Saturday, 23 June 2012
June 23rd, 2012
So last night we saw the amazing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band...but what a nightmare getting there! Hope you’ve got a cuppa for this one!!
The Springsteen fans run a queue system – because the concerts are general admission where you queue to get in there’s a system whereby when you turn up, you’re given a number that’s put on the list and then you attend roll calls every few hours, which means that they fans that queue for several days (and they do!) can leave the queue to shower, eat, sleep etc and only have to check back in occasionally rather than staying. Then when the times comes to open the doors then first 1000 people that have numbers are let in in order. It happens at every venue and it’s a system that Springsteen’s security are involved with – fans do the queue then hand over to them to sort out the wristbands and putting people in order, and the venue security do as they’re told from Springsteen’s lot.
We went to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night just to see if anything was going on and bumped into another couple that had had the same idea, so the four of us decided we may as well stay and be numbers 1-4, and that meant we were running the queue. So we camped at the venue for two nights! Didn’t sleep Thursday because all the fans that were at the Sunderland show shot straight down to get their queue number so we were up all night doing that then organising roll calls – by 1pm on Friday we had well over 1000 people to deal with!!!! The rain never stopped for about 36 hours, we were so busy that we just couldn’t stay dry – I had two pairs of socks in Ugg-type boots, four layers of tops, a waterproof jacket and plastic poncho and was soaked to the skin by 10am yesterday morning, so was soaked through for a good 14 hours.
Despite the rain and volume of people it was all going well, everyone was supportive and understanding that our lack of information was because no-one was telling us anything. The venue security told us where to queue, set up barriers etc and worked with us doing the numbers for two days so they knew what was doing on. Then (presumably) because of the rain the soundcheck and safety checks inside the venue took longer and Springsteen’s security guy didn’t make it out to us. The venue security then decided just to let us in and refused to work with any kind of system other than theirs, which was to open the doors all at the same time (not letting the numbered people in first as promised) and getting 55,000 people into the venue as quick as possible, so 48 hours of work was completely wasted. Then when they let us in (bearing in mind that everything is soaking wet) they opened all the gates and let people squeeze through a door and burst into the the top back left of the stadium, so nearly 3000 fans, who were already really angry about the queue thing, had to run down a steep set of stairs and across a plastic-covered pitch to the golden circle area, and security did nothing – it is down to nothing but luck that people a) weren't crushed on the stairs, and b) no-one slipped and broke legs on the wet plastic flooring.
All turned out ok – we were front row (though our spot should have been better for the numbers we had) and Bruce did a good 3 and a half hours. The show was epic, it was just a shame that everyone was in a crap mood because of the venue staff.
Clarence was truly missed but his nephew Jake on stage playing those parts was really something, very emotional night!
And that was that! We've spent most of today sleeping and re-hydrating! Better get some training in before the next Bruce show!