Zip your lips

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Shut up or ship out.

That’s the message from Queenstown’s Sherwood after chatty punters caused issues at last Friday’s Julia Deans gig.

The business is warning people who talk loudly during gigs they’ll be asked to leave in the future, and introducing new measures to get them to shush.

Sherwood’s Sam Chapman says there’s been an increasing number of both artists and patrons “voicing their frustration” at crowds talking through gigs.

“As a result of last week’s show, which saw our pre-show house-keeping announcement made inaudible and Julia finishing the show with ‘I hope you enjoyed your $40 conversation’, we felt we have no option but to begin to remove audience members from the show if they are compromising the experience for others.”

Deans compares it to “me coming into your office or your shop or following you along shouting in your ear”.

“We don’t really want to hear how Julie from accounting went out and got really slagged the other night and came in and was horrible.

“I’ve paraphrased and changed names, but that was what we were hearing. We can hear every word.”

She’s “really stoked” Sherwood’s taken a stance.

Chapman says there’ll now be announce-ments before shows, new signage, and they’re looking at upping production values.

“In the immortal words of Aretha Franklin, this is simply a matter of respect … and old-fashioned manners.

“If people want to have a strong music, arts and cultural scene in this town then they’ve got to support it – and give artists and their fellow audience members the respect they deserve.”