A mum is furious after security guards barred her from an open air pop concert –with her two children still inside.
Kerry Court was stopped from going back into Bents Park, South Shields, after she and her family went to see Alexander Burke perform as part of the South Tyneside Festival last Sunday.
With thousnds of people expected to the second show of the season tomorrow – starring The Proclaimers – Miss Court is warning music lovers to be on their guard against the council’s strict “one out, one in” security arrangements.
The 39-year-old was with her daughter Jolie, 14 and son Gabriel, four, and other family members, when she realised she’d had left her mobile phone and bank cards in the car.
Miss Court from, Boldon Lane, South Shields, decided to go and retrieve her phone – but wasn’t allowed back in.
She said: “I was worried because I’d left my phone on my dashboard in full view, so I went to get it.
I’ve never known anything like this.Kerry Court
“There were queues of people outside the park waiting to get in, but the man never said they were planning on shutting the gates or that I’d not be able to get back in. I was just allowed to walk out”
Miss Court then returned to the park a few moments later but was told she was unable to go back inside as it was too full.
She said: “I told them my children were already in there, but he said ‘that’s what they all say’. I then rang my mam to come over to the gate but even then they still wouldn’t let me in.”
A frustrated Miss Court was forced to go home and return a few hours later to pick her family.
She said: “I was the driver so everyone was stuck without me, so I had to just go home and then come back. I was gutted.
“I’d promised my son that I’d take him on the rides, he never got to do that, the whole afternoon was ruined.
“I don’t see why they can’t just give people a Billy Stamper on their way in, or at the very least warn people who are leaving that they won’t be able to get back in.”
She added: “I’ve been going to the concerts in Bents Park for years, I really enjoy them, but I’ve never known anything like this.”
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “Our Sunday concerts are extremely popular and last weekend’s event in Bents Park attracted a crowd of 24,000 people. Once a venue reaches capacity, we must operate a strict ‘one out, one in’ policy for the health and safety of everyone concerned.
“However, we do regularly review our policies and procedures to see where we can make improvements to ensure the smooth running of large-scale events such as this.”