Following the overcrowding at last Friday’s Bloc Weekend, ticketing company CrowdSurge have issued a statement:
It follows several statements, including the promise of an investigation, from Bloc, as well as wholly inadequate statements from the Metropolitan Police (who blamed Friday’s minimal-at-best rain for the festival’s issues) and the festival’s venue London Pleasure Gardens (whose claim that the venue was safely cleared by 2am is simply untrue). There have been countless reports from both festival goers and artists claiming that their tickets / passes were not adequately – if at all – checked upon entry to the festival, due to scanners breaking at an early stage.
The statement is divided into several categories, and reads as follows [via Music Week]. We should explicitly add that CrowdSurge’s claim that “fans were required to produce valid ID to prove that they were the legitimate purchasers of the tickets [in the case of scanners breaking]” is simply not true – staff at FACT and both attendees and artists that we’ve spoken to can confirm this to be the case.
Role of CrowdSurge
CrowdSurge was contracted by Baselogic (Bloc) to provide an ecommerce mechanic for the sale and promotion of a variety of ticket types from within The Bloc 2012 website. This involved CrowdSurge providing an online software purchasing application; an e-ticketsolution; box office management and site entry scanners. Other third parties were contracted to manage on site security, access management and site stewarding.
Venue Capacity & Tickets Sold
London Pleasure Gardens advises a capacity of 30,000 people, however this can vary dependent upon how event organisers may wish to utilise the features and staging on the whole site. Throughout the event planning stages of the event, Baselogic carefully analysed the site capacity as a whole and as individual showcases to site afinal capacity figure of 18,000 people for each day of the festival.
The number of tickets sold for the event on Friday 6th July was 15,796 – a figure far short of the 18,000 capacity placed by the festival organisers and the 30,000 posted by London Pleasure Gardens. Throughout the process Baselogic controlled the amount of tickets sold and this was at the discretion of Baselogic, notCrowdSurge.
CrowdSurge were advised to ‘shut down’ scanners at 21.27pm on Friday 6th July 2012, whilst the queuing barriers were reorganized. At this point 8,000 people had been given access to the site. The entry gates were reopened and scanning and personal searches ceased as per the request of Baselogic and London Pleasure Gardens staff. At no point throughout the scanning process did the scannerscease to operate.
Each ticket includes an individual barcode and number generated by the CrowdSurge system. That barcode and number is linked to a unique customer order and ticket. As with any electronic ticket, there is possibility that these can be copied or printedmultiple times, however duplicates or copies would not be recognized by thescanners on site and the person producing the falsified-ticket & barcode would not have been given entry to the site through the scanner access points. Each individual barcode only admits one person per ticket, at which point that barcode is no longer ‘live’ and access cannot be gained to the event.
A small number of e-ticket issues were escalated to CrowdSurge throughout Friday and all related to either printer issues or scanner operator error. In each of these cases, fans wererequired to produce valid ID to prove that they were the legitimate purchasers of the tickets. There was no evidence of fraudulent ticketing operations.
The purchasing process opted for by the festival organisers was one of a direct payment to Baselogic through their own merchant service provider. CrowdSurge at no time held or currently retains any monies for tickets purchased through the Bloc Weekend website.
“ It is evident that there was a combination of factors causing the cancellation of the Bloc Festival on Friday evening. The decisions taken had personal safety as the prime concern and as a result, personal injury was averted. We are immensely disappointed for the fans, the Artists and festival organisers that the event was cancelled and will work with Baselogic and third parties to establish ‘what happened and why’ throughout their investigation. We sympathise with the frustration caused in lack of detailed statement coming forward from a variety of parties which is creating angst among fans waiting for refunds and an understanding of what went wrong” –
Martyn Noble – Chairman & CEO CrowdSurge