A TOWN centre bar has been forced to close temporarily after 200 New Year's Eve revellers were involved in a mass brawl which left one man knocked unconscious.

Two police incidents this month including fights and 'disorder' with hundreds of people involved prompted police to call for an urgent review of Yates in Reading.

Following a meeting with the council today, the Friar street bar's licence has now been suspended until January 31, when a full review of the licence will take place.

The decision was made by Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Licensing sub-committee this morning.

Councillor Deborah Edwards, chairwoman of the committee, said: “The licensing sub-committee has decided it is appropriate and proportionate to suspend the premises licence until the decision of the review hearing on Friday, January 31.

“The committee considered the two incidents were so serious that a period of immediate suspension is necessary.”

Thames Valley Police applied for an urgent summary review of the premises after the mass brawl at the bar's New Year's Eve party and another incident that occurred on Saturday, January 4.

New Year’s Eve brawl and “agitated” birthday party attendees

More than 20 police came were scrambled to the scene as the fight reportedly broke out at Yates New Year's Eve party inside the venue shortly after 2am.

Just days later another mass incident involving 150 'agitated' teenagers happened outside the club in Friar Street, prompting police to raise the alarm over the club's licence.

Teenagers between the age of 16 and 18 were there for a private birthday party at the venue, having been sold £2 wristbands, but those under 18 were not allowed to enter, which led to “pockets of disorder”.

At today's meeting PC Simon Wheeler, speaking on behalf of Thames Valley Police, said: “Due to the serious incidents we have had to take these steps.

“Suspension is the only method available to temporarily resolve issues.”

He added there are believed to have been at least three arrests, while four individuals were injured.

The man who was knocked unconscious may have been involved in the fight inside, according to Mr Wheeler.

 “No more urban and drill music”: What Stonegate said

The company announced at the meeting this morning that it has now dismissed Yates Reading’s designated premises supervisor (DPS) and appointed a new one.

The area manager has been removed from their position pending disciplinary procedures. Yates Reading was voluntarily closed by Stonegate ahead of the meeting.

Stonegate – which runs Yates Reading – said it will no longer hold externally promoted events at the venue and will ban the playing of “urban and drill genres” at all its venues across the country.

The New Year's Eve party was advertised as "playing the best in urban music", with hip-hop, afrobeats and bashment on the poster but no mention of drill music.

Stonegate will also review the security company used, after door staff reportedly hid and Walkabout staff had to help manage the incidents.

But Paul Wright, director of operations and licensing, said the door staff at Walkabout are from the same security company and this highlights the failure of the DPS.

Lawyer Michael Bromley-Martin, representing Stonegate, had asked for the licence to only be suspended until January 13 and on January 17 but councillors rejected this request.

He said: “These were serious events of disorder. The only thing that can be said is happily no one was seriously injured and there doesn’t appear to be the use of weapons which is often the case at urban events.”

Mr Bromley-Martin, who said “the urban or drill music clientele has caused this problem”, will not be representing the company at the January 31 meeting as he is defending a drill artist at another hearing.

The long-term future of Yates Reading will be decided at a hearing at 9.30am on January 31 at RBC's Civic Offices.