The organiser of a Junior Cert party later this month at Neptune Stadium has moved to reassure concerned parents that the event will be safe and well run.
The disco, on June 22, promises to be the biggest Junior Cert night in Cork with four live acts, video screens, haze breathers, neon paint, UV lights and photographers. It will be hosted by Gaz Beadle of Geordie Shore fame.
Organiser Adam Courtney said he is working closely with Tekken security and will have a full medical team onsite. He added that just under 1,000 tickets have been sold for the event, which is below the stadium's capacity.
He added that traffic management and crowd plans are in place to ensure that youngsters get in and out of the venue safely.
“We've been running events at Neptune for the last year and a half consistently, almost every second month. We have a system now that is working and there's never been an issue. We work closely with Tekken security and the Fire Brigade and the ambulance services,” said Mr Courtney.
“The kids will usually come in buses or the parents will drop them at the side of the building. What we advise is to queue up ten of 15 minutes beforehand. Any earlier will cause a fuss. Then as soon as people arrive, we'll start letting them in so that there's no overflow outside the building,” he added.
Mr Courtney's company Pineapple Entertainment was at the centre of a controversy in 2015 relating to a similiar disco at the Clayton Silversprings hotel. The company made 1,200 tickets available for the event but the hotel said they had only agreed to rent out their premises to 1,000.
As a result, hundreds of ticket holders were locked out as security said the venue had reached capacity. Scenes were described as “chaotic” by eyewitnesses.
A month after the event Mr Courtney met with ticket holders, presented them with a refund and apologised.
“In 2015, what happened was just unbelievable, it was far beyond anyone's control. You learn from your mistakes. Since then I've done 30 of 40 different events. It's important to have a proper system in place,” said Mr Courtney.
Local councillor Ken O'Flynn had been contacted by parents worried about the upcoming event. He said City Council needs to create criteria for events in which more than 500 people are attending.
“You don't need planning permission for an event under 5,000 people according to the city. There is a standard and best practice in liaising with the HSE and the Gardaí and there should be a quiet room. An event like this has to be managed quite well when you're dealing with children,” he said.
“There should be a licence and a guideline for anything outside of a hotel venue that needs to be managed and policed with a traffic plan. I've already brought it up at City CounjUil's recreation meeting and I'll be consulting with the newly appointed events coordinator for the city,” he added.