Many Brighton Pride attendees were left stranded following Britney Spears' Saturday night (Aug. 4) performance at the U.K. event after the nearby train station was reportedly shut down as a result overcrowding.
Organizers the annual LGBTQ celebration said “people’s safety was put into jeopardy" because the Go Thameslink Railway's (GTR) failure to provide adequate services to London, NME reports. A total 57,000 people attended the celebration, and some fans reported having to sleep on the beach as a result the station shutdown.
“We were appalled to see that Pride-goers were standing for long periods time, at the end the event, while waiting to access Brighton Station,” Brighton Pride wrote in a statement on its website. "People’s safety was put in jeopardy by GTR and the station’s failure to plan for adequate train service.”
Many attendees took to social media to report the chaos first-hand. “The police are settling people & creating an incredibly dangerous situation outside Brighton train station right now. Having spent 1 hour 25 minutes in the crush we managed to escape & I’m really concerned about anyone still stuck in there,” one person tweeted.
Another added, “Really disappointing treatment from the police ostensibly doing crowd control @PrideBrighton! Thousands people outside a train station, no food/water, multiple people having panic attacks, and police refused to give any information and just said to blame the train company.”
A GTR spokesperson responded to the complaints, admitting that Brighton Pride attendance was higher than expected and that the more trains were put on the tracks to address the overcrowding.
“When it became apparent yesterday morning that attendance at Pride was far higher than had been forecast by the organisers, we put on as many extra trains as possible through the afternoon and evening, boosting capacity by 22,500. We continued to encourage people to leave early to avoid crowding for the last train," a GTR spokesperson said, according to NME.
“We ran 15 extra trains yesterday in addition to the plan agreed with the event organisers to cope with the unprecedented visitor numbers.”