Skip to main content
April Clare Welsh
26 September 2022, 13:30

London club Oval Space licence under review following alleged shooting

A security guard claimed he heard a "bang on the dancefloor", which was assumed to be "the sound of a balloon bursting"

Oval Space

The licence of London club Oval Space is under review following an alleged shooting on the premises, according to a report by Mixmag.

An official document from Tower Hamlets council, which is accessible in full online, alleges that in the early hours of 30th August, "a serious incident" occurred when a firearm was discharged within the venue. According to the document, the grounds for the review are as follows: "That in the opinion of a senior police officer of the Metropolitan Police the above premises are associated with serious crime and disorder or both and concerns in relation to public safety and prevention of public nuisance. Lack of management of the premises and lack of adequate searching leading to serious incident to take place."

According to the report, police were called to the nearby Temple Street at 4:20 AM after a member of the public discovered a man with injuries to both his legs on the street. According to the report, the man was seen on CCTV running from Oval Space, being chased by another man. In an interview with the police, the man allegedly said that bullets were fired in the venue, which is why he ran. 

The report notes that, during a CCTV review, two members of security who were working on the night of the incident stated that they "did not see any altercation occur outside the club" at the time.  Another security guard claimed there was "bang on the dancefloor" at 4:15 AM, which prompted them to turn the lights of the venue on and search the dancefloor. The sound was assumed to be "the sound of a balloon bursting". Many club-goers subsequently left the club, according to the report. 

CCTV footage allegedly shows a man, who was said to regularly attend the club with promoters, bypassing the queue to enter the venue. He can reportedly be seen being passed a bag by the suspected shooter, which police believe contained the firearm, and bypassing the security check, before handing the bag back to the suspect.

A police officer confirmed in the report that a firearm was discharged within Oval Space, which "has been seen on CCTV". This police officer also stated that "five days of the investigation have been wasted as the General Manager [of Oval Space] was not contactable and has given the account that her phone was lost/stolen."

The multi-purpose space in Bethnal Green, which opened in 2013, has been rallying for support ahead of a key meeting with the Licensing Sub Committee, calling on supporters to join in a letter-writing campaign to Tower Hamlets, created with the Night Time Industries Association. The club had seen more than 2,000 letters of support sent to Tower Hamlets Council in just five days.

"Oval Space is an important cultural venue In London. Since opening in 2013, it has quickly developed a reputation as a key part of London’s cultural tapestry,” the club wrote on Instagram. “We need everyone to send representation in support of Oval Space through our pre-formatted letter which highlights the importance of these spaces in major cities across the country.”

"If you love our venue, have celebrated there, danced there, spoken there, and been inspired by our breadth of culturally diverse events, then please support us," the club's team said in another post. 

The Licensing Sub Committee are due to meet tomorrow (27th September), with a decision expected within five days of the hearing. Oval Space will have the option of appealing the decision if its licence is revoked.

"The appeal must be made to the Magistrates Court. A notice of appeal must be given to the justices’ chief executive for the Magistrates Court within a period of 21 days beginning with the day on which the appellant was notified by the Licensing Authority," states Tower Hamlets council on their site.