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Homerton community centre denies bashment music was reason party booking was rejected

PUBLISHED: 16:10 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:27 05 February 2018

Elijah Anderson outside the Wally Foster Community Centre, Homerton. Picture: Polly Hancock

Elijah Anderson outside the Wally Foster Community Centre, Homerton. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

A Homerton community centre told a man he couldn’t book a birthday party because he was planning to play the wrong genre of music.

Elijah Anderson outside the Wally Foster Community Centre, Homerton. Picture: Polly Hancock Elijah Anderson outside the Wally Foster Community Centre, Homerton. Picture: Polly Hancock

But the chairman of the Wally Foster Community Centre Association has now apologised, saying he has nothing against bashment music – and actually rejected the booking for ethical reasons.

Hackney man Elijah Anderson was furious when an enquiry to hold his 35th birthday party in July was turned down.

After explaining his plans for the celebration he was told by Anthony Roberts in an email: “Unfortunately, bashment [music] is not the direction this venue is going”.

“I’m flabbergasted. I just don’t know what the hell that means,” Elijah told the Gazette. “I cannot fathom how a community centre in area that has a large mix of cultures can refuse to rent me a venue due to a genre of music.

“I was just trying to sort it out early because venues in Hackney can be hard to book when you want to play that music.

“It’s absolute murder trying to get a venue if you are going to play bashment, there’s a stigma.”

Mr Roberts said he was sorry for the wording of the email, and that the rejection was actually over Elijah’s desired them – a “pyjama and lingerie party” – as well as his plans to charge people to attend.

“This is about ethics,” he said. “I am a black man who loves bashment. It’s the lingerie I can’t deal with.

“First of all when he contacted me he said he wanted to do a birthday party. I had to drag the [rest of the] information out of him. He’s trying to say he’s not a promoter. He wanted to sell tickets!

“I can’t do business with someone playing any music if they can’t be truthful.

“It’s still a community centre. If you want a birthday party here you give away your drinks. He wanted to sell drinks.

“I could have worded the email much better, I hold my hands up. I’m not against any genre of music. We have reggae nights here all the time. But how can you not be a promoter and still sell tickets?”

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