A MUSIC concert due to be held in Edinburgh tonight has been cancelled after more than 100 young revellers were treated by medical staff during a performance by the same DJ in Northern Ireland on Thursday.
Dutch DJ Hardwell will not appear at the Royal Highland Showground at Ingliston following widespread trouble in Belfast and fears the latest event would cause a “serious threat to public order and safety” in the Scottish capital.
Edinburgh City Council took the decision to suspend the licence for the event after 18 people were hospitalised following trouble in and around the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, with many more treated at the scene.
Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service also raised concerns following the death of 17-year-old clubber Regane MacColl, who died after taking a tablet known as “Mortal Kombat” at The Arches in Glasgow last weekend.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland said around 300 young people were refused entry to the arena on Thursday. Some of them were drunk and others too young to gain entry to the 16-and-over gig.
Around 40 required care from medics, ambulance crews and charity volunteers, who set up an ad hoc treatment area outside. Inside, 68 concert-goers needed medical assistance.
There were reports of a number of fights breaking out and widespread drug-taking.
Councillor Gavin Barrie, convener of Edinburgh City Council’s regulatory committee, said: “We have taken the difficult decision to suspend the licence on the grounds of a serious threat to public order and safety following advice from Police Scotland and health officials after what happened in Belfast.
“We appreciate the disappointment this will cause to those who were planning to attend the event but protecting public safety must be our priority. Ticket-holders should be able to get a full refund.”
A major incident was declared by the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and in two of the city’s hospitals, where extra staff were called in to help.
None of those admitted to hospital were deemed to be in a serious condition.
Police are investigating how so many children were able to access alcohol. Some drugs were also recovered by police outside the venue.
Three people were arrested during the course of the night: a man aged 21 was detained for disorderly behaviour, another aged 18 was arrested for assault and resisting police arrest, and a 16-year-old woman was arrested for assault and resisting arrest. They remained in custody at Belfast police station yesterday.
Police Scotland superintendent Matt Richards said: “Working with council colleagues, several legal powers have been utilised to ensure that those considering attending the event and wider public are protected. A decision has been taken to cancel the event.”
Concert organisers Colours wrote on their Facebook site last night: “We will give more details next week regarding either a rescheduled show or a refund.”