Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena has revised its layouts ahead of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest after admitting to “unacceptable” crowd congestion at a sold-out gig in November.
According to an internal report seen by the BBC, ACC Liverpool, which runs the 11,000-capacity venue, acknowledged that people had been left in extremely long queues for the bars and toilets, which in turn caused problems for people trying to get into the venue for the Jamie Webster concert. The congestion got so bad that some fans complained one area felt unsafe, the BBC reported.
The BBC said it obtained a draft internal report into the incident from ACC Liverpool after a freedom of information request. According to the report, the problems started when a new bar payment system crashed, causing queues for two bars which merged into long queues for the toilets and ultimately people coming in through the main entrance.
ACC Liverpool said it had “immediately revisited and revised our layouts and processes in relation to crowd flow” after the concert on November 19 last year. It said it was “accelerating” plans for new bar and toilet facilities.
Some fans had said the venue’s entrance was so crowded they and others were too scared to go in. One visitor said “there was this chaos at the door where everyone just started to walk in”.
According to the BBC, no injuries were reported and the show went ahead, although Webster was forced to cut his encore.
The M&S Bank Arena will host the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, May 13.