What’s the view inside the club scene on needle spiking? The industry insider gets in touch and reveals his perspective on this disturbing crime

Every now and then, this blog gets contacted by a male who’s very high up in the dance music world. He’s worked in many prominent roles and has been around since the 1980s raves. And he speaks in a remarkably candid fashion about issues at the time. He even allows me to publish those views – so long as it’s under a cloak of anonymity.

The insider in question has been in touch on the subject of needle spiking. This is a disturbing crime which I haven’t encountered before – typically, it involves giving women an injection of harmful drugs without their consent. The needles are absolutely tiny – we’re not talking about the whoppers you might see at your dentist.

Of needle spiking itself, he says. “This crime is clearly horrific on the women who fall victim to it. There’s no doubt about that. And anyone who does this kind of stuff, as far as I’m concerned, is an evil c*** who deserve everything they get. But this demonisation of nightclubs over this issue is just b******s”.

Was my insider referring to the impending boycott of nightclubs being planned shortly? Not surprisingly, he was, saying “I don’t think that’s fair. Even the most unscrupulous nightclub owners out there don’t want people going home unable to remember a single moment they were in there. It’s bad for business – at a time when lots of nightclubs are already in financial trouble.”

“But it’s not the nightclub which injects this poison into the victims. They shouldn’t be punished because of the actions of a few scumbags. There are undoubtedly nightclubs out there who cut corners on security to save on time or whatever – but no matter how much security you have, you’d never be able to catch absolutely everything.”

“You’ve spoken on your blog before about how the nightclub industry isn’t terribly good at defending itself. And that’s why this s*** is being aimed at them. Whilst there’s clearly a legitimate issue here and nightclubs should definitely see what else they can do to deal with this problem, it’s not the fault of nightclubs it’s happening. It’s the fault of sick f***ers who think they’ve got the right to drug and do even worse things to women.”

He isn’t holding back on this one…

The UK nightclub linked to a coronavirus cluster by the health authorities – and they’re threatening legal action on anyone who reports the details…

The British government might well be pretending that the pandemic is over. But here in the real world, most of us know otherwise. Over 43,000 new cases were confirmed across the UK yesterday. And like many, I find myself asking where all these cases are coming from.

Well, one nightclub in the UK – I’m afraid I can be no more precise than that – is wondering the same thing. They held an event a few weeks ago – as most nightclubs do – and all went well. There was no trouble on the night, a good time was had by all and the bar did a roaring trade. Management patted themselves on the back – until a phone call came in around ten days later.

It was from the public health authorities, claiming they had identified a large coronavirus cluster in the area – and information supplied by test and trace teams suggested it originated from this particular nightclub. As I understand, the owners of this particular club are known in the area for being rabid anti-vaxxers – so they didn’t take the allegation particularly seriously.

As far as I can see, this particular story hasn’t been reported anywhere previously. So this blog decided to send them an email to ask if they had any comment. Shortly afterwards, I heard back from their solicitors – threatening me with libel proceedings if I was to publish the story.

Which was terribly nice of them. But what was the one thing this threat didn’t contain within it? A denial of the allegations being made. A source with connections to the club informed me the owners are also threatening legal action against the health authorities over the matter…

For legal reasons, comments are unavailable on this story.

Do they use the same publicist as Diplo? Sacha Lord’s Warehouse Project FINALLY speak out about what happened at the club two weeks ago – and it quickly became a PR disaster…

Two weeks ago, a 20-year old man died at the Warehouse Project after taking drugs. The club made no comment on their social media pages, something which irked me on the Sunday after it happened – and irked me even more the following week. Nearly two weeks later, Warehouse Project have finally said something.

So here’s the statement for anyone who fancies reading it. Take your time – it really is as bad as it looks…

It turns out that more happened that night than was first reported. It’s unclear whether the two events are linked – I’ll leave it up to Greater Manchester Police to work that out. But it turns out a 21-year old and a 20-year old were stabbed just outside the venue on the same evening.

And here’s where things get rather farcical. Because the pond life who carried out the stabbings were refused entry into the club by security earlier in the evening – yet still managed to get in anyway. How on earth did they give security the slip? And how the hell did they get those knives into the building when it has security and a police presence outside?

Someone somewhere has got big questions to answer here. I’ll let the police get on with working that out – although they might have a few awkward questions of their own to answer. But firstly, I must query whether Warehouse Project uses the same publicist as the one who advised Diplo to publish a long, rambling statement on his social media yesterday. That person might want to find their new calling in life…

Sack your overpaid lawyers! Diplo posts rambling 10-page essay on talking about a woman who tried to “extort me for millions” – but is this really the wisest move from a man who could imminently face criminal charges?

Every now and then, the bubble in which the superstars of the EDM world live in blows up. Given some of the things which get sent my way – most of which would almost certainly result in a libel suit if I published them – the only surprise is it doesn’t happen more often.

A long post from EDM superstar Diplo this week is a case in point. He says he’s going to keep the story “easy to read”, yet proceeds to write a ten-page essay which just comes across as rambling. I’ve read it so you don’t have to – but if you fancy having a go, feel free…

Rambling aside, it’s a pretty intriguing story. As he tells the story, he appears to have encountered a woman online, spoken to her for a while, met up and had sex with her, stopped speaking to her and then she blackmailed him by threatening to reveal what had happened if he didn’t pay up.

It’s a curious story from a man with a very curious private life. The specifics of his story actually reference a woman called Shelly Auguste, who got a restraining order taken out against Thomas Wesley Pentz, to use his real name, in November 2020. And she made some extraordinary allegations against him – such as that he groomed her, hired a private investigator to keep an eye on her and of distributing revenge pornography.

And if you look further back in time, few people have a good word to say about him. Rapper M.I.A. dated him for five years and said emotional abuse took place in the relationship. Azealia Banks says he helped out her career in exchange for sex. And he’s faced a raft of allegations of predatory behaviour over the past year.

Oh, and top of that, Pentz could now be facing charges including deliberate giving someone chlamydia, recording sexually explicit videos without permission and sharing at least one of those recordings.

Whoever advised him to post this is an idiot. And he’s even more of an idiot for making the final call to do it…

The perils of being in the plague rave business! Agency which tried to silence this blog has had to pay out a five-figure sum to someone who got Covid and spent three weeks in hospital – after catching it at their event…

A lot of people in dance music work in the shadows. And they prefer it that way – there are few things they hate more than sunlight, and I mean that in a few different ways. Earlier this year, a plague rave DJ contacted me to give his side of events and answer some of my questions on the subject. Once his agency found out about it, they weren’t best pleased.

Their legal threats in my direction appear to have gone away – largely because they’ve got problems elsewhere. They’re currently being sued over a super spreader event they held in Tulum where a large number of people caught Covid-19 as a result. This case is likely to be in front of the courts soon, so I can’t comment further – but there is one case I can tell you a little about…

The agency in question have recently reached an out of court settlement over a legal action in the USA. The gentleman in question attended an event they held in the country during 2020 – which the aforementioned plague rave DJ attended, by the way – and caught coronavirus. He spent three weeks in hospital as a result. Contact tracers were able to establish almost beyond doubt he caught it at the event in question.

He’s now been given a five-figure sum of money to basically keep quiet about the whole thing. Word is that the agency’s solicitors advised they could challenge the case, but that there was a high risk the gamble could backfire – so they made a generous out-of-court offer and it was accepted.

These people have no morals…

Ticket touts must be tackled, says competition authority – but does the Government have the stomach for the fight which could follow?

The Competition and Markets Authority in the UK have made an intervention this week on the subject of ticket touting. The gist of it? They think existing protections aren’t anywhere near strong enough and think more regulation is required. But is the government listening?

The experience from across the Irish Sea on this subject makes for somewhat sobering reading. A private members bills was brought to the Dáil Éireann – the lower house of Ireland’s parliament – in 2017, with little success. Infact, the TD who first proposed the changes isn’t even in parliament anymore – he now works for a consultancy firm.

This remained the case until earlier in the year, when the government decided to get behind it. When the initial text of the bill emerged, Viagogo consulted their solicitors and called the proposed ban “unconstitutional”. The law was eventually passed last month and came into force on July 31st.

Could the British government soon find itself in a similar situation? If they back this proposal, it’s entirely possible. The UK is a larger country and a ban here would probably soon find the government and the likes of Viagogo with judges having to interpret the laws that politicians have passed.

And British judges work in something of a vacuum, meaning the results of such cases aren’t certain. For example, Ireland has a written constitution that anyone can read – and if the government wants to change anything in it, they must hold a referendum on the topic first. No such constitution exists in the UK, so using a constitutional angle in a British court is unlikely to sway any judge.

Can you hear thar? That sound is lawyers getting excited about the prospect of fat pay cheques hitting their bank accounts as this government inevitably messes up in trying to change the law…

So what’s happening in the Larry Heard v Trax Records case? A legal ruling from the upper echelons of Chicago’s courts tells us the latest…

Last year, Larry Heard and Robert Owens filed a legal action against Trax Records, accusing them of a number of different things – failing to pay out any royalties for decades, breach of contract, copyright infringement and a few other things. The case was first filed in June 2020 and has slowly been making it through the legal system.

Now up on the Casetext website is a memordandum opinion and order by Sharon Johnson Coleman, a judge of the United States District Court representing the northern district of Illinois. Soon after the case was filed, Trax Records responded by trying to get the entire thing thrown out before it got into a courtroom. The legal ruling has now come back.

I’m no lawyer, so you can make what you will of what I’m about to say. But it looks to me like Judge Coleman has basically used Trax’s retort as a way of simplifying the case. Much of the case put forward by Heard and Owens remains intact. And Counts 5 – “Warranty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing” – as well as 6, 7 and 8 have all been dismissed without prejudice.

This is a legal term that means the case won’t be dealt with by that court. However, if plaintiffs Heard and Owens were successful against defendants Trax Records with what remains of the current case, it means they could come back in the future with the other counts.

Trax had 21 days to appeal this ruling – I haven’t been able to establish yet whether they did. It looks like this case has still got a long way to run…

Could nightclubs end up being sued if a clubber caught Covid on a night out? My insider reveals more on clubland’s thinking over this question

A campaign rally event for President Trump on June 20th last year was notable for one thing – if nothing else. Upon registering for the event online, you had to sign something Americans call an adhesion contract. The gist of it was you had to make a promise to the event organisers – if you caught Covid-19 and it was traced back to the event, you could not then go ahead and sue President Trump, the organisers or anyone who did anything for them.

This trick has been tried before and is largely considered under US law to be unenforceable. Many of those who utilise such contracts think it means they don’t have to fulfill their own obligations – they mean nothing of the sort. And although we are talking about US law in this case, given that it has its origins in English law, some parallels could be drawn.

For example, anyone going to Circus in Liverpool has not been asked to sign a form on the way in promising not to sue Yousef, the guest DJs, bar staff, events manager, Yousef’s mother or anyone else you could conceivably (or inconceivably) think of if they catch Covid and have reason to believe they caught it there.

So, could a club in the UK be sued if it was proven they’d caught the dreaded coronavirus there? I contacted a few club owners about this, and they unanimously said they couldn’t or wouldn’t discuss it. Instead, I spoke to the same insider whom I referenced in this piece last Monday.

He said “The advice we’ve got is it would be difficult if not impossible. Even if contact tracers found a cluster originating in the club, you still might not know who brought it in – or whether they even all got it at the club. The legal advice we got is to do everything we reasonably can to stop its spread”.

And what are those things? “Well, providing lots of hand sanitiser, cleaning the bathrooms a lot more often, switching the ventilation on a higher setting, reducing the numbers in the club, making sure to say no to customers when they’ve had too much drink – things like this”.

This might go some way to explaining why the aforementioned Yousef appeared not to phased by government documents that said venues taking part in test events could be sued. His legal advice presumably came back with something similar…