Inside the chaos of Muse's Home Park gig


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Aug 18, 2023

Inside the chaos of Muse's Home Park gig

Following the Muse gig debacle PlymouthLive was bombarded with fans' stories of

Following the Muse gig debacle PlymouthLive was bombarded with fans' stories of queues, shambolic organisation and transport chaos - so we collected them here

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It was a night many music fans will never forget - but some for the wrong reasons. Rockers Muse went down a storm when they played Plymouth's Home Park, but fans were left disappointed by the organisation of the event, with long queues to get in, to get refreshments and to get home again.

PlymouthLive has been bombarded with emails and messages from fans who loved the show but hated the "shambles" around it. They thought Muse were "awesome" but the organisation was "chaos".

Some, however, thought the gig went just fine, and had a better experience than others. But nonetheless, PlymouthLive has been inundated with complaints and has asked Plymouth Argyle for a statement.

Read next: Timeless Muse show Plymouth their time is anything but running out

In the meantime, this is what you, the gig-going public, had to say about the night Muse rocked Plymouth:

"I was at the Muse gig. We got there early, people were in queues going all over the place - queues crossing over each other, queues dissipating into nothing. We were in a queue which just dissipated, but we still had hundreds of people behind us. We spoke to a steward to ask what was going on and the queue behind us suddenly realised that they were queueing for nothing.

We got into the stadium early. I went to get some drinks, I waited in a queue for one and a half hours meaning I missed the first act and some of the second which obviously I wasn't happy about.

The bus home - or shall I say walk home, because trying to get on a bus with thousands of people all trying to get on the same bus was absolute hell. People were getting angry and shouting at each other.

We were catching the A bus and waited by the A bus sign. After about 20 minutes a woman came over, said she and others had been asked to queue on the other side and stole our bus sign. Absolute shambles, it was completely carnage."

"I was at the gig, Royal Blood (support act) were excellent, Muse were absolutely incredible. I've seen them 11 times and this was up there with the best. But the organisation was appalling, easily the worst I've ever experienced at a gig or other event.

We arrived at Coypool Park and Ride at 5pm to discover a huge queue to get on the buses. We stood in hot sunshine for an hour before we got on board. At times there were three double-decker buses waiting but only one person organising who was loading one bus at a time. Eventually he twigged it might be quicker to load them all at the same time and only then did we make progress.

It was even worse at the ground with pinch points created as everybody was funnelled through one entrance outside the stadium. Anybody who had drinks on them had to drink them before they entered or have them confiscated, even water.

Outside the ground there was confusion about how to get in. Again there was only one entrance into the stadium with queues forming haphazardly. We were in our queue for about 20 minutes before realising it was actually a queue for the merchandise stall.

Royal Blood started the second we walked in so many fans would've missed at least part of their set. We attempted to buy drinks but the queue was an hour long, so we gave up. I didn't have a drink of any sort from when I left Exeter at 4pm until my return at 12.30am which was dangerous after such a warm day and evening.

When we left the stadium at the end of the gig we were met by absolute chaos in our attempts to get our bus back to Coypool. There was no discernible signage or barriers in place to put the queues in the correct places for the different buses,

We unknowingly walked past a huge queue for our bus and followed other people walking towards where the buses were waiting. There were only a few stewards milling about who did nothing apart from confusing everybody.

We were moved to the other side of the road and then back to the same place we were before, resulting in the road being completely blocked with people stopping the buses from moving to where they picked up. Everybody was pushed off the road to enable the bus to get into the right position where we were waiting, resulting in a dangerous crush to get onto the bus.

Without meaning to we must've queue jumped several hundred people to get on the bus, I can only imagine how they must've felt watching this unfold.

So the organisers need to look urgently at their arrangements as they fell far short of what they should've been. I'm going to see Muse again next month at Milton Keynes so it'll be interesting to see how it compares."

"My wife and I went last night. We went to the park and ride and it was crammed with massive queues for the buses. We got an awful burger, just outside, at a cost of £8 and the security staff let us through the first bit with the food but then got turned away whilst queuing to show tickets so had to go back outside.

We eventually got in and Royal Blood were just starting and I went to get drinks. With no signage or queue system in place, it took me the whole time the band was playing to get drinks.

I made it back just in time, an hour and half later, to watch Muse, who were brilliant again. I went to school with the band at Teignmouth so it was a pleasure to see them back in Devon. The venue really needs to improve if they should do it again."

"The gig was branded fabulous by the fans. What was branded ridiculous was the inability of both the stadium and Plymouth itself to manage an event of this size.

Plymouth treated the concert goers, who paid anything between £90 and £500 a ticket, with contempt. Thousands didn't get to see the first band (the Warning) and also most of Royal Blood.

We were advised to use the park-and-rides but there were only four buses for Coypool, for instance. The queue at the park-and-ride zig-zagged all over the area. We waited over an hour.

The gig ended at about 10.30pm and outside was utter chaos. The stewards had no idea where to line up people for the buses to the respective car parks.

People found they had been directed to wait in the wrong area only to find after an hour's wait they were not being allowed on the buses so there was nearly a riot. The police insisted they should be on the buses to alleviate the crush - quite rightly - much the annoyance of the correctly-positioned queues.

The buses waited to load at the same point so had to wait until the front one loaded before they could all move. We were half way along the legitimate queue and did not get onto a bus until 12.30am. So in summary: Muse were superb but sadly fans were let down badly by the stadium and organisers."

"Myself and my son went to see Muse last night and both had standing tickets for the gig. We managed to find the entrance after asking staff outside the ground. The entrance wasn't signposted very well but once we found it we were inside and on the pitch in around five or 10 minutes

My criticisms would be that the signposting was very poor and the bars were catering for hot, cold drinks and food at the same time with only two people serving at the bar we used. The queue we joined for a pre-show beer took us 50 minutes to get through and the staff were great but obviously under pressure and overwhelmed.

Home Park is a great place to hold entertainment like this but the organisers need to pay more attention to detail. They must have lost a lot of drink profit last night as people were turning away because of the length of the queues."

"The concert last night was absolutely amazing and Muse put on a fantastic show. The staff at the concert worked so hard, they were brilliant.

Yes we had to queue for a drink but the staff serving the drinks worked like Trojans and I could see they were getting abuse from the fans but they never lost their cool, even though it was hot in there.

Instead of moaning about what happened at the concert we should appreciate what a fabulous night it was. All the staff worked their socks off. If we keep complaining all the time it is going to stop big names like Muse coming to Plymouth.

I was in the O2 two weeks ago watching Mickey Flanagan and it took us three hours to get back to our hotel and we couldn't get a drink after the show as it was so packed. Remember Plymouth is only a small city."

"I’m not one to normally complain, but the organisation of last night's show was a joke. I saw a queue at about 6.30pm that must have been 300 metres long to get into the Mayflower entrance. Luckily I had a different entry point, but still had a 25 minute wait to get in.

Upon entry I wanted to get a drink, there were no obvious signs for this so eventually I joined a queue that was only about 20 metres long.

This still took me one hour and 20 mins to reach the end to get a drink. I missed the entire Royal Blood show , I was so disappointed as I was with my daughter. I can't say how badly run this part of the event was

But on the up side, Muse were incredible, absolutely worth the ticket price, what an amazing performance I just hope in the future an event of this size is staffed correctly, double the hospitality staff and stands at least."

"Probably one of the poorest planned gigs I have ever been to. If the tickets weren't so expensive I would have left.

It was that slow to get in, I missed all the support acts, then another hour in another massive que to get a drink. By that time they had run out of most things.

If it was a football game everyone would have missed the whole season. Fair to say I won't be going to Home Park for another event ever."

"Is it the organisers who failed or the visitors? Get there late, not prepare for waits by buying early, not expecting queueing at such an event.

We really enjoyed and saw all three bands, ate and bought water before, and bused to the car in reasonable time. Complaints from novices?"

"We had an amazing time watching the acts and Muse were incredible and did not disappoint. What was disappointing was how disorganised the stewards were.

We were told to queue here and then no you need to go over there and then it changed again to the point we just deciphered our own way to the pitch. They did not cater for such a massive amount of people and their needs at all.

"The park-and-ride buses afterwards almost caused a riot. Again stewards, including deputy security officers and police, basically didn't know what was happening.

People were getting very aggressive and annoyed with the stewards as again no one knew where to go or queue and when you were told to wait in a certain place others disregarded this and just pushed in to get in a bus after waiting ages.

It was not the bus company's fault, it was the lack of organisation, communication and preparation which ruined the end of the evening for most. The arguments and chaos this caused could have been avoided if organised better.

We waited over an hour and a half to get a bus back to Coypool park-and-ride then had to drive back to St Austell. Such a shame as the Argyle stadium is a perfect place for people this side of Bristol and fantastic bands to play at. Well done to all the acts who were truly amazing."

"Muse were fantastic. Loved the show, they are so brilliant live. Great place to see them too.

I cannot say the same for Home Park's management of the event - it was dire.

We arrived early as requested at 4.30pm when the gates opened. We were in a relatively short queue compared to what developed behind us, at the Lyndhurst end and it took an hour to get in.

There were nowhere near enough entrances open and the security searches, which we all expect these days, were painfully slow. We didn't take any bags but there was no "fast lane" for non-bag holders as I’ve experienced at other gigs. The organisers don't like bags so reward those who don't bring them. Simple concept.

Inside, bearing in mind you could take nothing in to eat or drink, it was atrocious, with nowhere near enough staff to cope with the volume of people. We all expect to queue but not for hours.

In addition, as two non-meat eaters, the only food item we could get was a pretty nasty vegan sausage roll. We were there for more than six hours and had a small sausage roll, one pint of lager and a bottle of water all of which we sensibly bought together at the start of the gig.

Muse made up for it, but as I thought on the way in, the folk behind us aren't going to see the support acts.

Sort it out for the next one Home Park please for the sake of the concert goers. I’m not going to anything else there this summer and unless I hear things have improved I would think twice. Such a shame as it is so good to get gigs like this in our home city. I’m guessing promoters might rethink."

"Travelled from Birmingham - a six-hour drive - and met my daughter who travelled from London, for a meal. Fantastic food at Wildmoor.

Took the bus to the stadium to be met with huge queues at approximately 5.15pm. Nobody from the security or other hi-viz warrior team really knew what was happening.

There was only one entrance - as a health and safety professional I’d like to see the risk assessments and more importantly the fire risk assessment for this event.

Finally got through the shambolic ticket check system. Needed the loo but was met with a horrendous queue. Staff once again did not know I could just walk past the queue to relieve myself.

Attempted to get some water but the only available source was from the bar. I understood why people were drinking from the sink taps in the gents.

Queues all around the stadium were terrifically long for any food or drink. As a diabetic I was dismayed at the absolute lack of organisation for the crowd volume. Surely they knew exactly how many tickets were sold?

But the concert was absolutely awesome. Upon leaving we headed to the bus area and we’re advised by shouty people to queue for our bus. Buses were coming up with the doors opposite to the passengers, bonkers.

Stood patiently watching our queue go nowhere whilst hi-viz warriors continued to shout at everyone but allow those not queuing to get on the bus. Our turn finally came to walk across the road in between buses, we were in the first six passengers. By the time we reached the bus it was already filled with non-queuing passengers.

I expressed my disbelief at this and was shouted at to rejoin the queue we’d just left. No taxis available, no public transport so I tried to walk back to the hotel. After walking some distance it was too much for my wife so I decided to go back.

I arrived to find many hi-viz warriors now spread across the road funnelling people onto buses from the same queues, but still allowing people to short cut the queue and get on in front of the patient lot. It's the English way after all

Finally got back to park-and-ride and found it incredulous that the size of the car park didn't match the sheer volume of bus passengers.It marred a wonderful day.

Back off to Birmingham now with major concerns for the upcoming Rod Stewart show. Good luck to those people."

"Fantastic show and performances from Muse and Royal Blood - main event amazing. But the organisation was a complete shambles, entry and food/drink outlets a complete joke. Opportunity to earn cash missed.

"I was disappointed to read after such an impressive performance from local band Muse, returning to Plymouth after 22 years and last played Pavilions relatively unknown, as one of the world's greatest rock bands that we have focussed on queues. It wasn't ideal of course but it is not often we get treated to such an impressive performance.

This was well worth the ticket price and I was again disappointed that you suggested otherwise. I would be happy to read about some of the great parts of the night including Matt Bellamy's incredible tenor voice which sounded better live than recorded.

The Will of the People world tour set was a treat to behold. The rig was bold, expensive and exciting. I'm not sure Home Park has seen or will see anything quite like that again. A night to remember for a long time for the right reasons."

"Just got back having travelled up from Penzance for the gig, it was a nightmare getting into the stadium. Arrived at Home Park at 5.45pm and did not get in until 7.10pm. Huge issues with organisation outside the stadium, no info on where to enter, lots of people jumping the line or being told to do so by security even.

Entry was a farce. However, I did manage to see most of the Royal Blood set who were brilliant and then the main act were, of course, amazing as always. Muse were so good. More than made up for the issues of getting into the place.

I did not attempt to use any facilities/services inside the stadium as I had a feeling it would have been chaos.

Leaving the event was much easier and quicker to be fair. All in all, an amazing evening and brilliant concert, great support from Royal Blood and just an utterly awesome set from Muse. Hope Home Park sorts the other logistic issues for next time. At least it wasn't raining."

"I'm a seasoned concert goer and this was a shambles. The buses didn't leave the park-and-ride until 4.30pm when the venue opened at 4.30pm. The queues at the venue were simply epic for food, drink, toilets, even once the bands started the queue for drinks was around 40 minutes. This is ridiculous.

And I barely dare mention the chaos of the shuttle buses on the way out. No-one knew where to queue or what bus to get on, it was insanity, verging on riots, people getting very upset and irate .We were so lucky to get on the bus we did ,but there was nearly no planning or organisation. Well done Plymouth, a venue I will endeavour to avoid."

"Home Park was absolute carnage. I’ll never go to a gig there again. Arrived at about 5pm thinking that’ll be fine as it was when we last saw them at Ashton Gate in Bristol. No signage or stewards directing us which queue we were supposed to be joining.

Ended up asking a police officer. By the time we got in, queued for merchandise and found our seats it was 6.20pm. We missed almost all of the first support act.

My friends went to queue for drinks at 6.35pm and didn't get back to their seats until minutes before Muse came on at 8.40pm. The queue for the bars spanned the whole width of the pitch and god knows how much longer in the corridors. I was starting to get dehydrated.

The corridors were absolutely mobbed, you couldn't move and made it really hard to get to the toilet. At one point the man next to me said staff had closed the bar entirely.

If Muse themselves hadn't been amazing, the experience of Home Park would have totally ruined our evening. At the end of the day we paid to see Muse and the support acts, but my friends missed both support acts whilst I sat alone through Royal Blood starting to worry if something had happened to my friends.

I’ve never been to such a disorganised gig in my life. Not Muse's fault, but I’ll be watching with interest to see if they manage to get their act together for the Rod Stewart gig in a few weeks. Feel sorry for anyone who's going to that if it's as badly organised as tonight's gig was."

"The bus queues to leave the ground were terrible. I’ve never seen anything like it. It felt very unsafe. The risk of people getting crushed or run over in the dark by buses is high. I’ve been to a lot of high profile gigs all over the world and have never seen anything even close to the scenes I saw tonight.

There was absolutely no crowd control. I envisage people will be waiting several hours to get a bus back to their cars at the park-and-ride."

"Muse were amazing. However, the event was so badly organised it was an absolute shambles. I regularly attend Home Park for Argyle games and it does not make sense how a football match attended by 17,000 people runs so smoothly and this event can be so poorly organised.

I paid £90 for a ticket and missed all of the supporting acts due to queueing. After queueing for two hours to get food and drink, most of the availability had run out. People were literally passing out and being treated by paramedics. In an attempt to assist, people were asking for water.

"The concert itself was amazing. The staging was sensational and I had to pinch myself that I was watching the gig in Plymouth and not the O2.

The organisation wasn't great in terms of food and drink however. I went without a drink for over four hours because the queues were just too long, and from my seat I could see people being held back from the pitch and they weren't allowed out to get food, drink, toilet etc.

I thought there was going to be a crush at one point. They definitely need to rethink that side of things if another big concert was to happen at Home Park."

"I arrived at 7.45pm and experienced no queues getting into Home Park. However, it took us an hour and 50 minutes to queue and purchase a beer by which point we were missing the headline band Muse.

Absolutely shocking organisation, so I asked the poor barman, who was clearly stressed to almost the point of collapse, why it was such a shambles. He replied loads of staff called in sick.

I felt so sorry for him that I slipped him a fiver. Having worked behind a bar in such conditions, I know first hand that it's someone earning at least five times as much who was responsible for this chaos."

"What do people expect going to a concert of 26,000 people? Do they think there will be no queue,do people not understand security will need to check every one and the reason for this is for everyone's safety?

Living close to the stadium and seeing all the hard work put in over the last two weeks to set this up is amazing ,the staff in all areas work so hard but the general public don't seem to get this.

It may not go 100% to plan but I would like to see half of those attending try to organise such an event .I understand it has cost people a lot for tickets but you could go to a concert at Wembley and still queue to get in and to buy refreshments but do we see those concert goers complaining? No we don't as it's what you expect going to a large event. It would be nice to see some praise for the event organisers and staff at Home Park."

"We were at the Muse gig last night. The organisers made a mess of it all, from start to finish. There were four different queues that formed outside the stadium to get in. No one had a clue which one to join because there were no signs up.

"Also, our tickets didn't give us a steer either. There was one guy directing people but you had to join a lengthy queue to speak to him. We waited for over an hour to get inside.

Once inside it was exactly the same. The line for a beer was ridiculous, we ended up only having one. Took us 45 minutes to go to the loo.

After the event finished the shambles started again. Pretty much everyone wanted a park-and-ride bus. It was just carnage trying to get on one. People everywhere, total chaos. Never going to Home Park again."

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