In news that will have the city’s WAGs, Scouserati (we’ve no idea what this means either), and hangers on weeping hot tears of snotty white sadness, city ‘hotspot’ Playground is having its license reviewed by police.
Police were called after a 67-year-old staff member was punched in the face last month after two groups of people had been chucked out for fighting inside. Just a quiet night at Playground, then.
Wading through a smog of hairspray, smugness and Fake Bake afterwards, the police discovered ‘cocaine residue in the toilets’ and empty wraps in the VIP area, indicating that some of the clientele had been putting you-know-what in their you-know-what. We thought everyone just had a very contagious light summer cold last time we went? Obviously not.
Playground – which last year saw a ridiculous PR stunt where one idiot blew a tonne of money on a bottle of booze – opened up in 2011 at the side of the otherwise rather nice Hilton hotel.
Its history is steeped in “what, seriously?” – most notably, Playground’s VIP membership card (costing just £500 a year, and invitation only) was visioned into existence by legendary graphic designer, er, Alex Curran.
The problem with Playground’s manifesto – that it’s an exclusive, decedent club for exclusive, decedent people that are so much more glamourous and rich than you are – means it was always playing with fire when it comes to drug use and violence. That those two things are somehow the preserve of boozy 2-4-1 bars in Ropewalks is a myth – in places like Playground, ego and self-importance is actively encouraged, which is always going to increase the volatility of the people who manage to get through its doors.
Following the police visit, magistrates have set new conditions for the club. Playground will now have to introduce drug-scanning technology on entry, and there’ll be regular testing across the venue.