Junkyard Market organiser says Facebook video was not a ‘true reflection’ of event

The Junkyard Market has arrived in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCYBROWN

The Junkyard Market arrived in Ipswich last weekend Picture: SARAH LUCYBROWN - Credit: Archant

The organiser of Ipswich’s Junkyard Market says a video shared on social media was not a “true reflection” of the event – after an apparent lack of social distancing was criticised.

The 10-second clip also showed people dancing on tables at the ticketed street food market on Grafton Way at the weekend.

Some have expressed frustration over the scenes at a time when many pubs and clubs cannot open because of Tier 2 restrictions.

Junkyard organiser Michael Femi-Ola said those involved in the dancing on tables were removed from the venue shortly afterwards by security staff, saying: “It was an isolated issue and I think that the 10-second video doesn’t give a true reflection of the event.”

He added that the venue was checked by Ipswich Borough Council environmental health officers and police on a number of occasions over the weekend, with neither finding any problems with the event.

“Isolated issues can happen as we can’t envision how every person is going to behave,” he said.

 “But what we can do is put procedures and best practice in place, such as making sure we have Covid stewards and security at the site.

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“We did have one isolated issue where a group of customers were not behaving in a manner that we condone and that don’t follow our rules and guidelines. 

“In the video in question, you can see our security staff going over and reprimanding the people who were causing this isolated issue and shortly afterwards they were removed from the venue.” 

Richard Everitt, who owns K Bar and Grill in St Nicholas Street, said the video was “extremely frustrating”, coming at a time when pubs are facing extensive restrictions and some can’t open at all.

“I’m not being a killjoy because this is hospitality, so this is what we do,” he said. 

But he added: “If we go into Tier 3, it’ll effectively be a lockdown again.

“So many independents would be close to shutting our businesses for good and that would have a knock-on effect in the local economy. 

“It’s not that people shouldn’t go out, I think it is abide by the rules, use your local pubs and your local shops who have all these measures in place as set out by the government.”  

Mr Femi-Ola added that the Junkyard Market had specifically trained Covid-19 marshals, appropriate signing, track and trace systems, and tables which are spaced out between sessions. 
 

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