Angry scenes outside Coach as party-goers are left frustrated

The scene outside the Coach on Saturday night as hundreds of people crammed into the street.
The scene outside the Coach on Saturday night as hundreds of people crammed into the street.

There were scenes of chaos on Saturday night in Banbridge as Halloween party-goers were left out in the cold after the Coach reached full capacity.

Hundreds queued to get in despite the fact the complex was full by 9.30pm and there were scenes of anti-social behaviour with some people receiving minor injuries.

The Coach did not sell tickets for the event as it said the overwhelming number of people seeking to attend was not anticipated.

A Coach spokesperson said: “The night was running smoothly until a mass amount of people turned up. We had the queue contained and people were entering the club in an orderly fashion.

“We had the assistance of the police and were using crowd control barriers and extra doormen. We closed the doors at full capacity and the police and doormen were telling people that but people continued to turn up.

“Everyone inside loved it but over 2,500 people turned up and it’s just unfortunate we couldn’t hold more.”

This statement was disputed by many people on social media.

Kloe Turner said: “We stood outside until 11pm, not told once that the doors were shut and nobody else was getting in. You should have known there would be trouble with such a big event.”

Lee Diamond defended the Coach and said people should have known it would be busy on Halloween night.

He said: “Queue early, get onto VIP or guest list and you would have got in no problem. After all, Halloween night is the best night of the year for the Coach and has been for years. It’s not rocket science.”

Upper Bann MP David Simpson has expressed his disappointment and concern at the antisocial behaviour outside the Coach.

He said: “I was disappointed to learn of the antisocial behaviour on Saturday night. I commend the PSNI on their actions in dispersing the crowd but we must remember that these valuable resources could have been used elsewhere.

“This was an avoidable situation and it is my intention to meet with the Coach management and the PSNI to ensure that residents are not left suffering this level of antisocial behaviour.”

Stephen Moutray MLA added: “It would appear that over 1000 people were turned away from the event, which was not ticketed yet heavily promoted, as a result of licencing restrictions.

“This has caused me deep concern primarily for the young people’s safety and also around the sheer lack of thought and planning for such an event.”