"Security did nothing, there was literal riots [trying to] get in."
There were scary scenes at Steve Lacy's show in Melbourne this week, with John Cain Arena and promoter Frontier Touring vowing to review their entry processes for general admission shows.
The famous Bad Habits singer was initially supposed to play at The Forum, with a capacity of 2000 people. Due to such high demand, the concert was moved to John Cain Arena and on Tuesday night, up to 10,500 people were ready to see Lacy.
For hours before doors opened, the lines wrapped around the venue and once doors opened, swaths of fans reportedly rushed inside. George Margaritis, who attended the show, told Today, "It was very unorganised".
Margaritis also shared that punters were told that once the venue was upgraded, everyone would be considered a General Admission ticketholder. However, only a limited number of people would access the floor space near the stage, which caused confusion and fans to line up from 5 am to get closer to Lacy.
"It was just fend for yourself when you got in," Margaritis said. He added, "It is not good enough having two doors open for 10,000 people to come through."
Fans on social media concurred with his statement, calling security "poorly organised" for allowing a "dangerous" situation such as a "stampede" to occur.
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The Melbourne Steve lacy concert was the most poorly organised event I have ever been to, wtf John Cain arena, luckily Steve is a g and the concert was elite!— Tallulah Dawson (@tallulahdawson1) November 22, 2022
Steve lacy Melbourne was the worst event management I’ve ever seen, so dangerous you’d expect companies to pick up their game after past tragedies. Super dangerous + the crowd absolutely sucked, young teenagers who evidently grew up in lockdown & have zero concert experience— ayo 🤍 (@rottinginbedxo) November 22, 2022
The situation at the Steve Lacy concert prompted an internal review into processes of letting in people with general admission tickets, Frontier Touring and John Cain Arena revealed in a statement that The Sydney Morning Herald shared.
Ambulance Victoria was called to the event at 7:20 pm but was cancelled because no severe injuries were reported.
However, in a video shared on TikTok, an attendee said she "saw [people] get stomped on, couldn't breathe, security did nothing, there was literal riots [trying to] get in". She also said that Lacy stopped the show multiple times to check if people were okay "because security weren't doing their jobs".
Triple J's assistant music director, Claire Mooney, backed up the fan's claim. "Three songs into his set, he asked everyone to stay calm and move three steps back," she said. "He was really good at stopping and making a point of wanting to have a comfortable concert experience."
"Our venue management team had a detailed plan in place to manage ingress into the venue. Unfortunately, once doors were open, a number of guests towards the back of the queue pushed forward, creating crowding near the entry," John Cain Arena manager Melbourne and Olympic Parks and Frontier Touring said in a joint statement.
They added, "Melbourne and Olympic Parks will review our ingress process for general admission events to ensure we continue to meet our commitment to delivering a safe and enjoyable experience for all who attend our venues."