The Antelope cancel gigs on outside stage

High Wycombe gig punters would have been disappointed to hear on Wednesday 14th August 2019 the news that The Antelope pub in the Town Centre had cancelled all forthcoming gigs at their outside stage.  A post on The Antelope Facebook page said: “Due to a few people in the local area consistently complaining about the noise during our live music events, Wycombe District Council have decided that we can no longer have any outdoor live music.”  A statement from WDC provided to explained: “The conditions of the live music licence – and a subsequent noise abatement notice – were continually breached, despite council officers giving extensive assistance and advice to the licence holder.”

The Antelope have since set up a petition to save live music at their venue.

 Both statements are provided in full below, plus a link to the petition.

The Antelope – High Wycombe – pictured in 2014 for

The Antelope is one the oldest pubs in High Wycombe Town Centre and has a long tradition of hosting live music.  It was a regular venue for Blues gigs, dating back to the 1960’s and provided a stage for many local acts throughout the 1970’s, 80’s, 90’s and into the 2000’s.

The venue closed temporarily in 2014 but new landlord Mark Adkins stepped in and re-vamped the venue as a live music venue – culminating in the opening of a 500-capacity outdoor, festival style, stage in 2017 under the Management of Mark Adkins.  Well known acts, including The Hoosiers, Republica and Doctor and The Medics graced the stage in 2018, while numerous tribute acts, such as NoOasis, Sex Pistols Experience, Metallica and Amy Winehouse continued to pull the punters in during 2019.

The full statement on The Antelope Facebook page on Wednesday 14th August 2019 read:

“We’re very sad to announce that there will no longer be live music on The Antelope Stage, therefore all of our upcoming gigs are cancelled.

Due to a few people in the local area consistently complaining about the noise during our live music events, Wycombe District Council have decided that we can no longer have any outdoor live music.

Initially, they set us a very low decibel limit that was impossible to keep to, and after we failed to keep to that limit they told us we couldn’t have bands with a drummer.  We purchased a drum isolation screen as that would likely keep the noise below the required decibel limit, but they’ve now decided we aren’t allowed any live music at all, despite our efforts.

Obviously we are very disappointed with this news, given all of the time, money and effort that has gone into our addition to the Wycombe Live Music Scene.  We tried everything we could to stop this from happening, but sadly it wasn’t enough.

Thank you to all of the customers who have supported our stage by buying tickets and enjoying the gigs, and of course to all of the talented bands that have performed on The Antelope Stage x”

Following the news posted on The Antelope Facebook page, I contacted Wycombe District Council for a statement and they provided the following on Monday 19th August 2019:

“Over the last year and a half, Wycombe District Council have received a number of complaints from local residents about the live music from the “lope stage” outside The Antelope pub in High Wycombe. As a result, our Control of Pollution and Licensing Teams have been worked extensively with the premise licence holder to ensure that the business complied with licensing law and was not causing a public nuisance.

Unfortunately, the conditions of the live music licence – and a subsequent noise abatement notice – were continually breached, despite council officers giving extensive assistance and advice to the licence holder. As a result, we decided to refer the premises holder to a licensing panel– this was our preferred option rather than seeking a prosecution.

Given the breaches continued after the final warning and Noise Abatement Notice has been issued, the Panel decided that the licensing objectives could only be met by limiting live music to inside the pub. The decision notice stated that they were “sympathetic to the premises licence holder’s attempts to revitalise the premises, which included live music at the venue”. However, they noted that having volunteered a condition to his licence to minimise a nuisance to local residents from live music, the licence holder had consistently breached this condition.”

On Tuesday 20th August 2019, Roxi Cox from The Antelope set up a petition at that included the following statement from Mark Adkins (Landlord, Antelope) in response to WDC:

“I took over The Antelope in January 2015 and after a bit of a revamp, the pub opened it’s doors to the public, at the end of February. When I took over, the pub was very run down and attracted less than 50 customers even on a Saturday night. I set about reversing it’s fortunes as I knew it could be a great pub and an asset to the town again. Firstly, I barred any customers that were not well behaved and after a year or so, the pub had a good enough reputation with the Police that I felt confident in applying for a late license. When I spoke to the Police Licensing Officer, I was told that if I went for a 3am license, the Police resources would be split when O’Neill’s closed and that if I went for a 4am license, the resources would be split as Yates closes at that time. I knew that if the closing time was late enough, most customers would have drifted out in small numbers and there would not be an issue with the remaining customers at closing time. I applied for and eventually received a 6am license. I am very pleased to say that the customers have been great and we have not had issues at closing time. I mention this to highlight that as a Pub Landlord, I am always responsible with the decisions I make, and thoughtful of all outcomes of those decisions.

I installed an ID scanner that ensures that anyone who is barred cannot show up months later with a different look, or approach the door when a different door-person is working. We have less problems than any other late-night venue in the town for this reason. We are still the only venue that has this technology in place.

My license allowed me to have live music in the garden as long as it finished by 11pm (which seemed reasonable), so I set about building a stage. It is a large construction – approx. 9m wide, 5m deep and 1.2m high. I built it in sections so that it could be moved if required and it is not attached to the ground and therefore does not need planning permission. If I do something, there are no half-measures; it is built so solidly that a 4×4 could drive on it. After covering the stage with an inflatable cover, erecting the truss and setting up the lights and sound equipment, we then had (in my opinion) the best live music set up in the area. Last year The Antelope was proud to host Toploader, Republica, The Hoosiers and Doctor and the Medics. We also hosted various popular tribute bands and lesser known original bands. We have a policy of giving the support slots to small, up and coming local bands and thus we were able to help promote local talent. As luck would have it, the sound system that I purchased (with no knowledge what-so-ever) gave an excellent and clear sound. The Antelope has become, in a very short time, a music venue that both attracts bands and customers. Indeed, many bands have told us that with the sound quality, size and all the other great aspects of our stage, we are their favourite music venue in the Bucks area.

The stage events not only paid for bands to perform, but also gave employment to photographers, sound engineers, stagehands, door staff, advertising staff and booking agents. Customers & bands would often eat at other businesses prior to a gig and also visit other pubs before and after the gigs, which helped bring revenue into the town. While not the most important thing on a list of reasons to visit or study in the town, it does attract people that would otherwise look to other towns and is a benefit to the town as a whole.

We were informed that the sound was carrying too far, so began working with the council to fix the issue. I designed and installed a sound wall that runs along the church wall which had reduced the sound escaping by about 10 decibels (Db). I also purchased sound limiting crossovers that stop the sound going above the limit that they are set at. We were set a limit of 48Db at a measuring point outside Tiger Taxis on Castle Street. The important point to note here is that the crossovers only work with the sound that goes through the speakers. I asked the sound person from WDC about the fact that drums are generally louder than the 78Db that was set by them at the front of the stage and was told that as they are very quick hits, they would not affect the overall reading, as the 48Db is measured over a 15 minute period and the average is taken.

We were informed that a sound reading was taken during Frogfest that was above the limit but as we had around 450 people in the garden, and there were many other people in the town centre still due to the other stages, this did not set alarm bells ringing, as a crowd of this size is bound to produce a lot of noise.

I have sound level measuring equipment that does not give the average reading but does show the peaks. When I have taken measurements outside Tiger Taxis, the readings are both corrupted by passing traffic (a lot louder than the stage music) and also anyone nearby talking, car radios etc. I was concerned that the peaks from the drums were causing an issue as my research informed me that there is reverb on drums, i.e. the beat is not as short-lived as I was informed by the WDC sound person.

I asked the WDC sound person for help as they have equipment that can give an average reading (and costs about 7K!). I was told that they could not assist me again as they were taking action against the pub. I purchased a drum isolation booth (which cost over £1400.00) but as it had to be made and shipped, it arrived too late for us to test it by the time of the license review hearing, and was not taken into account when mentioned in the hearing.

I have never ignored the sound levels and due to the information given by WDC, I thought that the pub was within the limits. The sound limit was added to my license as a voluntary change and I was told it was achievable. I do not believe that WDC (or their employees) seriously think that live music does not generally include a drummer. I know that if I ask you, there may be a clever-clogs that can name some bands that don’t use drums but I personally struggle with it. An employee from the council actually suggested that we only have bands without drums!

As far as I am concerned the fact that the sound levels were not addressed before is due to the incorrect advice given by the WDC officer. I could have purchased a sound booth for the drums much sooner had I known it was an issue. I intend to appeal the decision of the license review hearing, and I was not going to ‘go public’ with this, but the WDC statement cannot go unanswered. Interestingly, although I have requested a copy of the minutes of the hearing, I have been told that I need to find them for myself on the WDC website. After spending hours looking without success, I even sent a request in to their website techs. No response as of yet. If there is anyone out there that has managed to find the key to unlock that secret level, please let me know the code.

I apologise to any residents nearby that have been affected by the live music at The Antelope, but I do hope that they take into account the fact that we only have live music on weekends during the warmer months and not all year round, and that they recognise it is only ever in the evening, and always finishes before 11pm. I’ve personally noticed that the town centre is always noisy during and even after this time on weekends due to the presence of pubs and bars in the area. There have even been instances in the past where The Antelope was accused of causing a sound disturbance with the stage, but we were able to prove with CCTV that the stage wasn’t actually in use at the time of the disturbance. This highlights to me that the town centre is naturally noisy enough on a weekend to receive complaints, even without our stage in use.”

References and further reading

The Antelope Facebook page

Wycombe District Council Licensing Committee

Wycombe District Council Licensing Policy

Includes the statement on page 5

“The Authority wishes to support, where appropriate, licensees to provide a wide range of entertainment activities throughout their opening hours and to promote live music, dance, theatre, regulated informal entertainment etc. for the wider cultural benefit.

They are a factor in maintaining thriving and sustainable towns and villages which is one of the Council’s aims. Where there is any indication that regulated entertainment, especially live music and dancing, are being deterred by licensing requirements, the policy will be revisited with a view to investigating how the situation might be reversed.”




26 July 2019 – CANCELLED – Public Service Announcement/Calico Street Riots/Freudian Session/Bleed Happiness – The Antelope

Another blow for live music in High Wycombe with the news that the gig below was CANCELLED due to Council restrictions.

Statement from Public Service Announcement said

It is with great regret that tomorrows gig has been cancelled! This is due to the council restricting the volume for live gigs to be an unworkable level. Let’s hope that the issue is resolved as The Antelope and particularly Roxi were trying to promote live music in Wycombe.

A quick mention of a cheap entry gig at The Antelope, High Wycombe on Friday 26th July 2019.

£1 will get you into to see Public Service Announcement, Calico Street Riots, Freudian Session and Bleed Happiness. Doors open at 7pm.

Public Service Announcement – plus 3 bands at The Antelope, High Wycombe on Friday 26th July 2019

Regular visitors to the this site will be aware of Public Service Announcement. They released their first EP earlier in 2019 and this date will be first of three gigs on consecutive evenings.  They play Holroyd Arms, Guildford on Saturday 27th July 2019 with The Members, while on Sunday 28th July 2019, they make their return to the annual Red Lion festival in Chinnor.

Some brief information on the other bands I found online

Calico Street Riots

Six piece English Folk Punk!

The idea to make a festival band was born whilst at Reading 2008.

Check them out on YouTube – obviously influenced by The Pogues (plus more swearing!)

The Freudian Session

 Four piece Punk/Metal band bringing all the noise and banter to every show they play! Huge influences from the likes of The Wildhearts, Metallica, Rise Against, Therapy?, The Clash, Maximum The Hormone, anything punk or metal related!

YouTube link

Bleed Happiness

New three piece rock band from Wendover, made up of Jack Taylor, Oli Williams and James Langstone.

Check the audio of their debut EP on YouTube

Public Service Announcement

Come Back To Me – live version of a track from their debut EP

Facebook event page

Venue website


26 May 2019 – FrogFest – High Wycombe

The annual FREE FrogFest festival takes place in and around High Wycombe High Street on Sunday 26th May 2019.  As per previous years, as well as the live music, there are food stalls, drinks and kids entertainment.  The festival aims to promote High Wycombe as a vibrant and attractive destination and encourage families to visit the town centre.  Please support this free event.

FrogFest 2019 -High Wycombe – Sunday 26th May 2019 – 11.30am to 10.30pm
image from @HWFrogfest

The line-up for the 2019 event is expected to be as follows


11.30 – 11.50 – SOL SAMBA
12.10 – 12.35 – GEORGE JACK
12.55 – 13.20 – CASUAL MADNESS
13.45 – 14.15 – THE SOBERNAUGHTS
14.40 – 15.10 – XCS
15.40 – 16.10 – STEPH WILLIS
16.40 – 17.10 – TINY TINA TURNER
17.40 – 18.20 – DOLLY AND THE DINOSAUR
20.30 – 21.30 – THE HAWKMEN


11.50 – 12.10 – VIBES STEEL BAND
12.35 – 12.55 – MY MATE DAVE
13.20 – 13.45 – GARANCE LOU LOU
14.15 – 14.40 – SLOTH IN THE CITY
15.10 – 15.40 – MIB
16.10 – 16.40 – CARA MEANS FRIEND
17.10 -17.40 – ROBERT J HUNTER
18.20 – 19.00 – SUZY CONDRAD-SHE ROBOT
19.45 – 20.30 – JOCEE

Facebook event pages 

FrogFest – High Street and The Mad Squirrel 

The Antelope has also arranged for live acts throughout the day, including headline performances, after the main FrofFest has closed, that include tribute acts for Muse and The Rolling Stones. 

Antelope: FrogFest 2019



27 April 2019 – Sex Pistols Experience/Rebel Station – Antelope

The Sex Pistols Experience return to High Wycombe on Saturday 27th April 2019 with a gig on the outside ‘festival’ stage at The Antelope pub just off the High Street.  Support comes from London punk/rock ‘n’ rollers, Rebel Station.

Sex Pistols Experience with Rebel Station support
Poster from gig at The Antelope Saturday 27th April 2019

This is the opening night of The Antelope’s summer run of gigs and I would recommend you check out the links below for the latest information regarding other forthcoming gigs at this long running venue of live music in High Wycombe.

Returning to the Sex Pistols Experience, they are widely regarding as the leading tribute to the punk icons and their appearance gives me the usual opportunity to link to the February 1976 gig at the college featuring the original band – some 43 years previous!  Sex Pistols also returned to play at The Nag’s Head in September 1976.  The fact their music is still be played, puts to bed the thought at the time that ‘punk’ was just a passing trend.

So, if you want to wallow in nostalgia and hear some classic tunes at the same time, get on down to The Antelope and support live music in the town.

Facebook event page


Band links

27 May 2018 – Frogfest – High Wycombe

High Wycombe annual FREE street festival  – FROGFEST – took place on Sunday 27th May 2018 in the High Street and surrounding venues.  The family-friendly event featured a variety of musicians, food stalls and street entertainers.  2018 saw Frogfest celebrate its sixth birthday, and the event was the biggest to date.

FROGFEST LINEUP 2018 MAY 27th from 11.25am.

11.25 – 11.45 – Everyone can sing
11.45 – 12.15 -Main Stage – Hartbeats Vitae Drummers
12.15 -12.40 – Squirrel Stage – The Bailey Sisters
12.40 – 13.10 – Main Stage – The Brightside
13.10 – 13.35 – Squirrel Stage – The Apricot Hounds
13.35 – 14.10 – Main Stage – 3rd Lung
14.10 – 14.35 – Squirrel Stage – 91 Nights
14.35 – 15.10 – Main Stage -Tinlin
15.10 – 15.35 – Squirrel Stage – Maz Manzini Band
15.35 – 16.10 – Main Stage – Dury Service
16.10 – 16.35 – Squirrel Stage – Other Sons
16.35 – 17.15 – Main Stage – Sir Walter J Wallis
17.15 – 17.45 – Squirrel Stage – Steph Willis
17.45 – 18.25 – Main Stage – The Hot House Four
18.25 – 19.05 – Squirrel Stage – AmiR
19.05 – 19.45 – Main Stage – These Certain People
19.45 – 20.30 – Squirrel Stage – Georgia and the Vintage Youth
20.30 – 21.30 – Main Stage – The Defekters

Notice also that The Antelope hosted a FREE live music from 1.30pm to 10.30pm, including headliners – The Sex Pistols Experience.


Visit the websites below for more information.



2 June 1977 – Brewers Droop/Zoots – Nag’s Head

Nag’s Head promoter Ron Watts gave his own band, Brewers Droop, an outing at the London Road venue on Thursday 2nd June 1977.  Support came from The Zoots.  The Droop were no strangers to The Nag’s Head stage but this was a relatively rare performance due to Ron’s ever increasing promoting duties at both the Nag’s and London’s 100 Club.

Brewers Droop – Opening Time – RCA album from 1972 – photo outside The Antelope in High Wycombe

The Thursday night slot was usually reserved for ‘rock’ but with The Jam set to the play two days later on the Saturday, this ‘Blues’ night was a throwback to the nights when Watts first promoted at the venue back in 1968.

This is Brewers Droop from their 1972 album, Opening Time – the cover of which (above) was taken outside The Antelope pub in High Wycombe Town Centre.  At the time of this post, it was still open and going strong and easily recognisable from the album cover.