Advanced search

University Students in Danger of New RAVE CAVE DRUG DEATH CLUB

(58 Posts)
julieleigh66 Sun 06-Oct-13 05:56:27

I'm a mother. I love my son. I want what's best for him. But I have to find the balance between leaving him to live his own life: have fun, take risks, make mistakes; and knowing when it's time to step in, stand up and speak out in fighting for his safety. Now is that time.

The Warehouse Project (WHP) is planning to take over Mayfield Depot in Manchester and turn it into the biggest rave cave in the world by Autumn 2014. My son has just started university in MCR and I'm worried sick over the serious risk this poses to his safety. Furthermore I feel obliged, indeed compelled, to do more than fight for my own son, but help mothers and fathers alike fight for their own children by informing them about things they may be unaware of and what they can do about it.

Disturbingly WHP haven't been overt about their plans, instead opting to veil their intentions behind an application by The Addy Consultancy. It is now known to be fact that it is intact WHP behind the application. That resolved let's detail the concerning problems this poses.

You may have heard about the recent tragedy and hospitalisations that have occurred at WHP this year and all at the evil hands of a lethal new drug epidemic. The problem I have is that this underground rave club is infamous throughout the nation's student population as the go to place for clandestine clubbing. This very club culture was born out of an underground scene specifically curated to allow for partying outside of society's rules and regulations - I'd even go as far as to say that WHP's entire brand is founded on the sub-culture of drug-taking and hard partying.

I'd be a fool to think this kind of problem could be eradicated entirely from every student's life, but I gravely fear that the vast expansion of WHP into Mayfield encourages this dangerous behaviour out of the realms of risky experimentation into the territory of mainstream partying - this petrifies me.

To be fair to the organisers, they invest an enormous amount of effort, time and money into making their event as safe as they can and have responded to the recent tragedy with resounding resolve, pulling out every stop to try their best to stop people falling foul to these devastating drugs. But this level of retaliation draws my attention to that age old idiom, there's no smoke without fire.

WHP are only having to fight so hard, harder than any other club, because it's their very rave, more than anywhere else, that attracts exactly the kind of dangers that need fighting. WHP is currently teetering on the very sharpest of knife edges and that's in a venue with a 5000 capacity, located outside of the city's tempting centre. Imagine the risks involved for our children if WHP were allowed to double their size at Mayfield Depot, providing the largest rave cave in the world right in the city centre and smack bang next to a major train station.

If that wasn't bad enough, there's a wave of new age drugs hurtling straight toward our children. One in which criminal chemists spend their days sneaking one step ahead of the law - tweaking a newly illegal drug to allow it to slip under the fence without a damn care in the world for the associated dangers. There are so many different drugs now, some masquerading as "legal highs", that it's more likely than ever before for young people to get into serious trouble.

Although not new, a nightmarish example of the black market's determination to skulk past the law on their road to immoral money comes in the fatal form of PMA. Due to a crack down on the chemicals required to make MDMA (Ecstasy), devilish dealers have turned to more available substances and the result is the aforementioned and significantly more dangerous drug, PMA.

In the last 10 months this horrific chemical has been connected to 7 deaths in the North West, with a further 4 connected to some derivation of Ecstasy and the latest at WHP to "bad" Ecstasy. This problem needs managing and fast. My firm and insatiable opinion is that WHP's Mayfield will simply bare a breeding ground for this unpredictable, savage and unforgiving gang of drugs.

I'm not suggesting we simply shut down WHP and other clubs like it and be done with the matter. I want my son to make memories with his new friends, but I want them to be good memories and most of all I want him to be here to long enough for them to be memories.

The solution to me is simple, the growth of WHP needs to be curbed with a measure of responsibility, ethics and morality. I'd like to say that they'll do that themselves by u-turning on their decision to move into Mayfield, especially given the laudable stand point they've vehemently adopted in the media recently. However I fear the seductive lure of capitalism may be too tempting for them to resist. That's where we come in, the parents of the students who'll be most at risk if this is allowed to happen. We really can make a difference.

By making a formal objection to Manchester City Councillor's Licensing Committee our voices will be heard, a difference will be made and we can sleep at night knowing we fought for our children when it mattered most.

Please feel free to discuss any and all matters in this thread, I'll be more than happy to answer questions, quell concerns and get into a good old bit of debating.

Please make objections by: 14th OCTOBER 2013

When detailing your objection please consider:
1) Is it going to be a safe environment for staff, customers and the public?
2) Does it add to rather than detract from its environment?
3) Have the organisations behind the application established a dialogue with the local population?

If you feel like find out more, please visit my Facebook page:

SunshineSuperNova Sun 13-Oct-13 11:45:44

I've just looked on the local Talk areas - link here

There is a Greater Manchester section that has separate sites for Bolton & Bury, Manchester & Trafford, Oldham & Rochdale and Stockport & Tameside.

MN is a great place, I hope you stick around and have some fun.

SunshineSuperNova Sun 13-Oct-13 11:41:56

filee it was on the south coast.

julieleigh there are a number of Mumsnet local sites - there should I'm sure be one for Manchester, where you'd be able to find people local to the area who have more in-depth knowledge of the area and its specific issues.

No-one on this thread wants youngsters to be at risk of drug-related death or injury, but I think it's fair to say there is a lot of disagreement about how we (as a society) go about tackling the problem.

Best of luck OP.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Fri 11-Oct-13 11:01:11

Who has suggested you were trolling? There has a been a lot of (mostly fairly mild) disagreement, but I can't see any troll hunting going on.

filee777 Fri 11-Oct-13 03:49:42

What would be better, than saying ALL drugs are bad, would clearly be to make drugs that aren't bad, like proper e's (much safer than alcohol) and so on.

filee777 Fri 11-Oct-13 03:47:54

I've bought bacon sarnies at a club before! Was either SE1 or Bristol (not la cota the one it was before)

julieleigh66 Fri 11-Oct-13 03:39:31

Hi All,

Sorry for taking a little time to respond to your comments, I've been very busy with the campaign, which is going very well.

I've now joined forces with another campaigner who's focusing on the broader issues of WHP operating in Mayfield. Hopefully this will balance the arguments I have to make in a wider context. The feedback I've had on Mumsnet has certainly helped in that regard too - Thank You.

Just for the record, I'm not a rival club promoter, although I understand why you might think so. I am a resident of MCR. but I'm not local to Mayfield.

All said and done, It looks to me that Mumsnet is not the right place for me make my case. Although this thread has seen much disagreement, the responses I've been witnessing elsewhere suggest that there is much support for this cause. Student accommodation providers Liberty, Unite and Opal all object, and Manchester Metropolitan University vehemently objects - they suffered the tragic loss of one of their students, Souvik Pal, at WHP back in Jan. In addition, the Fire Safety Chief is in the process of conducting a survey of the building amidst concerns that the building is not safe, whilst the NHS is considering their objection in light of several members of staff having to receive counselling after the recent influx of WHP casualties.

This is my first experience on Mumsnet and I have to admit it's been a difficult one. For the sake of other first timers may I remind all you regular Mumsnetters of a particular part of the troll policy:

"Unfortunately, it's not always immediately obvious whether a poster is, in fact, a troll. We all tend to be a bit suspicious of new folks posting things of a sensitive or inflammatory nature, but we would rather Mumsnetters erred on the side of giving folks the benefit of the doubt, and risked being made to look a bit foolish once in a while, than pounce on someone who may turn out to be genuinely in need of help. We hope you agree."

SunshineSuperNova Tue 08-Oct-13 16:15:39

That had occurred to me...

UptheChimney Tue 08-Oct-13 14:40:38

Or a rival club promoter ...

Flicktheswitch Tue 08-Oct-13 14:17:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SunshineSuperNova Tue 08-Oct-13 11:01:08

OP, I agree with others that attempting to ban a club is not the answer. I suggest talking with your son as an adult and talking with him about the risks.

There are many dangerous drugs out there, including alcohol which has been mentioned. There is nothing wrong with wanting to protect your son and others, but this is not the way to go about it.

I lost a very dear friend who was addicted to heroin and crack cocaine, neither of which are 'club' drugs. I've had friends and relatives die of alcoholism related illnesses. So don't imagine for a moment that I am naive about the dangers of drugs, legal or otherwise.

UptheChimney Mon 07-Oct-13 22:07:17

Look, most medicos would say that ultimately alcohol is a far more serious intoxicant than any other drug we have.

Both for its particular properties if taken in excess, and for its widespread social damage.

So unless you're teetotal, and always have been, I think you ought to just calm down and examine your own motives, and think about hypocrisy. You come across as slightly unhinged.

julieleigh66 Mon 07-Oct-13 21:17:34

Ok, I see all of your points, and thank you kindly for making them. Yes I'm being bombarded with criticism, but I thank you nonetheless for at least engaging with the argument. In response to some of the criticisms, I will be succinct.

I have indeed raised my DS to think for himself and he's turned out to be an a intelligent young man, perfectly capable of making confident decisions of his own. However there are mixed messages out there as to the various dangers of drugs (clearly evidenced by this thread), and this can make it difficult for young people in general, not just my DS, to make the best decision.

So we need to educate better and faster, FACT. But much like a particularly dangerous road, which poses serious risk of injury or death, education isn't always enough. In addition to education we need to put restrictions in place on the road itself: speed bumps, speed cameras, safe crossing points. I believe WHP moving to Mayfield is like doubling the lanes on a dangerous road - the very act is counterproductive to all the education we're fighting to employ.

Furthermore, this is not just about my DS. If it were I would focus my efforts on him and him alone. The risk for him scares me, but the concern is multiplied exponentially when I consider the many other DSs and DDs who could be at risk. That is why I started this thread, to try and help others - is that such a bad thing?

Yes this is my only thread, but only because a friend suggested the site - I've never used it before. I thought Mumsnet would be a fantastic forum to get my message out there to parents nationwide, any of whom's children could attend a university in MCR or indeed could go to WHP in Mayfield. I only hope it does help.

ubik Mon 07-Oct-13 20:28:48

I hope she sticks around

Rave Cave Drug Death Club was inspired

UptheChimney Mon 07-Oct-13 16:44:52

One hit wonder of a poster. Under this screen name julialeigh66 has only posted this OP. Nowt else.

garlicvampire Mon 07-Oct-13 14:33:17

DrugScope said "We need to find ways of reminding young people about this type of information, not only in relation to ecstasy, but also to the many other new drugs now available."

Not "We need to stop new clubs opening."

LowLevelWhinging Mon 07-Oct-13 12:03:17

just enjoying RAVE CAVE DRUG DEATH CLUB grin

anyway, carry on

titchy Mon 07-Oct-13 11:57:34

TBH I think if my kids were going to go to clubs I'd rather they went to this one - it's clearly well organised (dodgy places don't tend to apply for planning permission or licences as a rule) and the police and local taxi companies will know about it, than some field in the middle of nowhere, which no-one knows about till half an hour before it starts and the venue spreads by word of mouth like in my day

<Wonders if it'll be like the Hacienda>

UptheChimney Mon 07-Oct-13 11:52:44

Seems like I've hit a bit of a nerve

BTW, no. Your posts are just annoying.

ubik Mon 07-Oct-13 11:36:58

If you want a serious response perhaps you should cut the hyperbole.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Mon 07-Oct-13 10:26:27

What UptheChimney said.

And I stand by my original point: if your son wants to take drugs, he will. This club is irrelevant. Look at how you've raised him. Do you think you've taught him to think for himself? Does he have the ability not to follow the herd?

UptheChimney Mon 07-Oct-13 08:06:37

You can go to a club and not take drugs OP. How have you raised your son? Are drugs a concern


OP, you can write essays of posts if you like. There are hundreds of years of historical, documentary evidence that for hundreds of years people like you have made a fuss about a specific intoxicant, claiming it is "different" "worse than before" and PEOPLE WILL DIE.

'Twas ever thus.

Look to how you've raised your son.

Rosencrantz Mon 07-Oct-13 02:14:58

You can go to a club and not take drugs OP. How have you raised your son? Are drugs a concern?

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 07-Oct-13 02:05:10

Stopping this club from opening will not protect your DS, please do not be fooled into thinking it will.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 07-Oct-13 01:58:06

OP, my local area has recently had 8 deaths as a result of PMA.sad Not one of the victims was at a rave. They had all been in regular pubs/clubs or at house parties.

julieleigh66 Mon 07-Oct-13 01:42:36

Wow! Seems like I've hit a bit of a nerve. Please excuse me if anyone feels I've been too sensational in my approach, It's only because I care and am very close to the situation. I will try to be much more objective, backing up my opinions with reliable sources of information.

Please bare in mind that in the last 10 days 1 person has lost their life, 2 people have been in a coma and 14 people have been hospitalised, all from attending WHP. Pro rata these numbers far outweigh any other festival or large club in the UK and people attend WHP from all over the country - Sacha Lord-Marchionne, managing director of WHP, even said himself in a recent press conference that this is "national issue".

Whilst I may be more emotionally affected by recent events, this is a serious problem that is professionally recognised on a national level. The Independent writes:

"More people are dying after taking amphetamines that at any time in the past five years, with a sharp rise in fatalities driven by the increased use of the ecstasy substitute PMA.

"Public Health England raised the alarm over the club drug earlier this month, calling evidence of PMA deaths “very concerning”. New figures from the Office for National Statistics figures showed a rise in PMA-related deaths from just one in 2011 to 20 in 2012.

"There was also a significant increase in the number of deaths from new psychoactive substances (NPS) – previously known as “legal highs”.

"The group of new drugs, including mephedrone, GHB and BZP, most of which were only recently made illegal, were involved in 52 deaths in 2012, up from 29 in 2011."

Martin Barnes, chief executive of the charity DrugScope said:

“The number of deaths involving PMA is, for example, concerning,” he said. “In all probability people would have believed they were taking ecstasy, but PMA is far more toxic while at the same time taking longer to take effect. This can make users believe that the pill isn’t working, encouraging them to increase the dose with sometimes fatal results.

He goes on to say, "No drug equals no risk, but back in the early 1990s when ecstasy was at the height of its popularity among young people on the club/rave scene, there was a body of public health knowledge that would have helped protect people and probably saved lives.

“Much of that knowledge, for example, not increasing dosage and not allowing the body to get over-heated is less known to many of the current generation of club and festival goers. We need to find ways of reminding young people about this type of information, not only in relation to ecstasy, but also to the many other new drugs now available.”

A report from ONS is the first to show the geographical spread of drug poisoning deaths. The North West had the highest mortality rate in England, with 41 deaths per million people.

UptheChimney: I don't think this situation is analogous to that of the introduction of Gin, and I hope with the evidence above you can see that, but I understand your point about moral panic. Do you understand mine regarding the social responsibility not loose control of environments which unofficially encourage potentially hazardous drug taking. It's no different from seeking to manage areas particularly associated with theft, violence or prostitution.

Flicktheswitch: I'm not on drugs, but thanks for asking, and no I don't think I'm targeting the source of the issue - I think the source of the issue is exceptionally difficult to target. But do I think I'm targeting something that can genuinely be changed, thus making a real difference, yes. WHP is a figured head for this kind of culture and statistically is in a much higher risk bracket than other such events. They can lead the way in tackling the problem from a certain angle, and a very effective angle at that. Is it really responsible of them to double their size and move into the centre of a city which house the largest student population in Europe, when they clearly need more time to get a hold of their current size and location.

garlicvampire: I obviously didn't articulate my last point very clearly because I was trying to utilise exactly the point you're making re MDMA. Indeed MDMA is comparably much less dangerous than other drugs, but it's exactly this logic that can get young people into trouble given the multitude of new and significantly more dangerous drugs out there as Martin Barnes of DrugScope references above.

SunshineSuperNova: I agree, and that's fantastic for them, indeed I was one of them back in my youth. However, i'd like to draw your attention to a quote from Chief Superintendent Mark Roberts in response to a lady who had be put into a coma by doctors this weekend after taking drugs at WHP:

“This once again highlights just what a lottery it is for your health if you choose to do drugs – you cannot know how your body will react to the chemicals you are ingesting, and more importantly, you simply do not know what chemicals are actually in the drugs you are taking.

Just because many go to raves, have a great time and come out the other side with nothing but smiles on their faces, doesn't mean it's ok to abandon those who fall prey to this lottery - which as we've read is an ever growing number.

UptheChimney: I hope you can see by the time and effort that's gone into my response that I'm far from a spammer. OK, my usage of the term "curate" was too idealogical and flowery, but surely you appreciate the idea that we as parents have the power and responsibility to positively affect the world we're in control of and the very world our children will inherit. I remember the Hacienda and "Madchester" and how it went from being fantastic to being very dangerous. The generation above us stepped in when it went wrong and solved the problem for the people most at risk, which wasn't them.

*Panzee, ubik, UptheChimney*: I politely remind you again that less than 10 days ago Nick Bonnie lost his life at WHP - I started this thread to take this matter seriously and try to do something about it. Please read this article which focuses on how Nick's parents have responded to their loss.
Surely given where this thread is you can appreciate the sensitivity and severity of this situation. This is such a prevalent and poignant issue that even the Prime Minister has commented, "This is a tragic death. We've seen too many of these".

Ehhn: I completely appreciate your point, but hopefully you can see by the references in this post that the world of drugs is changing and its becoming much more difficult to apply scientific knowledge to safe practical use. Be that as it may, I do absolutely see the value of good education. Regarding your comment about the location being "irrelevant" I'm afraid I don't agree. It is well documented that there is much more concentrated drug taking at events like WHP and a much higher risk of illness due to contamination - this is mainly due to the heightened atmosphere, cited here by festivals expert George McKay, Professor of Cultural Studies at Salford University, who says festivals are rooted in a culture of “hedonistic partying” and the “subversion of the ordinary rules of life”. This is all the more prevalent at an event like WHP and all the more problematic when considering the effects of doubling its size in a move to Mayfield. Furthermore the greater propensity to take drugs by revellers induces a more robust cycle of supply and demand, hence the greater risk of contaminated drugs - WHP at Mayfield would create a boom for drug dealers and given that the chemical precursor for MDMA, safrole, is widely known to be in short supply, they turn to other substances to meet demand, substances like anethole, which makes the lethal drug PMA.

UptheChimney: I don't deny that the harm done by alcohol abuse outweighs that of drugs full stop never mind specifically concerning WHP, but that's not the problem I'm engaging with. The fact still remains that there is a growing problem, and more prevalent than in recent years, with club drug related illness and death. I can't imagine many would find it acceptable to say that it's OK for 5 people to die in a season of WHP at Mayfield just because there were many more who died from alcohol abuse across the region over the same period of time. Both are tragic. Both are a problem. Both need to be resolved. I have dedicated my self to doing what I can to help with one of those problems. Yes it's because I'm concerned for my son; no I don't have a personal grudge against anyone who works for WHP, I don't even know them. Many campaigns and cause are ignited by someone's personal relationship with them - I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

SunshineSuperNova: Again I appreciate the over zealous demonisation of drug dealers by calling them "devilish dealers", but I guess was riled up by this quote from Chief Superintendent Mark Roberts, “These unscrupulous dealers that sell drugs have no regard for people’s health and we need to work together to tackle this issue."

I hope I've gone some way to convince fellow mumnetters that I've clearly researched this matter extensively and am at the very least justified to bring my argument to forum.

Look forward to reading your responses…

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now