Chaos at RHCP concert angers fans

2013-02-04 09:42
Cape Town – Angry fans have expressed their disgust over poor organisation at the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter were abuzz on Monday with complaints of long queues, lack of crowd control and an overall fear for safety at the Big Concerts event which took place at the FNB Stadium at the weekend.

Numerous concertgoers shared their experiences on Big Concerts Facebook page, with many complaining about staff members' general unwillingness to assist and their lack of knowledge as to what was going on.

According to Chris Pinto, "the staff were completely clueless. I got into the stadium fine, but denied by the seats as I didn't have an armband. He didn't know where to get one, neither did the people at the entrance gates know…"

Gitavia Reddy said: "Last nights RHCP's concert was great but the logistics were shocking. Hospitality parking "full" according the attendant, despite me having a ticket. Scanner at turnstile 20 not working, bogus parking attendants and then 2 hours to get out!"

Another concertgoer Trudi Smit, said that "the most shocking was seeing girls squatting in the middle of a walkway and relieving themselves as they could not find toilets."

Locked gates

She went on to explain that she feared for her own safety "as the crowd on the way to the park and ride buses were blocked off by a locked gate and a subsequent scene out of the walking dead played itself out, with people being squashed against the gate, and a few toppling over the fence."

Another concertgoer told Channel24 that while people were able to double back from the locked gates, the result was "disastrous" as people were endangering themselves by climbing embankments to get out.

Concerts chief operations officer John Langford told The New Age that all security guards used by Big Concerts were registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority and that all security measures were discussed with the police who supervised the entire event.

In response to the stadium being overcrowded, Langford explained that the venue capacity was calculated with the fire department.

The New Age also reported that some concertgoers complained about alleged bribery of security guards for access into the golden circle.

*Were you there? E-mail us about your experience and get published!


  • andre.smith.125323 - 2013-02-04 10:00

    Big concerts is really a lousy organisation. They never take responsibility for anything at any of their events. Take responsibility

      joshfiend - 2013-02-04 10:15

      agreed! All their responses were that 'we' were late...concert goers arrived late and caused the long lines and wait. Ummm.... one entrance for standing and golden circle caused the congestion. Own up!

      JohncarlosBiza - 2013-02-04 11:22

      They are very arrogant, do not respect the customer and never, ever try to improve. Each of the concerts from the last few years had the same problems. They are a typical mismanaged monopoly and I'm glad I don't listen to the commercial artists they bring

      preshen.govender.3910 - 2013-02-05 09:27

      Big concert must Give it away give it away give it away give it away now

  • MeendDieEend - 2013-02-04 10:08

    The organization was an absolute mess. Nevermind the security risk. Not once at any point were we asked to show our tickets, and we all had rucksacks which were never searched. So, not only could I not have bothered buying a ticket, but I could also have filled my bag with alcohol and avoided the exorbitant beer prices. Drugs or weapons would not have been a problem either for that matter.

  • rob.vanjou - 2013-02-04 10:19

    Everytime I see The New Age in report it loses any sense of legitimacy

  • lydonmcg - 2013-02-04 10:22

    Big Concerts need to learn how to handle these PR messes. They've already shown that they're ill-equipped to deal with mass anger after multiple Computicket stuff-ups and their continual use of them as their ticketing provider. Unfortunately, we're so devoid of international acts coming to SA shores that regardless of what happens, people will flock to their concerts. They know this, so there isn't much motivation to do anything about these problems or own up to them at the very least.

  • dean.polley.3 - 2013-02-04 10:24

    Sounds similar tonthe Eagles concert last year!

      repline.rasbanda - 2013-02-04 11:14

      And the Lady Gaga concert... and the Metallica Concert before that. Big Concerts are placing peoples lives at risk. The only time police / fire dept and the company itself will take note, is when something similar happens as in the rest of the world where people die. Ofcourse by this time it is too late, government will launch another "investigating comittee", and the families of those lost will mourn for the rest of their lives. Never going to any Big "Unorganised" Concert.

  • Jo Davies - 2013-02-04 10:31

    The only problem I experienced was the entrance not clearly indicated on ticket. It said gate R, but not you had to go through entrance H first. A lot of walking and we were not the only ones.

  • John - 2013-02-04 10:53

    Stop whining these guys have done a great job by bringing some big concerts to South Africa. There is always room for improvement but hey, no one cared about South Africa until they stepped in, at least the bands know that they will get paid which is the most important thing.....

      mark.ross.779 - 2013-02-04 11:03

      John, fair enough to say they're bringing bands in... But come on, yes sir, no sir thanks for the handout sir? We pay a lot to go to these things. Just now there'll be a death or a stampede or something and then finally someone will take notice. Its not unfair to legitimately complain about something you pay for.. We host sports at the same venues with far fewer issues

      John - 2013-02-04 12:39

      The tickets are still much cheaper in SA than most parts of the world, the concerts can improve but i have been to many of their shows and they have been great, instead of just complaining maybe come up with suggestions , these guys are doing a good job of bring some awesome artists to this country no doubt.....

      Jeremy - 2013-02-04 13:31

      Big Concerts have been bringing big acts to South Africa for at least the past 30 years. When Roddy Quinn was runnig the show, they were superb. It appears standards have slipped a bit over the past few years.

      pierre.cronje.311 - 2013-02-04 15:24

      The sound in the stands was really bad and before anyone wants to counter that I have to mention that I know a lot about sound engineering. I would really like to know whether Big Concerts can be taken to court under the Consumer Protection Act. The bad sound was not caused by the shape of the stadium but by incorrect speaker placement.

  • dino.m.francisco - 2013-02-04 10:53

    It is a an avid concert goer, these things happen. A few rules to remember when attending a huge concert. 1: get there early. 2: buy multiple beers at a time, this will save you time. 3: don't get drunk and harrass the staff. 4: eat before you go. If everybody abides by these rules the whole thing will go smoother.

  • tanya.paine - 2013-02-04 10:54

    Ok I was on the park and ride and I am still trying to find out where this locked gate was? When we got to the venue that afternoon we walked the path to the stadium, when we left we walked the same path back? There was no gate? So either this gate mysteriously appeared or people didn’t follow the same route back to the buses? The only issue I did have was the amount of dagga that was being smoked. The band members do not drink or take drugs, people around you most likely don’t all take drugs. The lack of respect in that regard from the people attending was shocking. People were complaining that Die Antwoords language wasn’t fit for children, but the amount of narcotics your child inhaled is fine?

      malcolm.james.macleod - 2013-02-04 12:14

      "The band members do not drink or take drugs" - Really? You can't seriously believe that?

      tanya.paine - 2013-02-04 14:06

      Yes I do believe that, go and have a look at Anthony Kiedis history and his story. The all ex addicts, and all fans know this and know that Anthony is also a vegan?

      adele.mellor - 2013-02-04 15:21

      I'm with Malcolm on that one.

      adele.mellor - 2013-02-04 15:42

      ... but does it matter who smokes what and who eats what? It's a concert. You are there to rock out!

  • dino.m.francisco - 2013-02-04 10:55

    So then stop going to their will make my concert going experience better without late comers, drunken douche bags and "sound experts." Or maybe you should fork out millions of rands and host your own concert!

      beverly.cosslett.5 - 2013-02-04 12:41

      Hey Dino, I was neither Drunk, Late or a Sound Expert! It took us 2 hours to get from the parking lot onto the standing area. From 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. That is a massive amount of time to be shuffled like sheep through dangerously narrow paths. Also staff did not know what was going on, no bags or bodies were searched and we saw security taking cash to let people go through without armbands. It is not that we dont want the concerts, but a regard for personal safety would be nice.

  • charmaine.rademeyer.9 - 2013-02-04 10:57

    I was so disappointed in the organisation. I've booked for Metallica and Bon Jovi and I'm so apprehensive about even going now.

  • wcbester - 2013-02-04 11:12

    Park & Ride was the worst i have ever experienced and for a whopping R160.00 somehow the drunk idiots on the bus managed to let the bus driver get off at the Olifantsfontein off ramp on our way back to Menlyn to go to TEAZERS and apon trying to get back to the highway via old Johannesburg the driver almost plowed into a car at a faulty robot,it was an utter pathetic and unprofessional service.

      tanya.paine - 2013-02-04 11:46

      Ok that is shocking!! Our buss pulled over on the highway going back to Centurion, not sure why he did it but we cot back safely with no Teazers detour! You should actually get hold of the number thats on the sticker and complain?

  • seananthony.mccarthy - 2013-02-04 11:23

    RHCP were awesome, Die Antwoord were incredible!!! GC was too much fun, I had no issues getting in or out... and as for people not being able to find the bathrooms, seriously stop drinking so much, they were everywhere. and 70 000 people in one place, it is going to take hours to get out!!! shocking how people complain just for the sake of complaining!!!

      adele.mellor - 2013-02-04 15:28

      You nailed it!

  • - 2013-02-04 11:24

    serious lack of beer and good food!

  • Rebecca - 2013-02-04 11:25

    we had no problems and had a freaking fab time, even no queues for the loos and they didn't run out of water like they have in the past. And we got beer too without too much iof a wait. Quick flow into concert and too our seats as well as out again. The only thing I could complain as we SA'as love to complain would be about the miserable people that sat behind us who had not an ounce of fun between the lot of them! Nwext time stay at home ha ha ha ha

  • regan.demos - 2013-02-04 11:38

    Wow! If we don't have something to complain about, then we somehow feel that it's ok to blame the organisers The first rule of big concerts like the RHCP is GET THERE EARLY. With a sold out show what did you explect - small batches of 20 or so people queueing at the gates to get in? We all knew that there were going to be 60,000 plus people at the FNB stadium when their tickets were sold out months ago. Second rule of concerts: DON'T GET PARALYTICALLY DRUNK until after the show. The number of people I saw falling all over the place and puking on other people's shoes would also make me not want to help them if I was a security guard. Third rule of big concerts: It doesn't take a rocket scientist to read "level 1" level 2" etc on the ticket. I found the staff VERY helpful once we were on the first level as to which direction I needed to head in. The reason there are seperate entrances and exits to the various levels is because controlling a two directional crown on one staircase is BOUND to cause chaos! Big Concerts put out a FAQ on their website regarding parking etc (with a detailed map, nogal!) Is it really their fault that you didn't put in any effort to familiarise yourself with it? Grow up, people!

      MSGRule - 2013-02-04 11:57

      Getting there was not the problem as all arrive at their own time. but leaving is another thing which you can't control

      tanya.paine - 2013-02-04 12:20

      Yup to all you said!! We got there early got a nice spot and I even go to say hello to a few friends in the seats :) - I also didnt undertsnad the staff part of the story as they were very helpful to us as well. When we asked where do we go to the field we were told exactly where to go. I loved it and had an amazing issue free evening

      jurie.prinsloo.5 - 2013-02-04 12:43

      I agree fully. I had a great time. One glance at my ticket informed me that I had to enter at turnstile 12 and go to my seat through entrance R. Plus we had 2 beer gardens right next to each other and with our seats being the last on the right off the stage, I never stood for more then 5 minutes for a beer. The trains @ R40 return from PTA was also a big bonus. I came informed about the stadium and it's lay-out and never had to even talk to staff members. Had an awesome evening.

  • lushen.pillay.7 - 2013-02-04 11:50

    Fantastic concert. Pity, that some people can't control their liquor and display offensive behaviour. These ---wipes must stay at home.

  • clinton.milne - 2013-02-04 12:03

    Great show! had no issues as we got there early! Only thing was the over priced beer! R30 for a 440ml Castle is just wrong!!!

  • thethird.wors - 2013-02-04 12:25

    happens every time and BC always blames Stadium management, who in turn blame "third party companies". It's piss poor.

  • myles.sounes - 2013-02-04 12:25

    Follow the signs and que earlier. I had no issues. Concert was amazing and TY for bringing Chili peppers to SA. GC ftw

  • jppellissier - 2013-02-04 12:31

    NOTE HERE: I was not given an armband, I was directed to the wrong stairway to get onto the field, security guards got aggressive, NO ARMBANDS avaialble after we got sent back to get some, "We've run out of arm bands" CASTLE LAGER CAN COST R30 each !!!! WTF !!

  • dustin.d.scott - 2013-02-04 12:40

    I find there to be two sides to this story. I believe that being the paying customers, everybody is entitled to their opinion and not everyone had the same experience, thats just fact. But there is complaining and then there is constructive criticism. Entering the stadium could have been smoother. The first set of gates was chaos and Once inside the stadium i saw a crowd of squashed up people pushing and shoving at the top of a very steep flight of stairs getting more and more agitated. This for me is a very big concern as it can be extremely dangerous. I think the inclusion of informed "Ushers" at various stages of entering the stadium could dramatically help with this issue. I didn't drink anything so i cannot comment on the beverages but i did see long queues every time i walked passed a vendor, even sporting events has this issue so i dont think its a valid complaint. Merchandise could be a lot less expensive. R250 for a cap or t-shirt with the cheapest thing being R100 Keyring? Being in retail i know how excessive that is. I did not buy because of it and that was completely my choice which is fair enough. All in all the park and ride was flawless for me. Although the ride back was at a hair raising speed. Big Concert ARE to be applauded for what they have done by promoting our country excessively and that is great but I do think they should take head of their fans complaints rather than pointing fingers.Oh and remember Durbanites cause its a fortune to trek to JHB.

  • jurie.prinsloo.5 - 2013-02-04 12:53

    I have to agree with regan.demos. One glance at my ticket informed me that I had to enter at turnstile 12 and go through entrance Q to my seat. We where the closest seats to the stage on the right, so having 2 beer gardens right next to each other also helped a lot. Only stood in line about 5min for beer. Also familiarizing myself with the stadium before hand, meant that I arrived well informed of where I must go and I did not once had to speak to staff members. And the train ride @ R40 return from PTA was also a great plus. I had an awesome concert!

  • jaryd.weelson - 2013-02-04 12:53

    There were two massive concerts before this one, namely Linkin Park and Lady Gaga. I went to both and RHCP (Lady Gaga was not of own accord) and all the concerts had the same issues. I don't mind them having problems at the first concert, but pull your heads out of your arses and learn from previous mistakes. It's called taking responsibility!

  • jppellissier - 2013-02-04 12:58

    to all of you saying you had a great experience, well done and congratulations, don't come here and tell me I had a great experience because I can assure you I didn't and there were loads more who would agree with me. Yes getting there early should help but it should screw your whole night up if you get there a bit late, I DON'T WANT TO BE THERE 6 HOURS BEFORE THEY GO ON STAGE. I understand I will hit traffic and it will be very busy the time I get there but that was not the issue. The issue was no arm bands, incorrect instructions, arrogant security guards, R30 for beer. Secondly, this is the exact problem with this country, we accept POOR SERVICE DELIVERY, we say its acceptable or we don't do anything about it. It's this type of mentality that allows our politicians, municipal workers and public sector institutions to get away with the absolute dog show that is our country. MAKE NOISE, CAUSE A SCENE, SHOUT, CURSE, WAVE YOUR ARMS because the only way anything is going to start getting better is if we the TAX PAYING(not the poverty stricken leeches) public do something about it.

  • yolandie.venter.75 - 2013-02-04 13:01

    We didn't have any issues, just thought they should've asked another band to support the chilli peppers. Die Antwoord give south africa a bad name. Surely we have better export bands/acts to represent us?

      CazthePeanut - 2013-02-04 14:49

      Unfortunately RHCP requested them specifically to open for them. Apparently Flea is a huge fan. But I agree, they do give SA a bad name

      adele.mellor - 2013-02-04 15:30

      Why do you think they give SA a bad name?

  • gareth.long.507 - 2013-02-04 13:40

    It was the most un organised concert i have ever attended .Security was appauling , parking was full after having tickets.After the event there were no traffic officials to be seen . Big Concerts have alot to learn

  • anthonbotha101 - 2013-02-04 14:35

    the concert was absolutely awesome, well done, the security at the parking was very very bad, we had closer parking to the staduim, but a car gaurd told us to drove on the field, and we did, we parked, gave him my ticket, without tearing it, i literally saw him sell it while chilling at my car, when we left that night, i gave another gaurd a few rand to help me out of the parking, another guy comes, asks the gaurd for weed, and the 2 of them walk off, great

      adele.mellor - 2013-02-04 15:38

      Most of these "car guards" are only in it for the money. They just slip on a vest and that's that. I had one guy ask me at a previous concert to give him my park and walk ticket after we had parked. I just didn't give it to him. I never do.

  • CazthePeanut - 2013-02-04 14:44

    We got there early and had no issues so dont know what the fuss was all about? It goes without saying that if you leave it till the last minute that you will face a large crowd of people wanting to go in - its human nature. I just think that Big Concerts takes a lot of undue criticism. If it wasnt for them, we wouldnt be seeing such great acts like RHCP. Pulling off an event like this is not easy, and there will be mistakes. You can never please everyone.

  • Dougir - 2013-02-04 14:46

    The best concert that SA has ever seen but the worst organization on behalf of Big Concerts, extreme queues, insanely bad crowed control, lack of bathroom facilities and so on.... Having 1 way up and 1 way down from the field area was really painful. It took over an hour to go get a drink and return to the field mostly due to crowds in the hallways trying to get back to the field and the only entrance was on the opposite side of the stadium....bhabla so yea all in all thanks to RHCP you guys rocked!!! Big Concerts you guys really need to jack up your events

  • adele.mellor - 2013-02-04 15:53

    I myself was there on Saturday and never experienced any of these problems. I didn't get an armband but was stopped every time entering Golden Circle to show my ticket. We never had any issues with locked gates, we ended up exiting the stadium a completely different route to where we came in but never had locked gates. Why did they not walk around to the open ones? People moan about people smoking dagga, it's a concert. Don't go then. Don't go if you don't like the musician's language on stage. Girls were relieving themselves on the walkways? Never in my life have I seen this and I have been to tons of concerts there. There are toilets on every single level and more than one! One lady moans about waiting 40 minutes to get to her seat? Lol, well get there earlier then! - People need to get a life and stop moaning about EVERYTHING! I had a BLAST!

  • jaclyn.dosreis - 2013-02-04 16:21

    Big Concerts - BIG CONCERN! The RHCP concert was not as bad as the Faithless concert held at Gallager Estate, but scary none the less. Big Concerts are also SO quick to blame the security companies and the Fire Chief and any other innocent bystander, BS man, its your show, we're paying YOU. Its your responsibility, short your +&*$ out!

  • blastrucci - 2013-02-04 16:31

    Do not know what people are on about. One of the best concerts I have ever been too. My guess, the people who are complaining were not RHCP fans. If not a fan - do go! We're were there for the MUSIC!

  • bizarro.jerri - 2013-02-04 23:56

    white people problems. meh.

      ryan.lockwood.5477272 - 2013-02-06 12:29

      Yep. Tendencies!

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