Liverpool's M&S Bank Arena has issued a statement after a "partial evacuation" occurred during an S Club show at the venue on Monday.
During this week’s show - which had already been rescheduled after a last minute cancellation earlier in October - the venue's lights suddenly went out and an announcement told audience members to leave the building. However, soon after, they were told to move back into the venue and the show resumed.
Yesterday, the CEO of venue operator ACC Liverpool Group, Faye Dyer, explained that the disruption to the performance had been caused when “a back of house sensor was triggered which led to the arena being appropriately evacuated".
On social media, many attendees took issue with how the evacuation was managed, rather than the disruption itself. There were complaints about the lack of lighting, poor communication, issues with some exits, and the fact people were then let back into the building with no security checks.
Dyer's statement yesterday addressed some of those complaints. "Our safety systems are comprehensively tested and fully certified and responded appropriately", she said.
However, she admitted, “for reasons we are yet to fully understand our house lights did not automatically turn on as programmed". She added that “at no point were fire exits blocked”, saying that “due to the location of the activation, our stewards directed individuals away from some arena floor fire exits towards others while the source of the activation was investigated".
While some may have felt that they were let back into the building with no security checks, Dyer insisted that this was not the case, saying that “as customers remained in very close proximity to the arena for a short amount of time, on private land monitored by CCTV and with additional visual checks put in place for re-entry, the decision was made for them to return to the arena so the show could resume".
She then concluded by saying that “we understand the customer experience was not in line with our high standards on this occasion” and thanked “the band and the audience for their patience and cooperation".
The original show was cancelled at the last minute on 13 Oct after a fire in the building knocked out some electrics.