Fury over Grand Départy concert
FURIOUS concert-goers have hit out after getting wet on the grass at York's Grand Departy - while covered stands nearby remained empty.
Several readers have contacted The Press to complain that last night's event at Huntington Stadium - intended by City of York Council to launch the city's Tour de France festivities - had been badly organised.
Lee Morgan said his parents, William and Cynthia Morgan of Clifton Moor, paid £29 each for seated undercover tickets so they would stay dry if it rained, but when they got there yesterday afternoon, they were surprised and disgusted to be given tickets stating '£20 standing.'
He said: "When they said they had paid for seating undercover, they were told: "The council didn't get the licence in time to be able to use the main stand."
He said disabled ticketholders were 'herded' under gazebos to keep them dry, which he felt was an 'absolute joke.'
"Free drinks vouchers were given to people who had booked seating as a gesture of goodwill, however they couldn't be used as the council hadn't agreed it with the vendors and as such they wouldn't take them."
Janet Pearson, of Huntington, who paid almost £200 for tickets, including one for her son-in-law, a disabled Iraq war veteran, said she arrived at the stadium to be told there were no seated tickets.
"I wouldn’t have bought tickets if I knew there wouldn’t be seating," she said. "The thought of having to stand from 4.30pm to 10.30pm with three young children doesn’t appeal to me. It just seems like an absolute farce."
Her daughter Julie Burridge said: “I’m absolutely disgusted. There will be a lot of cross people tonight. My husband has PTSD and a spinal injury and is not very good in crowds so we needed seating. We thought it would be brilliant because we could watch it from the seats and it would be okay. Everyone was soaked."
Beth Dale, of Clifton Moor, who can only walk short distances with the aid of sticks, said she spent £20 each on tickets for her and her husband Brian, who uses a motorised scooter.
But she said that after they were eventually told where they could park, she found she would have to walk a total of 600 yards to the far end of the stadium to gain entry and walk back through the stadium to the correct area, and so they gave up and went home in disgust. "It was shambolic," she claimed.
Louise Johnson, of Huntington, said she went home early from the concert with her children because it was so badly organised.
A council spokeswoman said it had originally intended to use one of the stadium's two stands for the concert, but subsequently discovered it could not be used because of safety concerns.
She said attempts had been made to provide shelter with gazebos but the wet and windy weather had made this difficult.
She revealed that anyone who had bought tickets for covered seats and was unhappy could apply for a refund by going back to the outlet where they bought them. A maximum of 50 people had bought such tickets.
She added that there had been many positive comments, for example on Twitter, from people who said they had enjoyed the good atmosphere.