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Hove JLS concert brolly ban ‘not an issue of safety’
The health and safety watchdog has ridiculed concerns that umbrellas posed a risk to the bank holiday crowd at a JLS concert as “trivial”.
Despite a downpour, security staff insisted that fans leave their brollies outside the packed PROBIZ County Ground in Eaton Road, Hove, on Monday, August 27.
Mike Wilcock, the head of operations for the south east at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the organisers’ action was over the top.
He said: “Argus readers can be reassured there are no health and safety laws that stop umbrellas being used at outdoor concerts.
“I wonder if it was more to do with making sure everyone could see the concert. If so, let’s be honest and not use health and safety as an excuse.
“After all, if there are concerns about people being poked in the eye, then it would follow that umbrellas should not be allowed on a busy high street or even used at all. Nobody would advocate that.
“Health and safety shouldn’t be used as a reason to interfere with people’s fun and enjoyment of outdoor events.”
A spokesman for Spin Publicity, which organised the event, said it would not change the policy.
He said: “We don’t allow umbrellas at our gigs. That’s our policy and we are not going to change it.
“It was a tightly packed arena and there was a risk that some people could be hurt.
“No one has been injured so far and we do not want anyone to be the first.
“It would ruin their evening.
“The people who said their evening was spoilt by the ban would be the first to complain if their sons or daughters were hurt.
“We are not prepared to take the risk.”