Beyoncé fans in the United Kingdom faced a night of terror and a stampede as they tried to get tickets for The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.
The Manchester Evening News reports that about 300 fans who stood in line for as long as 24 hours just waiting to get their hands on a set of tickets to Beyoncé’s upcoming concert, were turned away empty handed.
Passes were slated to go on sale at Manchester Arena last Saturday, but 10 minutes before the box office was set to open, fans were informed that it would remain closed due to health and safety issues. Security guards told the crowd that they were concerned that fans would bum rush the box office once tickets went on sale, putting scores of people in danger of getting crushed.
Those standing outside blamed scalpers for creating the concern as witnesses reported that groups of grown men were aggressively cutting into the ticket line overnight. There were claims that some of the scalpers were at times threatening and verbally abusive. Other fans told security that the men tried to bribe them to buy extra tickets.
Supposedly the scalpers took their intimidation even further by throwing bottles at people, openly doing drugs and even causing a stampede to get as close to the box office as possible.
“I stayed in the tunnel outside the arena to avoid being crushed when all hell broke loose at about 5 a.m.,” said Beyonce fan Sarah Milah, who said the trouble with scalpers began around 10:30 p.m. the previous night.”Men were ripping open fire doors that were locked. Once opened, they fought to get through one side of a double door. Children were getting crushed and screaming. It was horrible. By far the worst night of my life.”
Another fan, 15-year-old Emily Hopkins, called the whole ordeal a nightmare brought to life.
“It was really horrible. It was intimidating and frightening–one of the scariest nights of my life,” she told MEN. “These men were smoking drugs, they were so aggressive and more and more turned up into the night. They were pushing in and drinking. We were all so excited about seeing Beyoncé–we love her–but this was more like a nightmare.”
At one point, Emily was so frightened that she called her mother Debbie. When Debbie arrived on the scene, she wound up calling police twice and found that some of the scalpers were actually trying to rip the doors of the box office open. “It was absolutely disgusting the way that it was handled,” said Debbie.
“They were trying to fight their way to the box office but nobody seemed to be doing anything about it,” she added.“The situation was out of control and it’s so unfair that people like my daughter had to go through that – and end up ticketless.”