People stranded after chaos at We Are FSTVL in Upminster
PUBLISHED: 16:32 01 June 2015 | UPDATED: 17:24 01 June 2015
Copyright Â© Paul Underhill 2013 www.paulunderhill.com
Festival-goers were stranded at We Are FSTVL in what has been described as "something from a horror film" after transport systems failed on Saturday night.
The festival has apologised to those caught up in the chaotic scenes, which it said were caused by a lack of taxis and safety fears after revellers decided to walk along narrow country lanes to depart the site.
The crowds forced their way to the buses in desperation which allegedly saw fights break out and people injured.
Alexandra Palmer, 27, who has attended the Damyns Hall Aerodrome event every year since its inception, described the organisation of transport as “appalling”.
She said: “People were charging towards the buses and I saw some guys attack one poor driver, trying to break his protective glass, because he wasn’t letting people on fast enough.
“A girl collapsed from being so squashed. I asked a steward for help and he said it wasn’t his problem and he didn’t know where the first aid tent was.
“People were jumping the barriers and there was no security or crowd control. It was like something out of a horror movie.”
Taxis and a shuttle bus service chartered by We Are FSTVL were intended to ferry people to nearby stations, but a lack of taxis provoked festival-goers to walk along country roads away from the site – against the advice of the festival – causing shuttle buses to be disrupted because of safety concerns.
Katie Marling, 26, who lives in Aveley Road, Upminster, next to the festival, said: “People were taking drugs on my doorstep and climbing through my garden.”
A debrief with festival organisers took place early Sunday morning, which meant additional control measures were put into place for the second night of the event including additional stewards, lighting, buses and taxis.
The spokeswoman added: “We are extremely disappointed by the issues of Saturday night which meant customers had a very frustrating end to what had been a very good day overall and apologise to those frustrated by the traffic issues. We amend and improve our transport plans every year and this year will be no different.
“All feedback is always greatly appreciated from all FSTVL goers and we continue to invite further feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Were you at the festival? Call reporter Harriet Orrell on 0208 477 3903.