Organisers of RuPaul’s first-ever DragCon UK have been left red-faced after fans were unable to enter the event due to massive queues. In a statement released on Twitter, they cited health and safety as the cause.
Their statement read: “Hey kitty girls, we know that some of you have unfortunately had to queue outside the convention center at DragCon UK today and had to leave before the remainder was let into the venue. We apologize for the wait as H&S required us to slow the flow of people coming in.”
They later invited those affected back the following day to enjoy the show. However, fans had travelled from all over the country to attend and had to return that day.
An official statement read: “Health and Safety officers had advised us to temporarily halt the queue entrances today for an hour due to clogging of the aisles and from there on out – we got everyone in as fast as possible under health and safety’s watch.
“We have met with the venue, security and health and safety for tomorrow’s event and are confident that the same issues won’t arise. Thank you and we appreciate you.
“If you can’t make tomorrow, refunds will be honoured.”
Fans took to Twitter to express their frustrations on the day.
One fan queued from 10am until 2pm before leaving. He claimed organisers underestimated how popular the event would be.
Other fans had called the event a “shambles” and “disaster” and claimed they had been left in the cold for hours.
A spokesperson from the venue, Olympia London, told Event Industry News: “As with any event we hold at the venue, the health and safety of our guests is of paramount importance to us and so we collaborated with organisers ‘World of Wonder Productions’ to ensure that we did not go over capacity levels – these are set by national standards and regulations to ensure the safety of guests and the building.
“As a precaution, entry was temporarily paused on Saturday afternoon. Once resumed, visitors were granted entry as fast as possible and in compliance with health & safety standards.”
This was the first-ever UK-based version of the DragCon event which has been held in Los Angeles since 2015 and New York since 2017.