The pop star headlined the first day of Brighton's annual LGBTQ celebration
Brighton Pride organisers have issued a statement after fans’ “safety was put in jeopardy” following Britney Spears‘ performance at the event.
The pop star headlined the annual LGBTQ+ celebration yesterday (August 4), marking her first UK performance since 2016.
Pride attendees took to social media after police shut Brighton train station and temporarily suspended services to London. People complained of being crushed as the crowds around the station grew bigger.
“We were appalled to see that Pride-goers were standing for long periods of time, at the end of the event, while waiting to access Brighton Station,” organisers said. “People’s safety was put in jeopardy by GTR [Govia Thameslink Railway] and the station’s failure to plan for adequate train service.”
They continued: “We successfully and safely cleared the event site at the Park in less than 30 minutes, with roads around the park clear and open again in under an hour. We thank everyone who attended the Pride Festival at the park for the way in which they left the area calmly and peacefully.”
One Twitter user wrote of the chaos: “The police are settling people & creating an incredibly dangerous situation outside Brighton train station right now. Having spent 1 hour 25 minutes in the crush we managed to escape & I’m really concerned about anyone still stuck in there.”
Another added: “Really disappointing treatment from the police ostensibly doing crowd control @PrideBrighton! Thousands of people outside a train station, no food/water, multiple people having panic attacks, and police refused to give any information and just said to blame the train company.”
“Seeing people crushed into fences and police horses rearing up in panic,” another wrote. “Was it not predictable that when Britney Spears closed Pride that everybody would go the train station?”
A spokesperson for GTR responded to the complaints, saying: “When it became apparent yesterday morning that attendance at Pride was far higher than had been forecast by the organisers, we put on as many extra trains as possible through the afternoon and evening, boosting capacity by 22,500. We continued to encourage people to leave early to avoid crowding for the last train.
“We ran 15 extra trains yesterday in addition to the plan agreed with the event organisers to cope with the unprecedented visitor numbers.”
A total of 57,000 people attended Brighton Pride yesterday. Some Pride-goers reported having to sleep on the beach as a result of train services being suspended.
Meanwhile, Spears will now embark on a UK tour, kicking off in Scarborough on August 17.