A rave in the Jephson Gardens greenhouse last Saturday had to be shut down by police, after overcrowding and chaos.
Tickets for the event, titled Bass in The Park, had sold for up to £15, and had been on sale for over a month previously.
A large number of ticket-holders queuing outside were unable to enter once the greenhouse became full, and police and organisers decided to cancel the event at around 8pm, just three hours after doors had opened.
Eyewitnesses said that the security team was massively understaffed, and that people without tickets were able to jump the barriers cordoning off the greenhouse from the rest of the park. Numerous eyewitnesses also alleged underage teenagers were amongst those jumping the barriers. Others alleged the venue manager was drunk, although this cannot be confirmed.
In a statement, Bass in the Park said: “First off we want to apologise to everyone for the events which took place on Saturday at Jephson Gardens. We are bitterly disappointed and angry at the events which resulted in an early finish.”
We are bitterly disappointed and angry at the events which resulted in an early finish.
Statement from Bass in the Park
The statement alleged that the venue had changed their event manager at the last minute, and that new manager had changed the entry point and locations of security guards without notice, leading to confusion and a collapse of safe entry procedures.
The statement continued: “Despite mentioning the importance of controlling the entry and exit point into the venue, we were now aware that not only had the Jephson Gardens event manager changed our entrance point & repositioned our staff without warning, [but] that the other two entrance points round the corner were unlocked and unmanned.
“This resulted in people just casually walking into the venue once word got around that there were unmanned areas. At this point we were fighting an ever losing battle to be able to execute our plan.”
The statement ended with a promise to reschedule the event at a different location.
Discussion on the Facebook event on Sunday centered around allegations that the venue manager had overestimated the capacity for the venue, leading to the promoter overselling tickets.
Phil Evans commented: “First off, the promoter got fucked over royally by the manager of the venue… By the looks of it he had lied to the promoter about the capacity of the venue, and had only hired 5 security… When you pay to use a venue, this is the venue’s job to make sure these health and safety procedures are met, not the promoter’s.”
Jephson Gardens is run by Warwickshire District council, who have been approached for comment.