Organisers of an impromptu concert by rapper AJ Tracey in Manchester have been fined £10,000 for breaching COVID-19 rules.
The artist said he “didn’t expect that many people to turn up” after thousands of fans flocked to Platt Fields park on Sunday.
The local police have now confirmed a £10,000 fixed penalty notice has been issued to organisers for violating legislation in relation to current COVID-19 restrictions.
Greater Manchester police said in a statement to the Manchester Evening News: “Officers attended and attempted to engage with individuals and ensure the safety of those present. People have now dispersed and the organiser of this gathering has been issued with a £10,000 Fixed Penalty Notice.
“GMP would like to remind the public of the importance of adhering to the lockdown regulations in order to keep our community safe and protected.”
AJ Tracey tweeted before the gig that he would be in Manchester at that specific location and time, which led to crowds flocking to the Platt Fields car park. Images and videos published across social media show hordes of people standing around basketball courts inside the park. He was later forced to call off a follow-up show in Bristol, writing on Twitter: “I’ll be back when it’s safe to do so, sorry guys.”
The current rules state that organisers of large-scale gatherings can be fined up to £10,000.
The UK’s Events Research Programme, which will be used to provide scientific data and research into how small and large-scale events could be permitted in line with the government roadmap outlined in February, kicked off over the weekend with 4,000 fans attending the FA Cup semi-final, as well as 1,000 fans at the opening day of the Snooker World Championship.
The pilot events will explore how different approaches to social distancing, ventilation and test-on-test entry protocols could ease opening and maximise participation.