Fans who attended the shows on Friday (June 29) and Saturday (30) took to Twitter during and after the shows to complain about the length of queues for the bars and toilets, security fears, and other organisational issues.
Some attendees reported missing entire sets as they stood in two-hour queues and said the park felt “way too overcrowded.” Others noted that the sound quality was not up to standard and many demanded a refund.
Now, Festival Republic have responded to the complaints on Twitter. “Fans on Friday and Saturday deserved a better bar service,” a tweet from the company’s official Twitter account read. “In light of this, Workers Beer Company have issued the following statement.”
Fans on Friday and Saturday deserved a better bar service. In light of this, Workers Beer Company have issued the following statement. https://t.co/Zf6sFDJJak
— Festival Republic (@FRfestivals) July 1, 2018
The tweet linked to a statement from the bar company, which explained there was an “unprecedented failure of up to 40% of our staff to turn up.” “As a consequence people had to wait an unnecessarily long time to be served,” it read. “For this we unreservedly apologise.”
The statement continued to absolve Gallagher, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Festival Republic of responsibility for the bar issues and “letting down the audience”.
A spokesman for the charity Workers Beer Company spokesman has since told NME that this has never happened before, even the many events they’ve worked at Finsbury Park in the past. While their next event of the summer will be at Lovebox Festival, Workers Beer Company will also be conducting their own independent inquiry into how this happened.
However, fans are not happy with the statement from Festival Republic, saying the Workers Beer Company shouldn’t be held accountable for all the weekend’s problems. “Ahh.. so the Workers Beer Company were to blame for the overcrowding, the queues for water on a blistering hot day, the obviously too small exit to leave the park by…” wrote one Twitter user. “Stop trying to pass the buck and release a proper apology.”
Ahh.. so the Workers Beer Company were to blame for the overcrowding, the queues for water on a blistering hot day, the obviously too small exit to leave the park by… stop trying to pass the buck and release a proper apology #finsburypark
— Paula Jane allen (@sausagegirl72) July 1, 2018
Don’t pass the buck you cretins. So many problems this weekend and that’s the excuse you roll out? Poorly planned. Even more poorly executed. Never seen anything so bad in my life. #shambles #FinsburyPark
— Darren Hemmings (@Cammington) July 1, 2018
Another wrote: “Don’t pass the buck you cretins. So many problems this weekend and that’s the excuse you roll out? Poorly planned. Even more poorly executed. Never seen anything so bad in my life.”
This is such a poor, unprofessional response 🙄 40% more bar staff may have reduced the queue time at the bars (debatable) but would it have increased security, stopped the crush at the exit, reduced the queue time for the water & toilets, turned up the sound?? Didn’t think so…
— Fleur Elizabeth (@fleurelizabethx) July 1, 2018
how can you blame have 40% less staff on card machines not working? or for the poor queuing system? or for the festival being overcrowded? or for the poor sound quality for the most of the day? Absolute shambles, youre lucky Iggy and QOTSA performed well. I won't be back.
— Adam Hawksworth (@Hawky93) July 1, 2018
Who will you pass the blame onto for the queues for water, lack of signs and stewards, poor sound quality and dangerous overcrowding??
— Rachel Rosser (@rachelrosser) July 1, 2018
What a load of crap, how was lack of bar responsible for the queues for everything else that wasn’t staffed by bar staff? Were they also responsible for the overcrowding? Man up & issue an apology you bunch of cowards
— Mark Byrom (@markjbyrom) July 1, 2018
Classic buck being passed. Even if @WorkersBeerCo has been fully staffed there were never enough bars to cope. Bar 6 was cash only. In 2018! Toilets and water taps also had massive queues. Multiple dangerous bottle necks. Exit took up to an hour. Hold your hands up. #shameful
— Glenn Matchett (@themaltman) July 1, 2018
how on earth you have got the Workers Beer Company to say that i don't know! I still have my ticket which was not scanned, just ripped at the top, totally showing you had no idea/control on numbers inside.The potential for a major safety incident was huge
— JH2016 (@James78205163) July 1, 2018
Sorry @FRfestivals are responsible for the organisation and planning in conjunction with @haringeycouncil. It wasn't just a bar issue; not organised, too many people, dangerous. Someone at @FRfestivals should be sacked and refunds given #festivalrepublic @WorkersBeerCo
— Burnie (@mburn101) July 1, 2018
“And so that abdicates you from all responsibility does it?” another wrote. “No way you could help the problem or manage queues better? It was still way too crowded as the queues for water prove. Also I love the implication from this statement that the beer queues were the ONLY thing wrong with this festival, and that you bear absolutely no responsibility.”
No further statement from Festival Republic has been made at present.
Workers Beer Company is a fundraising initiative set up in 1986. Run by volunteers from trade union branches, the labour movement, grassroots organisations, community groups and charities, all money earned from the hours they work is donated to charity.