Rag’n’Bone man fans are demanding refunds after traffic chaos hampered Forest Live’s first gig in two years. Westonbirt bosses have apologized to fans after some complained they were still stuck in traffic when the ‘Human’ singer took the stage on Thursday night (June 9).
And fans say the singer faced an exodus as he belted out his hit ‘Giant’. Many of those who entered the arena rushed to their cars during the last song to avoid the queues and missed the encore.
The highly anticipated Rag’n’Bone man concert was the first to be held after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic. Now the chief foresters are on a mission to improve the situation before Keane plays at the away site tonight. Madness plays Saturday (June 11) and Texas Sunday (June 12).
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One fan, Steve Crockford @croxxx3664 wrote on Twitter: “You were a disgrace tonight with these tickets for over two years, you had our money and tonight you let everyone down. you should be ashamed of yourselves. Stick to what you know best about cutting and planting trees.
@DaweLinda wrote: ‘Disgusting we were turned away so we also went home. We came from Devon for this mess.’
Another angry viewer wrote that he had a picnic with his family before the concert, but spent two and a half hours stuck in traffic that had stopped. @Laura17080822 said: “There should be automatic refunds for every ticket you scanned last night. I will never return to Westonbirt for an event, such poor organisation.”
“Is there any chance of getting a refund? Because my daughters and my friend dropped out at 9am after sitting in traffic for 2.5 hours,” Kay Hunt wrote on Twitter.
Bristol Live editor Sophie Grubb, who was reviewing the gig, confirmed the chaotic traffic situation and left on the last song, missing the encore, to try and avoid the queues.
She said it took 25 minutes to get from Bristol to Westonbirt village and the same for the last mile to the car park. She added: “It would have been longer but we managed to find a different route from the main queue.”
But others said they were surprised to read about the debacle and that it must have been different on each route. Matt Bailey replied to an upset customer and wrote: “Weird. We arrived at 7.30pm tonight. No problem. No more than 10 mins in line to get to the yellow parking lot. Sorry you experienced a nightmarish experience.”
Forestry England issued a statement and a spokesperson said: “We are deeply sorry for the delays some of our customers have experienced arriving at our Forest Live concert at Westonbirt Arboretum on Thursday 9th June.
“We are working hard with our traffic management contractor to review and improve our parking arrangements for the remaining concerts. Our guest relations team is dealing with guests who have contacted us about their experience. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
Although many complained about the organization, those who did praised Rag’n’Bone man’s performance. @missy_moo80 wrote: “Finally got to see him after two canceled shows. Such an amazing voice.”
GloucestershireLive has approached the Rag ‘n Bone man for a comment.