The future of Carnage bar crawls are in doubt after mass media coverage of an incident which saw Sheffield University student Philip Laing urinate on a war memorial in the city centre. A photo was taken of the incident and was lauded around the national press. Carnage – one of many bar crawls that operate in Nottingham – refused to accept responsibility for the Laing incident, stating that they were “appalled that one individual treated a war memorial in a highly disrespectful manner”.
Talking to Impact, the organisers of Carnage argued that student unions are deliberately hindering their bar crawls: “Student unions actively try and thwart Carnage events by threatening clubs and societies with the removal of their funding if they are seen to be associated with any Carnage event.” It seems that there were growing tensions between some student unions and the organisers before the Laing incident hit the headlines.
When Laing was in court, the judge remarked that the former public schoolboy “should also have been joined in the dock by the organisers”. However, Carnage strongly deny any wrongdoing, reminding Impact that all events are “carefully planned, organised and managed, with participating venues supplying free soft drinks”.
The University of Nottingham Students’ Union made no comment on Carnage’s bar crawls, clarifying that “The University of Nottingham Students’ Union does not have any link with Carnage. We are aware that the company operates in Nottingham and that some students attend its events, but we do not promote Carnage nights or have any connection to them.”