Firstly it took 45 minutes to get in the car park from the motorway, a total of probably 3 miles.
We got parked and got into the exhibition centre no problem, but it was absolutely boiling in there, no air con. All the stalls had been squished in, the space between the isles was minute and when a disabled buggy was going one way and another the opposite way there was nowhere to go, so the isle came to a standstill.
The guy announced on the tannoy that as it was hot perhaps it would be a good idea to step outside into the breeze and catch some fresh air, he also stated that there would be no problem getting back in, just show your ticket and you can come in and out as many times as you like. So about 11.30 am as it was extremely hot, we stepped outside for a couple of minutes. When we went to go back in we were told we were not allowed due to too many people being in the hall and it was a health and safety risk. I explained that we had literally just walked out and she was adamant we were not allowed in. I asked her to explain why there had been the tannoy message and she said she was only following instructions. I asked her to go and get someone in charge but she said she could not leave the door, when one of her colleagues came along she ignored me. Maz spotted that the guy opposite was letting people back in, so we just burst past her and went back in, followed by most of the people stacked behind us who had done the same thing.
After a few calls over the tannoy for people to go to the organisers office, there then comes a message over the tannoy saying if you have finished your shopping can you please leave as there are other people outside waiting to come in!!! This did not go down very well and people were chuntering about the message up and down the isles!!!!
This message was broadcast at least 5 times whilst we were in the hall.
They had clearly sold way too many tickets. This was the scene at around 1.15pm from the inside looking out. The people on the right clearly found themselves in the same position we did by stepping outside!!
One of the organisers asked what I was doing and why I was taking photos, I explained it was a shambles and that they had obviously sold way too many tickets. She said that all the people queuing outside had 'just turned up' and didn't have tickets.
We then caught up with Leonie and Dawn who were demo-ing on the C&C stand.
We were so hot and bothered we decided to leave and I came away with ....
Yes, I bought absolutely NOTHING!!!!! Not even lunch!!
This was the scene outside from the outside with people trying to get in the right of the building, by now it was about 1.45 pm.
The queue at the left of the building.
Finally the queue at the centre of the building. As we were walking down the lines we clearly saw people with tickets in their hands, so they had pre-booked them.
Then to top it off this is what happened in the car park.
They had parked the cars in rows of 3, so the people in the middle row could not get out. The lady in the pink on the left had been waiting ages to get her car out of the middle row!! Luckily the car in front of us had gone.
They will not be having the pleasure of my company next year. Sorry for the rant guys, but I felt it was needed especially when companies like Create and Craft and Hunkydory get involved with the organising and promoting. Total shambles!!!
*** Edited again***
I am now totally appalled as I hear they are trying to blame the emergency services for actually taking H&S into account and limiting the number of people in the venue. Apparently the venue is good for 4,000 people, 20,000 turned up!!! I am still in total disbelief that they state they did not know how many tickets they had sold - greed, greed, greed.