Police launch investigation after Sobar fire, TRiPP garden party postponed


There was a fire last night at Southampton nightclub Sobar, Bevois Valley Road. The Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service reports that around 30 firefighters attended the incident and that “a skip fire spread to the side of the adjoining building”. Sotonight understands that Sobar has fallen victim to an arson attack.

The block of flats adjacent to Sobar was evacuated as a precautionary measure in the early hours of this morning and Bevois Valley Road was closed in both directions but reopened at around 4.30am. Southampton City Council & Balfour Beatty Highways Partnership reported that Bevois Valley Road had been closed due to a fire and explosion. The emergency services were first contacted at 3:09am and the fire was extinguished by 4:23am.

Sobar was due to host a garden party, organised by TRiPP, today. The event, which was set to be headlined by DJ EZ, has been postponed. TRiPP have issued a temporary statement explaining that the situation is being investigated and all tickets will be valid for the rescheduled date, yet to be announced. Update: TRiPP have now provided an official statement, it can be found in the timeline below.

Police are in attendance and have cordoned off Sobar and the car park of Aldi, next door. Ambulances were also on site this morning.

Sotonight understands that there is CCTV footage of two people climbing over the wall into Sobar’s beer garden in the early hours of this morning. It is believed the individuals may have started a fire. The marquee and stage equipment which was set up in the garden ready for TRiPP’s scheduled daytime event has been badly damaged. A discarded petrol can was seen in the road.

Sobar issued the following statement at 11:45am this morning:

At the moment the Sobar garden is taped off and the garden party will be rescheduled. To quash the rumours what about what happened and the Echo getting it wrong this is it: People jumped the wall last night, set fire to the garden and caused a massive explosion. It is currently a crime scene and until we can get access to the venue there is no more we can tell you.

Updates (2nd August 2014):

12:25: TRiPP will be holding a free party in their club for all garden party ticket holders. They will be open from 5pm.

12:30: The Daily Echo reports that the cause is being investigated with an arson team on site and that police have cordoned off the area.

12:59: TRiPP provide more details about their replacement event plans:

The Garden Party with DJ EZ will NOT be happening at the Sobar today. There was an arson attack on the venue in the night, and currently the venue is unable to host our party. We have spoken at length with DJ EZ and management and we will be releasing the replacement show’s date on Monday – this is very likely to be next Saturday or one of the following Saturdays in August. We can only apologise for any inconvenience this has caused but it is totally out of our control.

In true spirit, and for the love of the party (and in fact, because we have wanted to do one of these for a long time), we are going to host an 11 hour day and night party in the club – at TRiPP, 55 London Road, Southampton, SO15 2AD. All ticket holders can come in for free. The doors open at 5pm and will close at 4am.

Here are the updated set times:

Main Room

4:30 – 6:00 Luca Pilato
6:00 – 7:30 Bitr8 & Dujy Fresh
7:30 – 9:30 Gavin Foord B2B Ryan B B2B MC Alistair
9:30 – 11:00 George Francis & Jacuzé
11:00 – 1:00 Carlington B2B Moda Soul
1:00 – 3:00 Ceri (Hot Creations)
3:00 – 4:00 Matt Kelly


Set times released later in the day.

Thank you again for your ongoing support, we are devastated – but will ensure that the replacement Garden Party will be even better than what we had planned for today ;)

The party must go on!

13:08: The Buddah Lounge roof terrace will be open from 3pm onwards, free entry to all garden party ticket holders.

14:00: The area surrounding Sobar’s garden and the garden itself remain sealed off. The area will remain cordoned off until the police have completed their investigations.

14:56: The Daily Echo have reported the following statement from Detective Constable Steve Thomas, from Southampton CID:

We’re in the early stages of our investigation but at this time we believe the fire was caused deliberately. This was a large fire and we received many calls at the time from members of the public. Fortunately the bar was closed at the time of the fire and no-one was injured, but the circumstances could have been much worse.


About Author

Adam is a physics graduate from the University of Southampton with an interest in electronic music. He co-founded Sotonight and was involved with SEMSU and other music-related projects while at university.