Sunday 22 July 2018

Heading to Ed Sheeran tonight? Here are measures Aiken Promotions are taking to avoid issues of first Phoenix Park gig

Ed Sheeran (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Ed Sheeran (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Aiken Promotions are taking several measures to avoid a repetition of the access issues experienced by some fans at Ed Sheeran's first Phoenix Park gig on Wednesday night.

Some fans with standing tickets complained of not being able to see or hear the artist during the concert because there were seated stands between them and the stage.

The issues affected a small proportion of the 50,000 crowd in what was the seventh sold out show after three in Cork and three in Galway.

Fans felt the issues were due to 'overcrowding' and said the pitch area was 'crammed to capacity' and felt 'claustrophobic'.  The issues prompted some disappointed fans to leave the show early.

Ed Sheeran performing on stage last night. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Ed Sheeran performing on stage last night. Photo: Steve Humphreys

However, Aiken Promotions released a statement on Thursday explaining that there had been ample room on the pitch, but some people had stopped at the entrance, forcing others to remain behind in an area which was not designed to watch the show. The area was located between the concessions area/entrances and the viewing area/pitch.

 

Eamon O'Boyle, Safety Officer with Aiken Promotions, told Morning Ireland this morning that there will be increased security at the concerts tonight and tomorrow night.

John O'Keefe attended the Ed Sheeran concert at Croke Park and his photo illustrates how many fans remained behind the seated area. PIC: John O'Keefe/Twitter
John O'Keefe attended the Ed Sheeran concert at Croke Park and his photo illustrates how many fans remained behind the seated area. PIC: John O'Keefe/Twitter

"We're going to increase the level of security and have a team of 30 people who are going to be policing this particular area itself to make sure that this won't occur and we're also going to create a sterile area at the entrance and this will ensure people don't congregate within that area," he explained.

"There was adequate space within the venue [on Wednesday]," he added.  "The problem was people kind of stopped to look at the concert and then they created a blockage there."

He also revealed that they will have a 'one way in and a one way out system' which will allow people who are in the venue to be able to get back out to the area where there are services including food and toilets.

Mr O'Boyle also asked concert goers to arrive at the venue early as on Wednesday they observed that the "arrival pattern was different than we had experienced in other venues".

Ed Sheeran is usually on stage by 8.45pm and usually all concert goers are in the venue by 8.30pm.  It was later than this for many arrivals on Wednesday, he said.

Concert goers should bear in mind that there is a walk to the location which can take 20 minutes or more so allow adequate time to walk there and allow for a queue.

According to Mr O'Boyle, the issues on Wednesday played out over approximately ten minutes as once they noticed some "discomfort around the entrance", he says they "immediately intervened with the assistance of the gardai and our stewards".

He reassured fans that there will be a "much bigger security presence tonight".

Last night Aiken Promotions released a second statement reiterating some of the points of the previous statement and adding some more.

"Re some comments from audience members who mistakenly thought they had seated tickets when they were in fact standing tickets, we want to clarify that tickets with Gen Admission (GA) on them are tickets for the designated standing area," it said. 

"If you have a seated ticket it will clearly state on it a Block / Row and seat number

"Please check your tickets carefully.

"Last night a number of people arrived late. Please leave plenty of time to get to the venue.

"Please check online for details on where concessions and toilets are located and your best routes from the area you are in to those facilities.

"There are bars and concessions left and right of the stage

"Red Route is for seated tickets - Seating blocks A&B must enter by the North Rd entrance (Cabra and Ashtown side), Seating Blocks C,D,E must enter at Chesterfield Avenue

"If you have standing tickets - Yellow Route or Blue route you can enter by either side - please follow signage and directions of stewards."

Gardai also had no reports of any incidents from the first event.

Read more: 'We left about eight songs in' - Aiken Promotions 'reviewing' situation at Phoenix Park for Ed Sheeran gigs 

Sheeran on song as he brings magic to capital in first of sell-out gigs 

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