A reveller who attended the violence-marred Reminsce dance festival says lack of organisation meant it was “the most frightening thing I have ever witnessed”.
The woman attended the Sherdley Park rave, which descended into chaos when a reveller was stabbed, with her adult daughter and nieces and nephews.
Despite an earlier plea from police for revellers to behave, there were numerous arrests and reports of antisocial behaviour.
Police and council chiefs are believed to be reviewing security arrangement for the event, which is run by a Liverpool-based company.
The woman, who has asked not to be named, told the Reporter she felt physically sick because of the way the event, which attracted some 2,000 revellers, was run.
“I have never seen anything so frightening in my life,” she said. “The entire venue was an accident waiting to happen.”
“There were straw bails inside the Reminisce tent just waiting for a lighter off one of the many ‘off their cake’ kids to light along with no security or medics visible apart from 1 Liverpool Security Solutions staff at the entrance.
“No-one with a clicker calculating the amount of people in the tent and then the influx of many, many more heading to the same tent.
“I feel physically sick that it was so jam packed with no obvious way out, that I couldn’t even get in to warn my own daughter, three nieces and two nephews, how dangerous it was.
“There was no-one present (security) to keep the peace , offer first aid, stop the open sales of magic and ketamine.
“Never seen anything so unorganised in my life.”
However, the company behind the festival have hit back, rejecting the women’s complaints.
A spokesman said: “The bales of treated straw were a condition of the noise management plan and were built behind speaker stacks to reduce the spillage of bass noise in the area.
“None of the hay bales were in the public areas. This proved highly successful as we managed to stay well under the permitted noise levels for the entire day.
“The fire department visited the site and approved the site prior to opening. There were also multiple staff on the entry of every single structure and every structure had a listed maximum capacity.
“These capacities were printed on the structure at the entrances to every arena and St Helens council licensing were on site for the duration of the event monitoring that this was being adhered to. The security staff of the entrance to each structure also had click counters to monitor the numbers of people in and out.
“There were SJA ambulances medics and paramedic on site for the entire duration of the event. Just because they may not have been visible to this person does not mean that they were not there.
“They were mostly based in secure backstage areas and at the large medical compound near the main entrance as this gives them the quickest access to any area of the festival site.”
Responding to the allegation regarding fire exits, the spokesman said: “This is incorrect. There were five fire exits in the main arena alone, all over 5m wide.
“There are great deal of licensing and fire regulations we have to meet when positioning fire exits, and a lot of planning goes into it.
“Over 180 security and stewards staff were on the site, plus a large police presence funded by the festival.”