The very much anticipated We R Festival took place in Damyns Hall Aerodrome, Upminster- its regular location, taking place from 24th- 26th May. Featuring the latest dance artists as well as huge names such as Craig David and Ibiza’s fave DJ Tom Zanetti, alongside popular UK rap artists like Yungen and Bugzy Malone. With an appealing line up and successes over the last five years- thousands of people were eager to attend the in-demand festival.
Due to the festivals previous triumphs, there were no preempted fears surrounding the weekend’s activities. However, this year seemed to differ substantially due to the mass amounts of complaints and bad press it incurred.
There were delays with the queues on the Saturday, with witnesses claiming to have had to wait up to three hours just to get into the actual festival. We R Fstvls official twitter page went on to tweet “We apologise for the delay in getting in, but can assure you we are doing this as fast and safely as possible.
The gates are meant to close 4 pm, but will be keeping the gates open until everyone is let in #WeAre2019”.
Festival Goers “Treated Like Cattle”
There were reports of people becoming sick in the queue and nobody being on hand to help, reviews from festival goers include “People fall ill in the queue – due to being treated like cattle”. It was also reported that people in the queue had to share water amongst themselves as there was not enough to go around “There was very little security around to help when this happened as well and barely any water was getting passed around. So people in the queues ended up having to share.” There were also reports of people being trampled on due to the stampede that took place after it became apparent that people were sick and tired of waiting to get in, resulting in an influx of people pushing their way into the festival.
Safety is pivotal in ensuring a good experience both for the company and audience, other festivals. London’s Bloc festival was cancelled in 2012 due to overcrowding and security staff being unable to cope. Newham council got involved “We will be sitting down with them to discuss the events that went on and making sure future events run safely,” The festival went on to happen in 2013 at a different location and had its last event in 2016.
Hopefully, organisers learn from their mistakes this year and ensure better organisation with thorough planning and having everything in check. It would be a shame to see a much-loved festival decline due to this year’s bad rep. Their next event is the ‘We R Halloween fstvl’ in October- let’s see how this festival ‘pans out.