A music festival in Islamabad, Pakinstan’s capital city, had to be halted after hundreds with fake tickets stormed the venue.
Solis Festival said people had broken through barricades after being denied entry to the event on Saturday. After this, many then climbed onto a VIP stage which collapsed due to the overcrowding, injuring attendees.
Several women also claimed to have been groped and harassed by men in the ensuing chaos.
Solis Festival was accused of poor planning and security management, and many called for ‘answers’, but in an Instagram post the organisers said they had taken all possible precautions.
Solis said in their Instagram statement: “We chose the venue and our security based on the number of tickets sold… however we underestimated the sheer volume of fake tickets sold illegally.
“We are deeply sorry that this experience was ruined by others. We could not put your safety and security at risk and had to stop the event.”
Solis Festival calls itself Pakistan’s first and biggest concert series. This was the fourth of its electronic dance music events featuring international performers.
Hundreds were in attendance at the festival when it began to be overtaken by those who reportedly held fake tickets. VIP tickets were sold for up to 11,000 Pakistani rupees (£54).
An Instagram user named Shanza said she was on the VIP stage at the festival. According to her Instagram post documenting her injuries, the stage collapsed just 30 minutes into the festival.
Shanza said: “[The stage] was almost 7ft high and I lost consciousness for a minute. All I remember is me struggling to get up and a guy starts snatching my bag. We’re getting stamped upon and literally no one’s helping… [people] start touching, groping and harassing us.
“Where are you now, Solis festival? How are you planning on compensating the physical pain, mental trauma [and] sexual harassment?”
Another woman with a VIP ticket said she too experienced harassment after the stage collapsed.
According to a screenshot circulating online, Fatima Ashan posted on a private group on Facebook entitled ‘Soul Sisters Pakinstan’.
In her post, Ashan said: “When I regained consciousness, a guy had ‘fallen’ on top of me… moving his hands all over my body ‘trying to get up’. I pushed him and [then] he spit on me. I tried to get up but I couldn’t.”
Those on Twitter called for the festival to be held ‘100% responsible’ for the injuries and harassment faced by those at the festival.