Liverpool Eurovision venue crowd congestion ‘unacceptable’, report says

ACC Liverpool admits long queues at M&S Bank Arena led to problems for people coming to Jamie Webster gig

Crowd congestion at the Liverpool venue due to host the Eurovision song contest later this year was not acceptable, its operator has reportedly admitted.

ACC Liverpool, which runs the M&S Bank Arena in the city, acknowledged that people had been left in extremely long queues for the bars and toilets, which in turn caused problems for people trying to get into the venue for the sold-out Jamie Webster concert. The congestion got so bad that some fans complained one area felt unsafe, the BBC reported.

The broadcaster said it obtained a draft internal report into the incident from ACC Liverpool after a freedom of information request. It said that found the problems started when a new bar payment system crashed, causing queues for two bars.

Those queues met other long queues for the toilets, as well as merging with people coming in through the main entrance to create “unacceptable” crowd congestion, the report said.

ACC Liverpool said it had “immediately revisited and revised our layouts and processes in relation to crowd flow” after the concert on 19 November last year and was “accelerating” plans for new bar and toilet facilities.

Some fans had said the venue’s entrance was so crowded they and others were too scared to go in. Paul Lang, from Birkenhead, told BBC Radio Merseyside: “At least 15 to 20 people walked away and were just not dealing with it, and more people were coming out, getting a bit worked up, panicked about it, and just said: ‘It’s just not worth it for our own safety’.”

Liam Kelly said a steward initially stopped letting people in because it was overcrowded – before she left and “there was this chaos at the door where everyone just started to walk in”. Kelly described the experience as “really horrible”, adding: “It was the entrance way and the bar area that were absolute chaos. You couldn’t move. It took ages to get through.”

According to the BBC, no injuries were reported and the show went ahead, although Webster was forced to cut his encore.


Kevin Rawlinson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Liverpool to host Eurovision song contest on behalf of Ukraine
City beat 19 others to host 67th contest after Volodymyr Zelenskiy agreed staging event in Mariupol was not possible

Josh Halliday and Jane Clinton

07, Oct, 2022 @6:18 PM

Article image
Eurovision final TV ratings broke modern records, says BBC
During a five-minute peak in the UK, 11m people were watching, while the average viewing figure was 9.9m

Mark Brown North of England correspondent

14, May, 2023 @4:45 PM

Article image
Liverpool plans huge Eurovision sing-along in solidarity with Ukraine
Project hopes Beatles classic will ‘unite the world’ and show victims of the conflict that they’ll never walk alone

Mark Brown North of England correspondent

01, May, 2023 @5:00 AM

Article image
Liverpool throwing Eurovision ‘pre-party to end all pre-parties’
Eccentric array of acts from the Vengaboys to the ENO and Hot Chip to play series of mostly free gigs

Josh Halliday North of England correspondent

05, May, 2023 @4:00 PM

Article image
‘Scouse/Ukrainian mashup’ festival celebrates spirit of Eurovision
Commissions for ‘pre-party to end all pre-parties’ include monument covered in sandbags, mass kite-fly and ‘queer fantasia’

Mark Brown North of England correspondent

28, Mar, 2023 @1:41 PM

Article image
Ukraine will host Eurovision after it defeats Russia, says 2022 winner
Tymofii Muzychuk of Kalush Orchestra urges world ‘not to keep silent’ about invasion as Liverpool hosts Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine

Nadia Khomami Arts and culture correspondent

10, May, 2023 @10:23 AM

Article image
Eurovision’s Hannah Waddingham: from Ted Lasso to ‘overnight national treasure’
Host becomes surprise star of song contest as viewers praise actor’s ‘willingness to join in the silliness’

Josh Halliday North of England correspondent

12, May, 2023 @12:28 PM

Article image
Liverpool predicted to get £40m Eurovision boost in visitor spending
Extra 100,000 visitors expected amid £1bn lift for UK hospitality in May helped by coronation, bank holidays and Eurovision

Mark Sweney

01, May, 2023 @11:01 PM

Article image
Eurovision song contest 2023: seven UK cities named as potential hosts
Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield all in running

Mark Brown

12, Aug, 2022 @7:54 AM

Article image
Ukraine aims for repeat victory in most political Eurovision in years
Four-hour broadcast will feature taunts at Putin and a singalong of a Liverpool anthem

Josh Halliday

13, May, 2023 @6:00 AM