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Dunedin Ed Sheeran fans may not be allowed to drink in bars after his gig next year

scandal 11/12/2017

Ed Sheeran fans will soon know whether or not they'll be allowed to drink in Dunedin bars for his concert next year.

The concert coincides with Easter Sunday, meaning bars won't be able to serve the tens of thousands of fans expected to flock to the city.

The city's already dealing with an accommodation shortage, and it's become a problem for bars trying to get around the liquor restrictions. 

The Dunedin City Council will vote on Monday whether to allow Easter trading.

Dunedin Venues Management chief executive Terry Davies told the Otago Daily Times 65,000 people were coming to Dunedin for the concerts - many for the first time - and they needed to leave with a good impression of the city.

"The city may never have the chance to showcase itself to as large a visiting new audience like this again.''

The alternative, he said, was "60,000 people walking round the streets with nothing to do''.

Unions and Christian groups oppose the change.

"Why should we change everything just to suit that weekend?" First Union organiser Shirley Walthew asked on RNZ. "They won't starve."

Sheeran's latest album ÷ was the most-streamed record of 2017 in New Zealand.