parking and general organisation

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Post  sclark on Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:47 pm

Having visited the festival yesterday, we were appalled at the general lack of organisation for the exit strategy. How did they possibly expect 50,000 people to get out of there safely and in a reasonable time? We spent an hour getting to the car, funnelled through a tiny little gate, and then two hours sitting in our car in the parking lot before finally being able to leave. We were given no information about what was going on, the traffic wardens having mysteriously disappeared. People sitting in cars were angry, confused and generally frustrated and it was utter chaos for a while.
There seemed to be no consideration for people's schedules and the fact that it was a Sunday and people needed to get to work the next day. We arrived home in London just short of four in the morning!
The lack of information only made it worse. Why did no one come to tell us what was going on?
We will definitely not be returning to this festival!


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parking and general organisation Empty Better exit/transport strategy needed

Post  Paul_H_42 on Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:07 pm

I was shocked by the dangerous situation created at the end. Hemming in thousands of people late at night in a confined space when many have been drinking and many need to get home for work in the morning or to get children to school etc creates risks of aggression and dangerous behaviour (understandably) like efforts to tear down the fences. Then the poorly organised situation with driving off the site was even worse - getting 1000s of cars out through 2 or 3 bottlenecks is bound to be problematic, especially at that time and in those circumstances.

It may be that the site is (in that respect) unsuitable. The timing (Sunday night) doesn't help either. If it's going to be done like that and the basic physical constraints remain much the same, it seems to me that another time transport has to be better. Presumably last night the coaches back to London and the taxi ring will have been part of the problem, or at any rate caught up in it. The scheduled train service from Paddock Wood was such that by the time the headline act finished, the only sizeable place you could go by train was Ashford. The TUC used to organise trains to national demonstrations. If big events are going to be held at the Hop Farm again why not charter some trains? It ought to be possible to do it for a reasonable cost / charge. I'm sure I can't be the only driver who would have preferred to have left by train, and if you could have cut the number of people driving to and from the event the conditions would have been less bad for those who felt they needed to do it as well as those who didn't.

Trying to drive off the site in the dark was a test of the nerves and a necessarily aggressive thing to do unless you were prepared to wait. I didn't see any accidents in the car park or road rage incidents, which I think is testament to those concerned, but none at all to Vince Power. I hope he was there dealing with the mess, but I have a nasty feeling he gets other people to deal with those aspects. At any rate, I think this is a serious black mark on his record. I would be a lot less willing to go to any other event he organised after this experience (leaving any aesthetics out of it).


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Post  sundazed on Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:29 pm

I have nothing further to add except "me too". It took me 2 1/2 hours to get out of the car park, 2 hours of that completely static, waiting patiently and feeling desperately tired. No information or stewards were available. I even left before the encore to avoid the rush! I had wanted to travel by train so that I could have a few beers but was obviously forced to take my car and thus into this mayhem.

A friend, who travelled separately, ignored the steward's instruction on arrival and was out of the car park in 10 minutes at the end! Smugness doesn't suit him.

I really won't be going back, unless The Beatles are playing.


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