Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Hardwell gig cancelled in Edinburgh after mass underage drinking binge in Belfast Odyssey

...While Gardai step up security for concert at The O2 in Dublin

The Hardwell dance event at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast.
The Hardwell dance event at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast.

The Hardwell gig that saw dozens of teenagers treated for the effects of drink, drugs and violence in Belfast on Thursday has been cancelled in Edinburgh.

Thousands of people were set to attend the sold-out "I am Hardwell" concert at the Royal Highland Centre in Ingliston on Saturday night.

But the event's promoters, Colours, have announced the show has been cancelled due to police and council concerns over crowd safety.

Dozens of concert goers required medical treatment at the Odyssey arena in Belfast on Thursday night for alcohol and drug consumption.

A major incident was declared by the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and in the city's hospitals, where extra staff were called in to help.

A statement on the "I am Hardwell" Facebook page confirmed Saturday's Edinburgh event had been cancelled following meetings with Edinburgh City Council and Police Scotland.

"We regret to inform you that after a lengthy meeting with the City Chambers in Edinburgh, licencing board and Police Scotland this afternoon, a decision has been made to withdraw the licence for the I AM HARDWELL event," it read.

"This means that unfortunately the event will not go ahead.

"Due to the situation in Belfast on Thursday 6th February, it was decided that the event in Edinburgh should not go ahead due to safety concerns.

"We will give more details next week regarding either a rescheduled show or the refund procedure. We thank you for your understanding at this time."

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Meanwhile, Gardai have confirmed there will be extra security for Friday night's Hardwell concert at The O2 in Dublin.

A spokesperson from The O2 said there will be a full team of medical, security and stewarding personnel on hand during the concert, which is expected to attract at least 5,500 revellers.

Police in Northern Ireland have launched an investigation into the mass underage drinking binge that saw more than 100 young concert-goers treated by medics in Belfast.

Eighteen people were hospitalised in the wake of Thursday night's incident in and around the Odyssey Arena, where Dutch DJ Hardwell was playing to a crowd of 10,000.

Police said around 300 young people were refused entry to the premises - some of whom were drunk and others too young to gain entry to the 16-and-over gig.

Around 40 required care from medics, ambulance crews and charity volunteers who set up an ad hoc treatment area outside.

Inside the Odyssey, 68 concert goers needed medical assistance.

There were reports of a number of fights breaking out and widespread drug taking.

A major incident was declared by the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and in two of the city's hospitals, where extra staff were called in to help.

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Further reading:

Probe into underage drinking binge

Odyssey Arena 'major incident': Police arrest teen after Facebook drugs post ahead of Hardwell concert

DJ Hardwell has ticket-queue fans in a spin 

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