Hardwell gig cancelled over safety fears

Hardwell. Picture: comp

Hardwell. Picture: comp

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A SELL-OUT gig by the ‘world’s best DJ’ has been cancelled at the eleventh hour amid concerns over crowd safety.

Thousands of people were set to attend the ‘I am Hardwell’ event at the Royal Highland Centre in Ingliston tomorrow night.

But the gig was cancelled after concerns were raised by Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service following an event involving the same DJ in Belfast last night and the tragic death of teenager, Regane MacColl, in Glasgow last weekend.

More than 100 young people had to be treated for the effects of alcohol and drugs, at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast. The problems were so bad a major incident was declared, with hospitals put on stand-by and extra medical staff drafted in to deal with the situation.

A statement on the I am Hardwell Facebook page from gig promoter, Colours, confirmed the event had been cancelled following meetings with the City Council and Police.

It read: “We regret to inform you that after a lengthy meeting with the City Council in Edinburgh, licencing board and Police Scotland this afternoon, a decision has been made to withdraw the licence for the I AM HARDWELL event tomorrow night at The Royal Higland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh.

“This means that unfortunately the event will not go ahead. Due to the situation in Belfast on Thursday 6th February, it was decided that the event in Edinburgh should not go ahead due to safety concerns.

“We will give more details next week regarding either a rescheduled show or the refund procedure.

“We thank you for your understanding at this time.”

And Cllr Gavin Barrie, Convener of the Regulatory Committee, said: “We have taken the difficult decision to suspend the licence on the grounds of a serious threat to public order and safety following advice from Police Scotland and health officials after what happened in Belfast and Glasgow.

“We appreciate the disappointment this will cause to those who were planning to attend the event but protecting public safety must be our priority. Ticket holders should be able to get a full refund.”

However, many fans had already made travel arrangements and booked hotel rooms, and were left angry at the decision.

Scott Kelman said: “This is an absolute disgrace, telling us this the night before, majority of us have bought hotel rooms, organised work off, organised buses and our travel, and you decide to cancel the event just because of something that happened in another country - that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen here!”

Meanwhile, Gant Linton said: “Cancelling an over 18’s event due to what happened at an over 16’s event is a disgrace. You lot should be ashamed.”

And Scott Thomson said he was “absolutely gutted” the concert had been cancelled.

However, police insisted there was a public safety concern.

Superintendent Matt Richards said: “In response to recent information Police Scotland has received relating to public safety at events held elsewhere in the United Kingdom, the Force has expressed its concerns to the City of Edinburgh Council ahead of a proposed concert at the Royal Highland Showground on Saturday 8th February.

“Working with Council colleagues several legal powers have been utilised to ensure that those considering attending the event and wider public are protected. As a result of this partnership approach to harm reduction a decision has been taken to cancel the event.”

The club promoters also revealed they found out only shortly before fans did yesterday (Fri) that the event would not be going ahead.

Hardwell, real name Robbert van de Corput, was last year voted at the number one DJ in DJ Magazine’s annual Top 100 DJs poll, making him the youngest ever to top the list aged 25.