Thousands of fans flocked to Meadowhall Christmas Live last night as the festive season kicked-off in style.
Billed as the Ultimate Christmas Party, fans enjoyed performances from X Factor’s winning act Rak Su as well as HRVY, M.O, Max George , Bang Bang Romeo and Tom Zanetti.
However, some fans have criticised Meadowhall for the the safety and security during the event.
Meadowhall announced before the event that there would be heightened security checks as well as bag searches.
Bottles were banned as well as illegal drugs and substances and alcoholic beverages.
Despite the bans, some fans reported on social media groups of teenagers throwing water bottles, glow sticks and drinking alcohol.
One fan, Jess May, described the event as a ‘disaster waiting to happen’ and criticised the level of stewarding and security to deal with the large crowds.
Jess said that her 11-year-old sister was crushed during Rak Su’s headline set and the pair were forced to get lifted out of the crowd by the stewards.
She said: “It was horrendous. She was dancing to Rak Su when they told the crowd to start jumping and immediately everyone jumped.
“There was a group of young girls behind us that had been pushing each other into other people all night thinking it was funny and they eventually pushed into us.
“My sister went over on her ankle and couldn’t bare to put any weight on it afterwards.
“It was only a matter of time before someone got hurt. There were several incidents in which the paramedics and first aiders had to fight their way through the crowd to get to the injured as people were being trampled on.”
Jessica and her sister were taken to the First Aid Tent who told her the ankle was badly sprained before the sisters decided to go to A&E.
She said her sister is now back at home resting but fears the experience may have put her off live performances.
“The security checks were sub par. I saw many children under the age of 10 in the event, one looked as young as five.” she explained.
“At the bag search area, my 11-year-old sister and I were separated into the two queues; one for bag search the other for non bag search.
“My bag search consisted of the steward glancing in my bag, not really looking, and moving me forward. There were people in the event smoking and drinking with glow sticks and bottles of water being thrown around.
“It was very dangerous. The stewards were awful, when the gates opened everyone was pushing and shoving to be able to get to the front of the stage.”
Meadowhall said that feedback to the event has been excellent and have been left concerned by the criticism.
A Meadowhall spokesperson said: “The safety of our guests and team is of paramount importance to Meadowhall and each year our team works closely with the Police and the local emergency services to deliver a safe and successful event.
“The individuals who reported to the onsite medical team over the course of the event were all discharged on the evening with no referrals to hospital.
“Furthermore, there was no evidence of glass being present or thrown at the event according to CCTV footage or from the team of 191 Police, Stewards and Safety Officers on site.
“Over thirteen thousand people attended our eighth Xmas Live concert and the feedback has been excellent, we are therefore very concerned by such reports and have outreached to the individuals in question so that we can work with them to investigate further.”
Chief Inspector Iain Chorlton says: “As Police Silver Commander’ I worked closely with Meadowhall Management Team and other stakeholders to deliver what was a safe and enjoyable Meadowhall Live Christmas Event for this year.”