Friday 20 September 2019

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

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

Aoife Kelly

Some fans attending Ed Sheeran's Phoenix Park show in Dublin on Wednesday night have expressed their disappointment over not being able to see or hear the singer clearly.

The first of three sold out concerts at the Dublin park drew 50,000 fans and came after six other sold out shows that went down a storm with fans in Cork and Galway.

However, while the show itself and Ed's performance could not be faulted by concert goers, some said they had a very poor view of the stage and could not hear Ed singing which they felt was due to 'overcrowding'.

One fan, who said she had previously seen Ed four or five times, said the standing area was "crammed to capacity" while another said it was "scarily overcrowded on the pitch".  Others spoke of "constant pushing and shoving" and feeling "claustrophobic".

Some fans who were standing towards the back of the site complained about the seated stands and a merchandise stand blocking their view of the stage.

One fan wrote, "There were as many people behind stands as there were in front of them. Ed is a fab musician but poor experience, and not value for money unfortunately".

Those towards the front of the site, however, and those who were seated, thoroughly enjoyed the show.

Aiken Promotions have released a statement explaining what happened in detail and assuring fans that they are "putting additional measures in place to prevent it happening again".

Here is the statement in full:

"Last night (16 May 2018) at the first Ed Sheeran concert at the Phoenix Park, movement of people through the large gap between two banks of seats (that is the connection between the concessions area/entrances and the viewing area/pitch) worked well all night until Ed took to the stage when we had approximately 5k people still to come in.

"When Ed went on stage those people who were in the concessions /toilet area and those still entering came in through the gap but did not move on to take a place in the designated standing area, they just stopped inside the gap to watch the show. This gap was not meant to be a viewing area, it was designed to facilitate movement between areas.

"This meant the people behind those who had stopped were unable to get into the viewing area and likewise some people were unable to get back out to the toilets for a time. There was at all times plenty of space left and right but it took time and many stewards and Gardai to move them on in. Once this had been done normal movement between the areas resumed.

"The team are meeting this morning to review it and are putting additional measures in place to prevent it happening again."

There were no reports of any injuries, even minor, as a result of the issue.

The concert promoters have since released a second statement in light of Wednesday's concert and the subsequent reaction from some of those who attended, which reiterated some of the previous points and added 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 event.

Ed Sheeran will play Phoenix Park tomorrow Friday May 18 and Saturday May 19.

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

Ed Sheeran: The guy we love to pretend to hate

Got your sunglasses? Everything you need to know about Ed Sheeran's Phoenix Park gigs 

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