Organisers of Coventry’s Godiva Festival were forced to close the Rhythm Tent on Saturday (6th) after fans forced entry into the already-full tent.
Festival director, Jon Hogan, said “potential for injury” had forced the decision to close the tent after barriers by the stage were broken.
In a statement published on Twitter, organisers said the “safety of everyone attending the festival is always number one priority,” but failed attempts to resolve the issue meant they had to “reluctantly” close the tent.
Other Twitter users were divided over the decision: some agreed, stating keeping it open was “not worth” the potential injuries; others questioned why organisers didn’t foresee the problem of giving the 2,000-capacity tent to such popular acts.
Jay1, the artist due to perform when festival-goers stormed the tent, took to Twitter to strongly criticise the organisers and say he was “very sorry” he was unable to sing in “the best city”.
Hogan said public safety “far outweighed” the push to keep acts happy: “The audience volume was far in excess of what we anticipated, and it was also about the audience dynamic and the way the audience moves and so forth. It’s obviously sad and such a disappointment for everybody.”
Despite security presence and repeated appeals for fans to leave the tent, a number of people from outside still attempted to force entry.
“People continued to try and push through so reluctantly a decision was taken to cancel all remaining acts to ensure the safety of those inside,” Hogan continued.
MistaJam and Egypt were due to perform after Jay1 but were also cancelled.
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