Queerfest cocktails reduced to half-pints

The reforms, affecting both Wadstock and Queerfest, will also limit the alcohol content of cocktails

Wadham College has reformed its alcohol policy at Queerfest and Wadstock, following complaints of drunkenness at events last year.

Reforms will apply to Wadstock, a music festival, and Queerfest, the closing party of Wadham’s Queerweek.

The changes, ratified by college committee members, will scrap drinks promotions at the events. Cocktails will also be limited to half pints , with a maximum alcohol content of 6% ABV (alcohol by volume).

The recommendations were drawn up by the Domestic Bursar and the Wadham Bar Steward in response to complaints of drunkenness at college social events, particularly Queerfest.

Committee members cited a lack of provisions for those attending, such as an absence of food as well as a lack of contingency rooms for those who “due to intoxication would [have been] better off spending the night in the College”.

Several intoxicated students leaving the event were refused service by taxis, and were driven home by sober volunteers.

A spokesperson for Wadham College told Cherwell: “Oxford Colleges have a responsibility towards their students over the consumption of alcohol at their events and licensing law must be strictly applied.

“A decision was made by Wadham College members, including Wadham SU and MCR representatives, at Liaison Committee, that at Wadstock and Queerfest cocktails will be served in half pint glasses with alcoholic content clearly displayed (to a maximum of 6% alcohol by volume) and that no drinks promotions would take place.”

Wadham SU’s Bar and Social officers, who mixed the drinks in question and ran the cocktail bar, declined to comment.

Nicole Dominiak of Corpus Christi College, who attended last year’s Queerfest event, told Cherwell: “I didn’t find the drinking too much of a problem.

“The main thing for me was that there wasn’t enough food provided for people there, especially for people who had drunk too much.

“I’m not sure how much these recommendations are actually going to have an effect though since it seemed like most people had just been pre-drinking before they got there anyway.”

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Queerfest is the final event of Wadham’s Queerweek, a series of talks and seminars celebrating LGBTQ+ culture and diversity.

Last term’s event was advertised as a space “to rejoice in a radical spirt of queerness, defiance, diversity and self-expression for six utopian, space-age, magical hours.”

Wadstock is a one-day outdoors music festival centred around student performers, taking place in Trinity term each year.

They are both organised by Wadham SU, though permission to hold the events require the approval of the college Dean, Liaison Committee, and Governing Body.

Around 850 ticket holders attend each of the events.

The reforms also proposed combining Wadham Student Union’s Cocktail Bar with the Marquee bar operated by the college.

This would mean Wadham having a single bar run by college, with two Personal Licence holders on duty, with the sale of alcohol supervised throughout events.

The closure of the separate student-run bar, operated by elected student bar officers, will not impact Wadham SU’s finances, as students were assured that all profits from cocktails sold would go to the Student Union.

The college would take the profits from the sale of other drinks at the combined bar, such as beers and ciders.