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Fake-ticket holders force entry into Pakistan’s Solis fest

Organisers of Solis Festival blame individuals with fake tickets for overcrowding and a stage collapse at the event on Saturday, as police launch an inquiry

By Anna Grace on 17 Feb 2020

Pakistan's Solis fest called off amid fake ticket crisis

A previous edition of Solis festival


image © Solis festival/Facebook

The organisers of Solis festival in Islamabad, Pakistan, brought the event to a close on Saturday (15 February), as “hundreds” of individuals with fake tickets “fought their way” into the venue.

Solis Music and Arts Festival, which has run for three previous editions, was due to feature electronic acts including Dannic, Mike Williams, Julian James and Fdvm at the 1,000-capacity Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA).

However, the event was called off after audience members climbed onto a VIP stage, causing it to collapse. Organisers claimed the culprits were fake-ticket holders, who had stormed the venue after being denied entry.

“We chose the venue and our security based on the number of tickets sold and made arrangements based on this,” stated organisers.

“We warned against fake tickets on numerous occasions. However, we underestimated the sheer volume of thousands of “fake tickets” that were being sold illegally.

“These people were denied entry, but broke our barricades and forced themselves in”

“These people were denied entry, but broke our barricades and forced themselves in, climbing on VIP platforms which couldn’t take the weight and destroyed our stage putting everyone’s safety at risk.”

Many on social media have criticised festival organisers, citing “mismanagement” and a “lack of security”. Some audience members reported incidents of sexual harassment and assault following the stage collapse.

An inquiry is now underway to determine what happened at the event, with Deputy Commissioner for Islamabad, Muhammad Hamza Shafqaat, stating that the festival organisers “will not be allowed any future event in Islamabad”.

Organisers, on the other hand, state that the incident will not prevent the event from going ahead in Islamabad in the coming years, saying: “We will learn and persevere and keep giving Pakistan an experience they haven’t had before, much like we have done in the past.”

 


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