drinking.

”It is full of young people being drunk and showing themselves off in not entirely dignified ways.

”I wish they didn’t exist. It promotes irresponsible drinking. It encourages people to drink to excess.

”It doesn’t encourage respect for alcohol, themselves or others and we want to stop binge drinking and Binge Britain, this is what we should be looking at.”

A spokesman for Birmingham-based VLG told Morning Advertiser magazine it has confirmed 54 events across 30 locations, which will take place before 10 December 2010.

The pub crawls attracted 250,000 young revellers last year and a 24 per cent increase would see this rise to 310,000 in 2010/11.

The events offer official t-shirts and free entry to pubs and clubs and are famed for #1 a drink promotions.

A spokesman for Carnage UK today claimed that students attend their events for ”differing ambiences” rather than cheap booze.

He said: ”VLG currently has confirmed 54 events across 30 locations, which will take place before 10 December 2010.

”Extra dates are being finalised and the current number represents a 24 per cent rise in business on the same period last year.

”Events are held on non-trading or low-trading nights and there’s a lengthy reservation list among venues wanting to take part.

”The events are clearly not appealing for reasons such as cheap drinks prices or a high number of participating premises – an average of four venues take part per event.

”It’s for the entertainment content, the small choice of venues combined with differing ambiences, consistently varied fancy-dress themes and the opportunity to meet like-minded young people who want to enjoy themselves in a safe environment.”

Venues will be told not to offer drink discounts and expected to operate ”to the highest standards”, the spokesman added.

In 2007 straight A student Gethin Bevan, 20, was found hanged the morning after a mammoth booze session organised by Carnage UK at the University of Bath.

An inquest in November 2008 showed Bevan was two times the drink drive limit at the time of his death.

Philip Laing, who was 19 at the time, was caught urinating on a war memorial in Baker’s Pool, Sheffield, in 2009.

Laing had downed a bottle of whiskey before joining 2,000 students in Sheffield on a seven hour Carnage UK pub crawl.

He was ordered to carry out 250 hours of community service and pay £185 costs after admitting outraging public decency.

In March 2010 Carnage UK organiser Ryan Hilton, 23, was convicted of assault after knocking unconscious Mark Roberts, 61, during the pub crawl at Bangor University.

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