London festival closed down after chaotic overcrowding and 'insane' security scenes
The electronica festival Bloc had to be shut down last night after chaotic scenes in the London Pleasure Gardens.
Organisers were forced to cancel the event one day early after huge safety fears for patrons caught up in what was described as chaotic overcrowding at the new venue, which is situated next to Royal Victoria Dock.
As it turned out, the venue proved to be painfully ill-equipped to deal with the expected crowd of 15,000, although the chaos has since been attributed to a ticketing disaster.
According to Dummymag.com, a hugely unfortunately titled company called Crowdsurge made a big ticketing cock-up, with an anonymous source telling the website that “there was a shambles getting in when it opened”.
“No one seemed to have the right ticket,” the source added, “and security didn’t know the correct ones.”
By all accounts, there were chaotic scenes at the festival venue, sparking fears for the safety of those present, leaving organisers with little choice but to call a halt to the whole thing altogether.
Snoop Dogg and Orbital were just two of a number of acts lined up to play at the festival but it quickly became clear that the show couldn’t go on considering the mayhem that was going on in the crowd.
Describing the scenes at the Pleasure Gardens, one concert-goer, Jamila Scott, said: "People surged toward the front and jumped over the barriers by the toilets. There was then a stampede, with scores of people jumping over. Security went insane, screaming and shouting to try and stop it. Eventually though, they gave up and let anyone in."
Another, Scott Stewart, added: "I saw people getting crushed against metal fences when they were waiting to get in. At points crowds pulled down a fence and charged in as they got so fed up. I was genuinely afraid for my own safety."
A statement released by London Pleasure Gardens read: "We can confirm that this morning at 00:45, following advice from the Metropolitan Police, Bloc was subject to a controlled shut down due to health and safety concerns.
"London Pleasure Gardens are currently co-operating with police to ensure all visitors leave the site and commence their onward journeys safely.
"Our number one concern is always public safety, and sometimes tough decisions need to be made by on-site security, but we always act as we believe is necessary at the time to best protect visitors."
Festival organisers Bloc subsequently confirmed that they had pulled the plug on the event, saying: "By now everyone will have heard that Bloc 2012 was closed due to crowd safety concerns. We are all absolutely devastated that this happened, but the safety of everyone on site was paramount.
"Given the situation on the ground, we feel that it was the right decision to end the show early. Bloc will not open on Saturday so please don't come to the site."
Unfortunate and all as the cancellation is, things could have been a whole lot worse and thankfully, disaster was averted in the end.