We Are FSTVL organisers have issued an apology after fans complained of “collapsing and vomiting” as a result of queuing for hours to get in on Saturday (May 25).
We Are FSTVL is being held in East London this weekend (May 25-26). Its Saturday lineup included Chase and Status, Bugzy Malone and CamelPhat. But various videos and photos shared via social media appear to show it wasn’t as fun a day as it was supposed to be when a ruckus broke out at the gates of the Upminster-based festival involving a huge queue of people.
— Big Mike⚡️ (@mikeyjwill98) May 25, 2019
According to eyewitnesses speaking to Newsbeat, a lack of wristbands meant that people had to queue in hot temperatures – which led to people charging past staff and into the event.
“They’d run out of wristbands at the door so they didn’t have drink token wristbands when they were letting people through,” one witness said. “They weren’t handing out water so everyone in the queue for three hours didn’t have a drink.”
Acceptable? I’m not too sure. pic.twitter.com/uEgUmqOhcc
— o⚽️ (@eoinfraser) May 25, 2019
Standing near people vomiting in a fenced off area, the same witness claimed that nearby staff didn’t offer any help before the rush at the gates took place. “A barrier got thrown into the crowds, the woman next to me got hit by it and it sliced a massive chunk out of her leg,” she said.
“She’s passed out on the floor, security ran over to her and people were just charging through. They took out the barriers, pushed through security, punching security, just taking everyone out in their way.”
Another festival-goer claimed he was standing near people who had passed out due to the heat. “We were in the queue, four people had collapsed around us, people were throwing up and shouting for medics, all the staff were doing was throwing water bottles into the crowd of people,” he explained.
— Adam Fierce (@adamfiercedj) May 25, 2019
Involved in the ruckus at the site entrance, he added: “Everyone at the back of us was just pushing towards us. I turned around to see my friends getting crushed by other people. People were coming out of there crawling and crying because they’d been trampled on. It was ridiculous and all the security was doing was trying to push people back.”
According to Newsbeat, the Metropolitan Police told them: “Officers are at the location and working alongside organisers and London Ambulance Service. We are not aware of any serious injury.”
We didn’t even get in, spent 3 hours trying and then a riot happened pic.twitter.com/luMMuISxvZ
— TweeetyPie90 (@TweeetyP) May 25, 2019
Now organisers have apologised for the problems, offering “sincere apologies” for anyone who experienced delays. They also stated that they’d be adding additional staff and “infrastructure” to try and speed up the ticket checking process for the closing day’s (May 25) programme.
“We Are SORRY,” wrote the festival on Twitter. “We always strive to deliver our customers a great event each year. This year wasn’t the case for everyone on Saturday, and that paints us immensely. While we managed to rectify the issue and finish on a high on Sunday, we accept queuing times on Saturday were unacceptable.
“We hate the idea of letting any of you down. We want anyone who was affected to please get in touch with us at [email protected] and we will reply back personally as quickly as we can. Thank you x”
In a full statement, the festival added:
“Due to unforeseen technical difficulties at the wristband exchange, customers had experienced longer waiting times and for that we apologise. Security were able to overcome these issues and barriers were quickly reinstated.
“Five customers sustained minor injuries and all were treated on site before re-joining the festival.
“The situation was quickly resolved and measures including providing additional queueing lanes and dedicated water distributers have been taken to change the process on site today for the benefit of all festival goers.
“Our sincere apologies for anyone that was affected by the issue at the gate. Our event planning is done in accordance to the highest standards, working with The Met Police, London Ambulance Service and London Borough of Havering and the London Fire Brigade. We take the security of our audience very seriously, and constantly review our processes to ensure a safe festival environment.”
NME has contacted We Are FSTVL for information on what fans can do with regards to refunds.
We Are SORRY x pic.twitter.com/ZG2gzTdYIw
— We Are FSTVL (@wearefstvl) May 27, 2019
Meanwhile, Foals fans were left upset as their headline set at This Is Tomorrow festival was cut short due to safety concerns on Friday (May 24).
Joined on the bill by You Me At Six, Nothing But Thieves, local favourites The Pale White and a few others, Foals headlined the Newcastle festival at Exhibition Park.
Unfortunately, for those in attendance things ended abruptly when the festival decided to pull the plug on the show citing safety concerns.