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£10,000 fine for AJ Tracey event in Manchester

By | Published on Tuesday 20 April 2021

AJ Tracey

The organiser of an AJ Tracey public appearance in Manchester has been fined £10,000 for breaching COVID-19 rules, after more people than expected turned up to see the rapper in the city’s Platt Fields Park.

Tracey turned up to two meet and greet events in Birmingham and Manchester on Sunday. A third planned appearance in Bristol was cancelled, with Tracey saying that he had been surprised by the number of people who showed up to see him in Manchester.

Having signed copies of his new album ‘Flu Game’ at HMV in West London’s Westfield shopping centre on Saturday, Tracey embarked on his impromptu trip around the country the following day. On Sunday morning, he tweeted times and locations for official appearances in Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol that day, telling fans: “Everyone invited, just turn up!”

An appearance at the HMV Vault in Birmingham seems to have gone off without incident. The problems began in Manchester, where he announced that he would be appearing at Platt Fields Park. It’s not clear how many people turned up, but social distancing rules were seemingly not observed. There are reports that initial plans for an actual performance in the park were then cancelled, prior to the Bristol appearance being called off entirely.

In a video posted to Twitter, the rapper said: “Thank you for coming out and copping some CDs and whatnot and showing some love, but it’s not going to be safe for me to come to Bristol. I didn’t expect that many people to turn up in Manny and genuinely it’s not okay for me to go ahead. I’m going to head home to London but I appreciate you lot showing support and when it’s safe to do so I’m definitely gonna come back and do some shows”.

Manchester police later announced that the organiser of the Platt Fields Park event had been fined the maximum £10,000 for breaching COVID regulations, as well as warning others not to “flout” the recent lifting of some of the pandemic restrictions.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police told reporters: “Unfortunately, we did have a large gathering at Platt Fields Park, where police intervention was needed due to the large amount of people in attendance. A fine was issued to the organiser and the crowd was dispersed”.

Speaking to BBC Newsbeat, Superintendent Caroline Hemingway added: “We are still very much in the midst of a public health crisis and it remains as important as ever to abide by the COVID-19 legislation”.