Rave organiser vows to fight the power and stage event in Sunderland – despite being refused permission

Organisers Michael Watson and Chris Bungoni at Nose's Point, Seaham in September.
Organisers Michael Watson and Chris Bungoni at Nose's Point, Seaham in September.
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A DJ has vowed to fight the establishment after council bosses left his plans for a secret location warehouse rave in tatters.

Chris Bungoni, 25, had been planning the first “above board” event of its kind in Sunderland, after organising a number of illegal raves last summer with pal Michael Watson.

Events held in Tunstall Hills in June and East Herrington in July, culminated in a disastrous night in September, when more than 500 people turned up on the beach at Nose’s Point in Seaham.

Police were inundated with calls about illegal drug taking, drink driving and multiple assaults.

A report to a council’s licensing sub-committee also said there were reports of a reveller ending up in hospital on a ventilator with head injuries, another falling off a cliff breaking his ankle, while there were also reports of people being glassed, stabbed and hit over the head with a dumbbell.

After deciding to go legal, Chris, of Roker, spent weeks planning his latest 11pm-4am event – the location of which was due to be kept secret until the night of February 22, when people would have received a text message telling them where it was. He submitted a temporary event notice to Sunderland City Council, which was knocked back by a officers after a meeting yesterday, after objections from Northumbria Police and the council’s own environmental health department.

Northumbria Police licensing co-ordinator Sarah Houghton told the Civic Centre meeting: “We have a duty of care to the public that all members of the public are safe.

“We have spoken to the applicant in great depth. He’s hosted events in the past.

“The one at Nose’s Point in Seaham resulted in police using a significant amount of resources, with reports of people being assaulted, stabbed, suffering broken ankles and being glassed. The event was not well put together.”

“These three events that were held were unofficial and therefore illegal and Mr Bungoni organised these events.”

The council’s principal environmental health officer, Keith Anderson, added: “My two biggest concerns are noise and the potential fire hazards. We’ve objected on two grounds, of public nuisance and public safety.”

Chris admitted to the committee the Seaham event got “way out of control”, but insisted so many people turned up because it was free .

The committee was told his latest rave was to be held at the 400-capacity Shaw’s Building, in Deptford Terrace, and would be ticketed to control numbers.

Chris has pledged to still hold the event after selling 95 tickets for up to £10 each, and booking a special guest to fly in from Greece.

Chris said he will be contacting the fire service to carry out a risk assessment at the Deptford venue, before submitting another notice to the council.

After the meeting he told the Echo the event will go ahead and said he has a back-up plan – but would not reveal the planned location.

“We never, ever, let anyone down,” he said. “We’ll do anything we can to get like-minded people to come and enjoy the music. We wouldn’t put tickets for sale if we don’t think 100 per cent that it is going ahead. We are trying to do something to better Sunderland and the reason we are fighting is because it is our home town.”