Scores of gig-goers at Dreamland for the Ocean Colour Scene performance last night (August 18) have taken to social media to complain of unbearable heat and people being sick and passing out.
The band, which shot to prominence on the Britpop scene, has been praised by those who attended the performance at Dreamland’s Hall by the Sea but many said they had to leave early due to a lack of ventilation and overbearing heat.
Churchill Tavern boss Stuart Bleazard branded the venue a “tin can with no air.”
He said: “The heat in the Hall By The Sea was unbearable, people were fainting due to heat exhaustion.
“I’ve been to hundreds of gigs and never experienced anything as hot as last night. It was like a furnace in there, people struggling to walk on their way out, even people that only stayed 30 minutes or so.
“Someone was sick, there was talk of people coming from downstairs gig and walking in for free making it overfull, stewards looked like rabbits in the headlights and seemed to lack training in what could’ve been a major incident.
“Any up and coming gigs should be cancelled until there has been a thorough health and safety investigation.”
‘Lack of ventilation’
Broadstairs community volunteer Ruth Bailey says she will be writing to Thanet council’s environmental health officers with her concerns and vowed not to attend another indoor gig at Dreamland until effective ventilation is put in place.
She said: “I don’t personally think there was a question of over-capacity, we could move around fairly freely. Obviously it was more crowded, and hotter, the nearer the front you went.
“My main concern was the lack of any ventilation. You would think post-Covid that would be a bit of a priority. It’s a big hall with no windows and only a double door at one end leading directly to the stairs.
“We could certainly not see, hear or feel any mechanical or extractor fans. I can see by reading social media posts that a lot of people left the gig early. We moved right to the back to get some cooler air by the door as we were drenched by the heat and humidity. “One of my party has written to Dreamland complaining and I will write to the Environmental Health department at TDC.
“When they (Dreamland) say they opened external doors I presume they mean the main doors at ground level which wouldn’t really have had any impact. Someone tried opening the fire door in the hall but security quickly closed it again.
“It was roasting in there, men were taking off their shirts as they were soaked through. My friend tried to go down to the toilets but was stopped because there was someone passed out in the entrance.
“As a lot of people have said, we won’t be attending another of these indoor gigs, not until some effective ventilation is put in place.”
Other people who attended the gig have spoken of feeling unwell due to the heat, raised concerns that there were a lot of people gathered on the stairs and said the lack of air was “hideous.”
People who did stay until the end said fire exits were eventually opened to let in some air and were unanimous about the band’s ‘brilliant’ performance. Many suggested the gig should have been staged outdoors but also said they expected humidity indoors due to weather temperatures.
A Dreamland spokesperson said three people were attended to by the medical team and all “were fine.”
They said: “The Ocean Colour Scene concert held in The Hall By The Sea was well attended however, capacity was within those specified in our independent safety guidelines. Inside the venue was not overcrowded, with event goers able to dance and navigate around unhindered.
“An indoor venue at this time of year, with good attendance will become hot and potentially humid. Internal temperatures and crowd safety was monitored and assessed continuously from our operations control and dedicated CCTV operative, as well as those within the venue itself.
“After meeting with departmental supervisors, the venue manager took the decision to open doors to successfully increase the airflow generated by the internal fans, whilst monitoring sound impact externally.
“The medical team treated three individuals in attendance all of whom were fine, with no one advised to seek further medical attention.”