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Police Praise Crowds At Music Festival, But Visitors Slam Its Organisation

Published on: 16 Jul, 2013
Updated on: 16 Jul, 2013

Surrey Police has praised the crowds who attended this weekend’s Magic Summer Live in Guildford, the force making just one arrest over the two-day music event.

Many people enjoyed the two-day music event, but there have been comments over the non re-admissions policy.

Many people enjoyed the two-day music event, but there have been comments over the non re-admissions policy. Picture by Mike Ellis of Ginger Cat Photography.

However, although most people enjoyed the event that took place amid very hot weather, there has been criticism over the organisation of it, centered around the fact that visitors were not allowed re-admssion to the site at Stoke Park and long queues  formed at many of the food stands, many having to wait an hour or more to get their grub.

Police officers provided support to the event organisers Live Nation, who employed professional stewards and security staff.

One man was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly and was given a fixed penalty notice.

Chief Inspector Dave Kelley, who led the policing operation, said: “This weekend proved to be a safe and secure event which passed without any significant incident. It was extremely well run by the organisers and the vast majority of the crowd enjoyed the music and the sunshine in a friendly atmosphere.

“A huge amount of planning and preparation go into events such as this and our close liaison with both the organisers and Guildford Borough Council ensured the weekend was a success.”

There were reports that on Saturday that people often had to queue for an hour or more at the food stands.

There have been reports that on Saturday people often had to queue for an hour or more at the food stands. Picture by Mike Ellis of Ginger Cat Photography.

Comments that have been added to our previous lead story about the event concern the problems encountered over not being allowed re-admission. It appears many parents had gone along with their children during the two afternoons and had made plans to temporarily leave the site to drop their young ones off with babysitters, and to then return for the evening.

To their surprise they were told they could not return. Reader Sarah Salter posted: “What a shame that the event was discriminatory against parents. Advertised as a family event the no re-admission policy meant that parents who had responsibly planned to take children home after the afternoon session and return child free for the evening were forced to either keep their kids up late or leave and miss out on the evening altogether.

“The policy was hidden in terms and conditions until Sunday when signage went up following many complaints and its wording was ambiguous. We had also been mis-informed by security staff on arrival at 12.30pm that one adult per family could leave to take children home and be allowed to re-enter. The Live Nation staff were extremely unhelpful, belligerent even and the day was spoilt for many.”

There has also been criticism over Live Nation’s lack of providing much in the way of local bands and artists – something that GuilFest was well know for.

Phil Mitchell has posted: “The ‘festival’ tag is a misnomer as apart from a desultory nod to the local arts in the form of a small bandstand (brilliantly curated by the team at The Boileroom) Guildfordians were unable to participate in any way. This was a gig. G-Live in the park, so to speak.

“GuilFest, for all its faults, was a real town festival, inclusive, friendly with a heritage and with a soul. In recent years weighed down by increasing liabilaties in terms of insurance, policing costs and H&S requirements. Last year’s weather dealt a final blow both by reducing attendance and incurring fees to repair the park.

“When on Sunday one of the headline acts rather sneeringly said that Guilford was ” a town you normally drive through”, that kind of summed the whole thing up. I cannot see any positive impact, or any reason it should return. Guildford, you have been had.”

We hope to report attendance figures when released by Live Nation. However, the festival site appeared to be very busy on Saturday, but with fewer people on Sunday.

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test One Response to Police Praise Crowds At Music Festival, But Visitors Slam Its Organisation

  1. Sarah Salter Reply

    July 16, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Thanks for listening Guildford Dragon. I will be very interested to see the attendance figures and to hear from businesses that catered or laid on entertainment there.

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