Sir Tom Jones fans voice anger at abandonment

Sir Tom Jones on stage in Alnwick'Picture by Jane Coltman
Sir Tom Jones on stage in Alnwick'Picture by Jane Coltman

Concert-goers have vented their frustrations after power problems forced Sir Tom Jones to abandon his show in Alnwick on Saturday night.

Sir Tom was some 45 minutes into the gig, entertaining the eager crowd with his vast repertoire of well known songs, when power was lost.

After a short delay the concert resumed but another power cut brought an abrupt end to the evening.

A statement by Loose Cannon Events Management said: “This evening’s performance with Tom Jones was unexpectedly cut short as a result of an unforeseen major technical issue. This is currently being investigated by independent experts, and we hope to be able to provide further information as and when it becomes available.”

Many spectators also voiced their anger at the organisation of the event.

Helen Churnside, posting on facebook, said: “We were enjoying the concert until power cut number two ended everything. Think it would have said more for Sir Tom if he’d come on stage personally to apologise for it ending.

To add insult to injury we had to sit for an hour before we could get out of the car park. What a shambles!

“I think even a partial refund should be offered, but I bet it won’t be!”

Susan Giles added: “The field was too small. Restricted due to positions of the bars and then food stalls meant the number of tickets sold - people couldn’t see the flipping stage.

“Then bad organisation, no back up generator and two power cuts later... and an idiot comes on stage saying there’s local power issue... Err No. You have an issue. Then the security directing people out couldn’t direct themselves out of a paper bag. Worst gig I have ever been to. Having said that Tom was excellent for 40ish minutes he was on stage.”

Claire Delacey Chapman said: “I had looked forward to this since my son surprised me with some tickets, was completely disappointed! The organisation was appalling and if you have to stop people from bringing their own drink then don’t make them have to queue for 35 minutes to buy one!! Tom was late on stge and then we get 50 minutes before the power goes off! I would hate to have paid for VIP tickets. There should be a full refund for everyone!”

Sandra Smiles posted: “Devastated - power failure spoilt the night, not once but twice!”

Jan James said: “What a shambles. The worst organisation at a concert ever. Drunk rude people, pushing & shoving, no security to control them. Saw people in wheelchairs having to be dragged over a bumpy field. 40 mins wait at the bar where staff couldn’t cope and didn’t seem to know what they were doing.

“All that before the power went off. Poor sound quality & the worst health & safety trying to get out of the grounds with cars driving on the same path where people had to walk with no lighting. Even the few staff that were there directing people had no torches or high vis clothing so just blended in with the crowds. Incredible that no one was hurt tonight. That said I love Tom who is a true professional & I’m sure he’ll be mortified by this event.”

Natalie Robinson said: “Totally disappointed, no organisation and poor tom jones shown up big style. Still love him but greed took over the show.”

Debbie Giles added: “Disappointed with the organisation.”

Vicky O’Hagan commented: “Poorly organised, shocking show very disappointed, family birthday celebrations completely ruined.”

Mark Allison wrote: “It seems like many points have been covered already but I’d like to voice my concerns about the Tom Jones concert.

“A very poorly organised event from a safety point of view. People with chairs near the front in an area not meant for chairs (no signage to say that just poor stewarding that fell on deaf ears) saw many people fall over during the concert on their way to bar/toilet. Obviously it was very dark. The few stewards that their were seemed to just give up asking people to take their chairs down.

“I’ve not seen such a low steward/customer ratio before. Perhaps I’m just used to football matches.

“The worst was to come with people falling over uneven ground or slipping on cow pats on the way out of the concert. I saw 4 incidents and remember what looked like a lady in her fifties or sixties (it was very dark) slip very badly onto her side. She’ll be black and blue today.

“I won’t be attending another concert at Alnwick Castle.”

J Brown added: “Sir Tom Jones concert Alnwick castle, complete farce, organised chaos. Gentleman had fallen, public exit to field packed with people leaving, no stewards visible for help, had to run 500 metres up hill to summon medical assistance, in the dark!”

Mark Davis said: “The event was badly organised, with the bars/food stalls to close together forcing the crowd to move further away from the stage, in fact we were that far back you could hardly hear Tom which resulted in a chorus of boos after the first song, and I agree with the other comments about the car park, over an hour to get out, security looked like they were from the local high school.”

Jim Dent wrote: “My wife and I paid over £100 for this concert and drove two hours to get there. This was the most badly organised event we’ve ever attended, and unfortunately reflects very badly on the venue.

“Several of the issues leave me wondering how a Health & Safety permit was ever issued.

- very difficult access from the car parking area

- no visible provisions for the disabled

- an arena layout which was far too narrow caused by the location of the food/drink outlets, leading to overcrowding and large mumbers of people being unable to see or hear - the basic requirements at a music concert.

- extremely difficulty access to the toilets due to lack of clear walkways.

- a ban on bringing own food/drink, supplemented by woefully inadequate catering & bar facilities (30-60 minutes queueing time).

- no lighting installed in the exit routes and a lack of walkway to the carpark meaning pedestrians and cars sharing the same track in darkness.

- two separate power failures due to inadequate generator facilities.

- an announcement from the organisers blaming ‘local power issues’ which was clearly an attempt to deflect blame.

- a lack of announcement/apology from the artist who had left the venue within 10 minutes of the 2nd power failure after performing for a total of 55 minutes.

Phil Mawson said: “My wife and I spent £100 each on so - called VIP tickets and travelled up from Seaham. The VIP area as it was, was way way to small for the number of tickets they sold...people just couldn’t get in..It was like being kettled. .access to the venue was via The Peth across a large expanse of field in the pitch black..people were using their mobiles as signage, no stewards and no lighting..I saw at least three people struggling on crutches.

“The organisers were Teesside-based Loose Cannon..and they have some serious questions to answer not just about the inadequate facilities but also for the almost criminal disregard for health and safety...It wasn’t worthy of Sir Tom, who did his best..and it wasn’t worthy of Alnwick Castle, whose name will ever be associated with a shambles of an event.”

Marilyn Wallace commented: “Tom Jones concert organisation was shocking and people should be offered a refund. The whole event was terrible and a complete waste of time and money.”

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