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Hallowe’en festival shut down after crowd surge

The promoter of Detonate Halloween, in Nottingham, UK, says it is "gutted" after being forced to call off the event three hours early amid serious overcrowding

By IQ on 31 Oct 2016

Cause & Affect, Detonate Halloween, Nottingham

Cause & Affect in The Batcave tent at Detonate Halloween

image © Instagram.com/bethanymboaden

A Hallowe’en-themed music festival in the English city of Nottingham was called off early on Saturday night after fence breaches led to dangerous overcrowding.

Detonate Halloween, at Nottingham Racecourse, ended at around 20.30 – three hours early – on the advice of the festival’s health and safety officer and Nottinghamshire police, cancelling or cutting short sets by Kano, New York Transit Authority, Kurupt FM, Andy C, TQD and The Prototypes and 2Shy. A sister event at the O2 Academy in Sheffield went ahead as planned.

In a statement, promoter Detonate says: “We are truly gutted that an event which we’ve been working on for the last six months ended the way it did. We’d like to thank everyone for leaving the site in a calm, orderly way.

“The safety issue was due to the majority of people wanting to be in one tent, which caused large queues. When some of the surrounding fence was breached and crowds surged, action had to be taken to avoid people being injured.

“Closing just one tent wasn’t an option, as it would have caused the same issues at other arenas. We had no choice but to start a phased closure of the site”

“Flow of people is estimated based on capacities of each area; popularity of the acts which are on at the same time in each arena; and dynamic assessments on the day. We surveyed our ticketholders in the lead up to the event by asking them which acts they most wanted to see, and used this data to programme set times. Queuing systems were in place to prevent any one tent becoming overcrowded.

“In the case of The Boneyard [tent], this meant that people inside didn’t leave, even when relatively small acts were on, as they could see it would take a while to get back in. As a result, there was very little flow of people in and out of that arena and long queues of people who were rightfully frustrated by not being allowed inside the tent. When this situation worsened and started to pose a risk to people’s safety, the music was switched off. Closing just one tent wasn’t an option as it would have caused the same issues at other arenas. From then on we had no choice but to start a phased closure of the site.”

Detonate is currently offering refunds on drinks vouchers. Regarding ticket refunds, it says it is “working out how we can compensate people, and will update very soon”.


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