Anger about celebration hotspots: Würzburg wants zones for alcohol bans

Perhaps the scenes from early summer 2021 were due to a long Corona winter with contact restrictions. But one thing is certain: in Würzburg, many residents were annoyed when people suddenly celebrated on their doorstep well into the night. The Würzburg city administration is now reacting. On Thursday evening, the city council is discussing a concept entitled “Nightlife in Würzburg – making it safer and less conflict-free”. The concept includes a whole bundle of measures: including alcohol bans, additional garbage containers, but also a newly designated party zone.

Administration wants alcohol bans at five “hotspots”

The administration is planning alcohol bans on the banks of the Main in the Sanderau district, on the Mainkai, the Leonhard-Frank-Promenade, the Juliuspromenade and in Sanderstrasse. They should each apply at different times. In the case of the Mainkai and the opposite Leonhard-Frank-Promenade, the alcohol ban could apply from 11 p.m. in the future. Playing music will also be banned. As early as 10 p.m., an alcohol ban could apply along the Main in the Sanderau district. In the Sanderstraße and on the Juliuspromenade, where several bars and pubs are located, the city is considering a ban on alcohol outdoors from 1 a.m. The City Council must first approve the plan.

Local residents complained about garbage and noise

The reason for the planned measures are the open-air celebrations, especially last year. At Mainkai, for example, there was loud partying at night. Residents complained about disturbance of the peace, damage to property and garbage. It was similar back then along the Main in Sanderau. On two weekends in June 2021, the city then closed the Mainkai at night.

In order to continue to offer young people in particular the opportunity to meet in the open air, the city administration wants to create new seating east of the Konrad-Adenauer Bridge. There should be no explicit ban on alcohol and music. In addition, the administration wants to set up four so-called “service points”. A total of nine mobile and two barrier-free toilets are to be installed on these. In addition, the city wants to set up new garbage containers and a total of six bottle collection containers.

Youth alliance against alcohol bans in Würzburg

The announcement caused different reactions, especially among young politicians in Würzburg. Clear criticism comes from Green Youth, Jusos and the Left Youth. Together, as a youth alliance, they spoke out against the planned measures. A statement on the new concept states: “This is a very restrictive measure that is mainly, almost specifically, aimed at young people.” The alliance fears that the alcohol ban will only shift partying to other places. The concept puts revelers in “tribal detention” “just because individuals go overboard”. At the same time, the youth organizations are in favor of more garbage cans and toilets.

CSU city councilor finds nightlife concept useful

City councilor Rena Schimmer, chairwoman of the Junge Union Würzburg-Stadt, considers the concept to be fundamentally sensible. Although she regrets that such a concept is necessary at all. She can well understand that after the Corona deprivation, young people in particular want to celebrate. “Nevertheless, it has rocked up,” says Schimmer. She therefore considers selective alcohol bans late at night to be appropriate. It is a preventive measure, in coordination with the security service and the police. Schimmer has hope that the nightly alcohol bans are only a temporary measure. “That doesn’t mean that you can’t drink in the city center anymore,” she says.

Factions want to introduce conflict managers first

Shortly before the vote, however, several factions submitted an amendment, including the Greens, SPD, FDP/Bürger-Forum and Linke. The city councilors are demanding that there are no alcohol bans for the time being. Instead, so-called conflict managers are to be used in Würzburg’s nightlife. Such “all-party conflict management” has existed in Munich since 2015. The conflict managers are out and about in public places and try to mediate wherever there are conflicts, such as noise, rubbish or vandalism.

The concept of the Würzburg administration also provides for this conflict manager – but in combination with the nocturnal drinking bans. The intergroup motion, in turn, now demands that conflict management be started first. Then, at the end of the 2023 summer season, a balance should be drawn up – and only then should possible further measures be considered.