Pride Glasgow have confirmed they ‘accidentally’ over-sold tickets for the event in Kelvingrove Park which led to scenes of chaos and hundreds left outside the venue on Saturday.
In a statement released today, they confirm changes to a ticketing system and human error meant remaining tickets were not capped, causing the overselling which could have impacted on almost 600 people being refused entry.
Organisers have also identified that paper tickets were viewed but not scanned, leading to extra people being allowed onsite with duplicated tickets.
They say, “On Saturday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon led the Pride Glasgow Parade. As the first elected political leader in the UK to do so, this should have been the enduring story from our weekend. Sadly, our accidental over-selling of tickets has caused many people disappointment, and Pride Glasgow board of trustees apologise wholeheartedly.”
There were also 86 reported breaches of the security fencing as frustration boiled over and people took alternative means to gain entry, further adding to the capacity issues.
The statement comes amid a growing storm around the event, with politicians, councillors, performers, stallholders and local residents angry at how the event was managed.
Labour MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, Ged Killen, has written to Pride Glasgow seeking answers after the event faced ticketing ‘chaos’ on Saturday.
The MP says he was in the queue of people who were stopped from entering the Kelvingrove Park site for “well over an hour”, with customers held back due to capacity issues caused by people breaching the security fences on the vast site, Pride say.
Mr Killen has written to Pride Chief Exec, Alistair Smith, and Glasgow City Council Chief Executive, Annemarie O’Donnell, who licensed the event. He said,
“Having spent well over an hour in a queue outside the main event, before leaving and returning later in the day, I witnessed first-hand the chaotic queuing system. People were left standing with no information or guidance for several hours in the heat and with no water.”
“I want categorical reassurances from Pride Glasgow that those who did not gain entry or who faced several hours waiting in line will be refunded promptly and in full.”
The MP’s letter comes amid a growing crisis for the Pride Glasgow organisation, including a petition for its Chief Executive to resign (which now has over 1,400 signatures) and one of the event’s hosts claiming he won’t return due to the treatment of local artists backstage.
Local SNP Councillor for Kelvingrove, Angus Millar, took to Twitter at the weekend saying he’d be asking serious questions of the organisers’ about the negative impact on local residents.
Pride Glasgow have issued a statement on social media, recognising they have “let down so many people within the community and spoiled their Pride plans” and apologising unreservedly. The charity have opened a special contact channel for ticket enquiries (email@example.com) but have been criticised for a slow response.
Despite the scenes which unfolded outside the main entrance on Saturday, the Pride march has been hailed as the largest celebration of the LGBT community ever in Scotland. Thousands of people enjoyed a range of entertainment on the main stage in the temporary home at Kelvingrove Park, as well as more than 50 voluntary and community groups who had stalls at the event.
Pink Saltire have written to the Board with our own concerns in a constructive manner and have also offered to support Pride in any way they feel appropriate to ensure Pride develops and can be a safe, enjoyable and sustainable event for many years to come.