Police were called to reports of trouble brewing at the Manchester Arena box office on Saturday morning. Die-hard fans of pop superstar Beyoncé have been left angry and disappointed after gangs of thugs hijacked a queue for tickets to her latest tour.
Police were called to reports of trouble brewing at the Manchester Arena box office on Saturday morning, where some fans had been waiting in freezing temperatures for more than 24 hours.
At 9.20am, just 10 minutes before tickets were due to go on sale, organisers announced the box office would not be opening because they feared people would be crushed in the surge towards the tickets desks.
But fans claimed the problems were caused by ticket touts who barged into the queue, intimidating groups of young girls by throwing glass bottles. Sarah Miah, 25, from Bury, who queued for 17 hours, said it was "the worst night of [her] life". She added: "Men were ripping open fire doors that were locked.
Once opened, they fought to get through one side of a double door. Children were getting crushed and screaming. It was horrible." A spokesman for the Manchester Arena said the last-minute decision to close the box office was made because the safety of genuine fans "could not be guaranteed".
Those queuing for tickets were instead advised to buy them online, he added. Beyoncé mania swept the British isles this weekend, with UK dates for the Mrs Carter show selling out in just 10 minutes. Tour organisers later added two extra concert dates to supply the huge demand for tickets.
Some tickets were re-listed on eBay for as much as £500- more than five times the original asking price. The American songstress, who is married to rapper Jay-Z, will now perform 13 concerts at arenas in Manchester, Birmingham, London and Dublin.