REVELLERS were left stranded and struggling to get home from a beer festival after which one man was found dead on a beach, it has been claimed.
Masters graduate Scott Calder, 23, from Edinburgh, was found by a passer-by on Sunday morning at Longniddry Bents after partying at Oktoberfest in Gosford House the night before.
A taxi driver told the Evening News festival closing time was chaos as police moved people on, but event organisers said transport was laid on from the venue.
“At the end of the night it was utter chaos,” said the driver. “Cars were struggling to get near the venue and people were walking along roads and down toward the beach.
“When I collected some passengers they were telling me the police weren’t allowing anyone to stand waiting to be picked up and were telling them to start walking and leave the venue.”
One festival goer was found passed out on a grass verge by police who managed to bring him round and phone his dad to pick him up, added the driver.
Inquiries indicated there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr Calder’s death and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.
His family paid tribute to him in an emotional statement which read: “The shock and profound loss that we are feeling at this time cannot be put into words.
“Scott was a beloved son, a loving boyfriend and a wonderful friend to all who knew him.
“He had just achieved his masters degree from Edinburgh Napier University and had his whole life ahead of him.
“Every day he made us proud and we are devastated beyond belief that he is gone.
“As a family we will try to support one another through this most difficult of times and ask that our privacy be respected while we grieve.”
Organisers of the Hot Dub Stein Machine event assured that travel advice was given and transport arranged for festival goers.
A spokeswoman for the event said: “Starting at 8pm, 60 shuttle buses ferried attendees from the main entrance back to Edinburgh, via Longniddry – providing a capacity of approximately 5,000 passenger seats. Before and during the event, people were strongly advised, for safety reasons, to use either the onsite shuttle bus service or additional on-site car and taxi pick-up points which were managed by security stewards and traffic personnel, with assistance from the police.”
Police and event organisers are now expected to meet for a standard debrief to discuss any post-festival issues.
“Whenever permission is sought from the local authority to hold an event, the event organiser must demonstrate the ability to meet a number of criteria, including traffic management,” said a police spokeswoman. “Officers in attendance for any event can provide additional support if it is required and will subsequently liaise with organisers thereafter to address any learning outcomes. As is standard procedure, we will engage with the event organisers for Oktoberfest to highlight any issues that have been identified.”