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Neighbours relieved Fuzzy Ducks student club night will end
NOTORIOUS student night Fuzzy Ducks is coming to an end, much to the delight of East Oxford residents.
Held on Wednesdays at the O2 Academy in Cowley Road, Fuzzy Ducks sparked a stream of complaints about antisocial behaviour and late night disturbances over the years.
But the Oxford Mail has learnt that plans are being drawn up to axe it after more than a decade.
It will be replaced with a new night as part of a joint venture with the students’ union.
Ed Chipperfield, of East Oxford Residents’ Associations Forum, said residents would welcome the end of Fuzzy Ducks, which had come to be associated with late night heavy drinking.
Mr Chipperfield, of James Street, said: “Problems with Fuzzy Ducks have been going on for a long time.
"Releasing 1,000 people on to the street after heavy drinking at 2.30am in midweek is not a good use of this venue.
“A venue is only as good as its worst night. It is in a residential area, entirely surrounded by housing.”
Mr Chipperfield said he had been encouraged that the O2 Academy had shown itself keen to work with the local community in recent months.
And he hoped the prospect of unruly behaviour would be reduced by the closer link with Oxford Brookes.
Louise Kovacs, spokesman for the Academy Music Group, owners and operators of the O2 Academy, said: “This unique agreement sees the formation of a three-year partnership between the two organisations to deliver a diverse programme of entertainment for Brookes students. The partnership includes the development of a new night starting on September 19.”
Other events under the Brookes Night Out banner will be held at alternative locations in the city. But most events delivered collaboratively with the students’ union will take place at the 1,350-capacity O2 Academy.
Former St Clements ward city councillor Nuala Young said: “Over six years I had more complaints about Fuzzy Ducks than anything else. We need to see how things are going to change apart from the name. If it is the same hours and same clientele, they will have difficulty ensuring it will be less burdensome to neighbours.
“Much will depend on how it is advertised and whether they do cheap drink promotions. But it is a move in the right direction.”
David Whittingham, general manager of Oxford Brookes Students’ Union, said: “We will proactively address any issues in the local area and reinforce a positive message for conduct for all Students’ Union events that take place off campus.”
Colourful history of night...
- Fuzzy Ducks, which describes itself as the UK’s most famous student night, has had a vibrant history:
- The club was voted by men’s magazine FHM as the easiest place to pull in the UK
- Oxford Brookes University student and Big Brother contestant Sam Heuston was a dancer at the club night
- Police extended patrols in the early hours in 2010 to cope with students heading home from Fuzzy Ducks
- In 2010, residents reported shouting, swearing, vomit, vandalism, littering and people urinating in their gardens following the club nights
- An application to extend opening hours at the O2 received more than 60 letters of objection in June, with residents citing Fuzzy Ducks as the reason.