Saturday, 7 June 2008

Chris Rock rocked: shame about Carnival City's crap crowd control

I saw manic, rude, clever Chris Rock last night at Carnival City - what a brilliant show, and a what a warm, foot-stomping audience. But dear, oh dear, someone at Carnival City needs a bloody good kick in the pants. It seems like the security department's single brain cell had gone missing last night. Chaotic, scary and downright dangerous doesn't even begin to describe the scene when all five thousand members of the audience tried to leave through a single entrance. (And I'm not exaggerating: the stadium seats five thousand, and it was packed to the rafters). There I stood, my face mashed against the wall, barely able to breathe in the crush, waiting for some pillock to shout 'fire' or 'bomb' and start a lethal stampede. Naturally, no one had thought to open one of the many fire doors that encircle the Big Top Arena. And that's only half of it. At precisely the same time that all five thousand people were pressing towards the exit, ANOTHER five thousand people were ploughing headlong towards the same door, on their way into the arena for the 11 o' clock show.

No one directing the crowd, no-one talking importantly on a walkie-talkie, and no one exercising a little imagination and opening emergency exits. The crowd was packed so tightly that all you could do was stand still, and try not to panic. The incoming crowd wouldn't yield for the outgoing crowd, and so it became a human logjam. Not nice in a hot, noisy, sweaty casino environment. It took us an hour to walk (to inch, actually) from our seats in the arena to the front door of the complex, and another hour to get out of the parking lot.

My blood runs cold to think what might have happened in the event of a fire.

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1 comment:

Muriel said...

Many years ago, when the Rand Easter Show first moved to its new venue at Nasrec, my sister and I got caught in a similar crush at the then far-too-narrow entrance/exit of the fairground. The crush was so intense that it was hard to breathe. It was one of the scariest things that ever happened to me - I really thought I might die. Desperately unpleasant!