Auckland venue disputes 'crushing' claims

By Hayden Donnell

Fans had to be carried out of last night's Killing Joke gig after being crushed inside the "oversold" venue, a reviewer says.

Gary Steel of Witchdoctor said the main floor The Studio on Auckland's K-Rd had been packed too tight for last night's show.

He said the bottleneck that developed at the venue's main entrance was a "risk to life and limb".

"The truth is that there was such a crush that several people were carried out, that tempers were frayed and scuffles ensued. The truth is that I almost fainted... And when I decided it was time to get out of there, the crush was so great that it was almost impossible to do so."

Steel said he was forced to watch the show on a television screen set up outside the main hall.

"I don't know if the blame lay with the venue management, the tour management or with the band, but someone should be held accountable. It just ain't good enough."

Studio spokeswoman Marie Lawrence said Steel was wrong about the concert being oversold.

There were about 1000 people there and The Studio's capacity was 1200, she said.

"To add though we all noticed it was cramped last night. We have put this down the fact the crowd was a lot older so in the main room they are less prepared to move closer, creating cramped areas further back by the bottle neck and staircase areas.

"It is very important to the venue that everyone attending concerts gets to fully enjoy the experience so we have decided to advise a lower capacity rate with ticket sales not to exceed 850 for these type of events in the future."

Lawrence said the police visited during the night and left satisfied that the venue was within its capacity limit.


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