Update, 3 Mar: Concert-goers with unspent credits would be refunded, announced Sandpiper Digital Payments Asia. A spokesman said that S$140,000 worth of credits can now be returned to those who topped up their iGo Asia eWallets 48 hours before the start of the show last Saturday.
Those affected would either be able to carry over their unused credit to use at future events that Sandpiper’s eWallet is partnered with, or choose to get a refund.
It was definitely a night to remember.
Rock legends Guns N’ Roses were in town over the weekend, and played to a sell-out crowd of almost 50,000 fans at the sprawling Changi Exhibition Centre on Saturday, 25 Feb.
According to organiser LAMC Productions, the concert was one of the biggest rock shows held in Singapore thus far.
And with that scale also came an equally massive wave of complaints on social media after the event.
Never-Ending Queues, Sold Out F&B, Traffic And Security Problems
While peppered with comments by fans gushing over how awesome GNR was, the event’s Facebook page was mostly flooded with angry rants from attendees, many complaining about the long queues for food and drinks, a shortage of said refreshments, unacceptable ticket prices, lack of security checks, and even this one about the lack of security in the VIP pen even leading to women being groped.
With the venue relatively out of the way, the organisers provided a shuttle bus service from Singapore Expo to Changi Exhibition Centre which cost $15 per attendee, but even that was married by long waits and a traffic jam that apparently had vehicles backed up till Loyang Avenue.
For the sake of scale, here’s how far the concert venue is from Singapore Expo and Loyang Avenue:
The cashless RFID system which the organisers had for purchasing refreshments also came under great scrutiny, when many were left with RFID tags full of credits when the food and drinks ran out.
The worst part was that the system did not have a refund policy, leaving attendees to either spend all their money on refreshments they did not want, or have credits stuck in their tags:
LAMC Productions has since offered refunds for unused credits.
While many have resorted to posting angry messages on social media, some have taken it a step further and created a group named “Boycott LAMC”.
Calling on those disappointed by the GNR concert to boycott all LAMC-organised events from now on, the move is honestly a tad extreme, taking into consideration the times that LAMC didn’t (totally) flop.
(Yet Another) Case Study For Concert Organisers
Perhaps inevitably, the likelihood of crowd control failing is proportional to the number of people attending an event, but that doesn’t give organisers an excuse to fail so miserably either.
Given that LAMC had a similar experience back in 2013 with Metallica (same venue, almost the similar crowd size, similar problems with traffic), many would’ve thought that they would take the learning points from then and applied it this time round.
I guess not.
Insufficient refreshments, a lapse in security checks and a lack of shuttle buses or parking lots should not be an issue when an organiser knows fully well how many people are due to show up.
LAMC’s lack of a satisfactory response to the complaints (The Straits Times were merely told to refer back to the refund post), even when given a platform (i.e. ST) to do so is also a huge no-no, and gives the impression that they’re trying to shirk any responsibilities – only serving to rile up attendees even more.
So now, let’s just hope that fellow organiser Lushington won’t screw up on their upcoming Coldplay concerts like how they did with ticketing.
Featured Image Credit: Senatus