Melvin Benn issues apology after reports of 'stampede' and chaos at Longitude Festival gates - NME
Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn has issued an apology after reports of a “stampede” and chaos at the gates of Longitude Festival.
“The opening hour of yesterday’s entry was not what I wanted,” wrote Benn in an apology on the festival’s official website. “We had encouraged people to arrive early and they heeded the encouragement to a greater level than anticipated making that first hour difficult and I owe those caught up in it an apology.
“However, every single person caught up in the shock of the uncomfortable start was able to continue into the concert and enjoy the day despite that. As you would anticipate, my teams have worked throughout the night to improve the entry for today and tomorrow so everyone can enjoy Longitude at its best.”
An apologyThe opening hour of yesterday's entry was not what I wanted. We had encouraged people to arrive early and…
Ticketholders have disputed Benn’s claims that “every single person” went on to enjoy the event, citing injuries suffered in the crush, theft and not being given wristbands as issues faced on the day.
“My little brother had a three day ticket and they were saying to keep tickets for return as there were no wristbands,” one person commented on the apology on the festival’s Facebook page. “His ticket got stolen. So what can he not go back today or tomorrow. He has a photo of his ticket would he be able to get back in with that? wristbands should have been given out to all 2 and 3 day ticket holders!!”
Another added: “I’ve never felt so claustrophobic in all my life. No one knew what they were doing and on top of that there was NO supervision for the people who were pushing forward and causing trouble.”
Another commenter said: “I just spoke to my daughter who witnessed this. To be clear, the collapsing of barriers and crowds of people getting trampled and crushed is far from “uncomfortable’ and I am extremely concerned about the health and safety measures and standards that YOU are responsible for are in place today to prevent this.”
Festival organisers have posted updated entry information for those attended the event today (July 15) and tomorrow.