BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: Entertainment: Music  
News Front Page
N Ireland
TV and Radio
Talking Point
Country Profiles
In Depth
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
Thursday, 18 July, 2002, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
Fatboy Slim party: Your views
Fatboy Slim party on Brighton Beach
The event attracted 250,000 revellers
DJ Fatboy Slim threw a party on Brighton beach at the weekend, but got more than he bargained for when a quarter of a million people turned up - a few more than the 60,000 expected.

One man died of a heart attack and a woman is critically ill in hospital after falling on to the lower esplanade during the crush. Thousands of people slept on the beach due to a lack of public transport.

"I didn't enjoy it as much as last year, what with people falling over and things going on. I never thought it would turn out like this," Fatboy Slim told The Guardian.

But what did you think?

This debate is now closed. You can read a selection of your comments below.

The whole event was a nightmare. Firstly Fatboy Slim was absolutely terrible - just boring monotous, plodding, faceless house music. Where were the crowd pleasers Norman? The man should retire now as he lost the plot a few years back. The event was just too overcrowded and the police and authorities couldn't cope at all. The place was just one big rubbish tip yesterday. The beach was disgusting, and God knows how they will get all that glass off the beach! I will be surprised if it goes on next year. I for one won't be going - too busy and dull music.
Dave, London, UK

We got to the beach at about 5pm and basically found a spot and stayed there. All three of us went to the toilet once each and it took about 45 mins to get to and from the toilet. We were quite near the front and there wasn't much pushing there - most of it was at the back apparently. This could have been easily avoided by closing off the beach before it became too busy. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and thought it was quite well organised although I can see why Norm says he has created a monster as it was heaving and took us at least 45 mins to get off the beach and onto the prom.
Dan Platts, UK

The only complaint I have is the way the council and the police dealt with the thousands of people that desended on the train station at 10:30pm

Nick Ahern, England
I've lived in Brighton for years and it was obvious this chaos was going to happen. Last year huge crowds came and the event was not really publicised, this year E4 have been running adverts during its live Big Brother coverage for weeks and Radio 1 mentioned the event all last week. If you over-promote a free event this sort of thing is bound to happen - dont blame the Fatboy, blame corporate entities such as E4 for raising the profile to an unsustainable level.

The fact that so few people were seriously hurt is a tribute to the co-operation and friendly atmosphere of everyone present.
Stu, UK

Generally the Fatboy Slim party was really good on Saturday. The atmosphere was brilliant and the music was good. The only complaint I have is the way the council and the police dealt with the thousands of people that desended on the train station at 10:30pm. After the re-opening of the gates after the station had been shut myself and many others were crushed by everyone surging forward trying to get on the last train home. In my opinion if they had laid extra trains on in the first place everyone would not have descended on the station at the same time. After all the event finished at nearly 11pm and the last train to London was 11:04pm. Bad organisation of the event, and the police's lack of control put a dampener on what could have been a very enjoyable evening.
Nick Ahern, England

I was there and the crowd was happy, chilled and very friendly and helpful to anyone who wasn't feeling okay and people did listen to the safety warnings. Yes, there were too many people, but the girl who fell off the railings fell well after the crowds had dispersed (it was around 1.30am as I walked past soon after the accident).

I think that considering the number of people there, it went incredibly well and it was fantastic to be part of such a brilliant crowd on such a beautiful day. It would be great if the media reports could reflect the positive side of this. The crowds were a lot less lairy than the usual busloads of hen parties and stag parties that converge on Brighton on the average weekend...
Camilla, UK

It was a fantastic night, the music was wicked and every one was in great spirits. But being crushed by the crowd at Brighton train station was a very scary situation to be in

Pete, UK
I was at the Fatboy Slim gig on Saturday and despite the fact that I know some people got hurt, the general mood and behaviour of the crowd was excellent considering there were 250 000 people. Everyone just wanted to have a good time and in the main they did. What was upsetting was the Police's attitude and the complete lack of organisation by Brighton Council and the rail companies. I slept on the pavement waiting for a train and then ended up getting a bus to Gatwick - it was a shambles - I can't believe the lack of planning - they KNEW more people would come this year than last - it was so obvious. Yet again it wasn't the people attending causing the trouble it was bad management. But thanks Norman Cook - you did the people of Brighton proud. We love you. Who needs Ibiza when you've got Brighton?
Edwina Jarvis, UK

We thought we were the clever ones when we decided to leave the beach at 22:30, we didn't want to get caught up in the mad rush for the last train back to London - however, we weren't the only ones with that idea. On arriving at the station we were greeted by police standing behind locked gates, here we stood for half an hour or so while they stood around gawping at the crowds. They eventually opened the floodgates (literally), and everyone poured through. Then next obstacle was picking a platform (as there were no announcements or information screens) and wait for an available train. When one eventually arrived and everybody boarded, grabbing available seats, we were then told (at 01:00) that the train we are sitting on is going nowhere, and we'd better hurry to platform 5 where the last train for Victoria was about to leave from. On the floor, under a table was the only space we were able to get, and here we stayed until we were kicked off at Gatwick, after waiting for another 20 minutes for a connecting train we eventually got into Victoria - by which time the tube had closed, so it was another hour's journey on a night bus back to North London. Got to bed five hours after leaving the beach! But hey at least we caught a five second glimpse of him as he walked down onto the beach!
Kerry Potter, UK

It was a fantastic night, the music was wicked and every one was in great spirits. But being crushed by the crowd at Brighton train station was a very scary situation to be in.
Pete, UK

What started as a peaceful evening soon developed into a frenzy!

Caroline O'Keefe, England
We were down by the sea edge for most of the night where there was more space. Essentially, the sea was used as a big toilet because it was absolutely impossible to get to the toilet facilities (I think I saw about ten make-shift cubicles in total). After the set had ended, people began to congregate around fires on the beach, which was really wicked actually. We planned to get the four o'clock train home, but found out after much telephoning and talking to riot police that there were no trains until 7am. Five replacement buses came and they were like the lifeboats on the Titanic: hundreds and hundreds of people trying to get on, but ultimately the police prevented them leaving full up because of the crush. So they didn't really alleviate the problem. Eventually we got on a train at 6.45am. It was a terrible experience going home - I strongly expect to receive a refund for my ticket and will be writing a strongly worded letter! That said, the rest of the evening was very very good and I would probably come again.
Jonathan Davenport, England

I attended the Brighton Beach Party on Saturday along with a group of 12 friends. The crowds were too large for the Ambulance, police and stewards to manage. We arrived at 4pm but found it very difficult to see anything of the stage so instead settled on the beach near the Honey Club to listen to the music. If the event is repeated it will have to be ticket entry only to limit the numbers in order for the Police etc. to manage. A lot of people were taken ill but it was impossible for the ambulances to drive through the crowds. The were bottles being thrown from the esplanade into the crowds on the beach and a large crush developed at the station with everyone making a desperate bid to get home. What started as a peaceful evening soon developed into a frenzy!
Caroline O'Keeffe, England

My experience of Big Beach Boutique was pretty good. I was with a group of seven friends and got on the beach at around 5.30pm. By then it was quite crowded but we all managed to sit together on the giant bean bag that is the pebbled beach. We came prepared - filled a cool box with beers but unfortunately I only drank two cans so as to avoid going to the toilet too much. The queues for the portaloos were massive, plus we had to stand on a sea of urine caused by males using the wall opposite the portaloos as a urinal. I almost got lost trying to get back to my friends who were only around 40 paces away too!

Luckily we were staying with friends who live near to the beach so we managed to avoid the nightmare of finding somewhere to sleep!
Suzanne Costello, UK

Why did it go so wrong? Too much publicity, good weather and British people at their worst

James Vaughan, Brighton
Would have been amazing, but lack of speakers and screens down the beach led to more people trying to get to the front. Brilliant idea if more security, speakers and screens are there for everyone to enjoy themselves wherever they are on the beach or town.
Emma Ireland, England

Had an excellent time without any trouble. Should have had more speakers near the middle though.
Raj Bansal, England

It was excellent and I hope it's on again next year!
Carol, UK

After travelling for four hours from London to Brighton we finally arrived at the event at 10:30. To see only a few short minutes of the event that finished early! The amount of congestion coming into Brighton was overwhelming as well as the huge numbers of people on the streets and the beach. Luckily we had somewhere to stay for the night otherwise it would have been a lengthy drive home. The atmosphere was amazing and the weather could not have been better, we would like to come back for next year's show.

On Sunday the beach was full of glass bottles and beer cans, but many of the people decided to stay and enjoy the sun, the council could have put more planning into this event - more bins for the bottles and cans and I think even if Fatboy Slim charged for this event to help make it better organised then people would pay. This event is good for Brighton and I hope they do it every year.
Russell Lavington, UK

Why did it go so wrong? Too much publicity, good weather and British people at their worst - unable to resist getting blind drunk, urinating on anything to hand and breaking down barriers erected for safety reasons - and then wondering why people are hurt and even killed in such circumstances. Yes, the whole thing should have been organised better, but as I headed to work this morning past a 6ft high pile of rubbish in front of Brighton Pier, I wondered what the people who caused the mayhem thought of their handiwork. Not much, I presume.
James Vaughan, Brighton, UK

The heat coming from the beach was incredible and people were coming from there crying because they were getting so crushed

Chloe, London
This event should not be stopped because of a few incidents - the police and security on the day did a superb job considering the number of people who descended on Brighton. My suggestion would be to have Fatboy Slim out on a boat playing to the beach instead of along it - you could then control the volume of people going onto the beach and spread them out along the whole beachfront. The whole day was wicked all the same with loads of sunshine and happy vibes. Big up to Norm and all the organisers! See you next year.

My opinion is that the national media had a large part to play in the problems surrounding this event, had it have received less national TV and radio promotion then I am sure the numbers attending would have been smaller.

I also feel that the train operators serving Brighton along with railtrack should have responded more carefully - 60,000 or 250,000 people is irrelevant, trains should have been running into the early hours of the morning if not all night - let alone engineering works taking place on the line between Brighton and London.

Given the circumstances the large majority of people attending the event acted very responsibly.
Christian Sayers, England

Up until around 10pm the atmosphere was excellent but as more and people turned up and got more drunk, it just became crazy. The heat coming from the beach was incredible and people were coming from there crying because they were getting so crushed. People were sitting on top of the toilets which were buckling under the weight and dancing on a bus shelter - even when we shouted at them that it was cracking they didn't seem to care. The police didn't move these people on even though their behaviour was dangerous to themselves and others.
Chloe, London

When thousands of people turn up at Victoria and buy day return tickets to Brighton it's fairly obvious that they're going to need trains home

Fiona, London
I went there with my boyriend and a couple of mates, the tide started coming in so we moved up the beach, we got crushed trying to get out, it was very scary and dangerous, we spent the rest of our time safe in the Arcade. The Police were outnumbered and the beach was filthy. People we urinating all over the place, even girls. I couldn't believe what a waste of time it was. We'd spent four hours tarvelling to get there and only got to see 15 minutes of Fat Boy Slim. It was so badly organised.
Claire, London, UK

All I can say is that I had one of the best nights of my life. It was awesome.
Tony Kruger, London

Even by 3pm there were already too many people to be able to hear the gig properly, but everyone was in a great mood, we saw no agression and lots of smiles. The pubs and food outlets handled things superbly and gave a fantastic image on our first trip to Brighton that will certainly make me want to go back. A big thanks of course to Norman for setting the whole thing up, but huge huge thanks to the Police who were the epitome of the best in policing - how they held it all together I'll never know. A big boo to the local train company who should have at least doubled the capacity of what they actually offered. Excellent day had by all - thank you Brighton!
Baz, UK

The crowds on the beach were huge but the atmosphere was fun. I can't say the same for the train station. We had to wait three hours at the station to get back to London. We even left really early to avoid the crowds but there were no extra trains and the station gates had been locked. The crushing was terrible and there were about 60 riot police trying to control the crowds. It was very scary.

It's unbelievable that the train companies didn't put more transport on. When thousands of people turn up at Victoria and buy day return tickets to Brighton it's fairly obvious that they're going to need trains home. It was only when people turned up trying to get home did the rail firms seem to realise that they had to do something. They were lucky there wasn't a riot in the station. Britain's rail companies couldn't run a bath, never mind a rail service.
Fiona, London

On the whole enjoyed the night and was surprised at how laidback everyone was especially when queueing for the loo

Ken, UK
It was a fantastic concert which was only spoilt by people pushing and the music being stopped for the safety announcements. There was a nice friendly atmosphere. The first DJ was even better than Fat Boy Slim.
Jo, UK

The gig itself was good but I think the organisers just didn't count on so many people turning up (which we all did!) The stewards didn't seem to have a clue what was going on and were letting people stand around on the stairs and promenade whilst people were trying to get off the beach and up the stairs. They didn't help people who were panicking at being crushed by moving the flow of people up the stairs. I think the event could happen again with the right crowd control and organisation as this didn't seem to be the case this year!
Saffron Jackson, London

I had a great day out and didn't experience any real problems. The beach was only really bad nearer the stage. At the back of the beach near the other pier there was enough space to sit around or get up and dance but then again you couldn't see the stage. When we left Brighton we had a 20 min walk back to our car and then no real problems driving back to London.

Friends who weren't driving said they had problems with the trains as engineering works had been planned for that night which seems a bit mad even when they were only expecting 60,000 people. On the whole enjoyed the night and was surprised at how laidback everyone was especially when queueing for the loo.
Ken, UK

We were one of the lucky few who managed to enjoy the party without the crush. Through a few lucky coincidences we ended up on a power boat moored off the beach with 25 other guests

Matthew, Windsor
I love FBS - and am proud that Brighton was the place to be on Saturday - but I love my home "city" of Brighton and was alarmed and disgusted by the aftermath of the event! Brightonians no doubt took their rubbish home - it looks like all the others left it there for us to enjoy Sunday and no doubt for the rest of this week - very generous!
Jo, UK

It was the best gig Sam and I have been to, I experienced a moment in my life I will never forget, everyone was so friendly, enjoying themselves and happy to be there sharing the moment. I feel bad for the ones who got hurt as we had such a great time.
Minh Hue-Vashon, Uk

Unreal, spent the whole day on the beach in the sun. Had a ball getting mashed around during the concert, waited on the beach for a few hours to watch the freaks, walked up to the train station at about 1am, jumped on a train and was in bed by 3. Who's idea was it to cut trains after 1.30 though? Had they kept running I am sure there would not be the hangeroners that were stranded on the beach!!!! Fantastic concert though.
Julien Hunt, Australia

We were one of the lucky few who managed to enjoy the party without the crush. Through a few lucky coincidences we ended up on a power boat moored off the beach with 25 other guests. Undoubtedly this was the ideal situation, avoiding the crowds. The beach was packed from end to end, and the atmosphere sounded electric.
Matthew , Windsor, England

My partner David and I moved to Brighton on Wednesday and were at the beach on Saturday evening... what an introduction to our new home city!
Martin B-K, UK - Brighton!

Perhaps access to the beach should be a ticket only event next year with tickets available in advance only

Craig, Brighton
The BBC report seems to suggest that if only 60,000 had turned up then the transport and policing would have been sufficient. I don't think it would have been. South Central trains did not provide enough transport throughout the night and the police adopted a completely amateurish approach to crowd control in the train station. We are fortunate that more people were not seriously injured in the police enforced crush in the train station.
Chris White, England

Great event, thanks for a great night out Fatboy! Would have been nicer if fewer people hadn't turned up but no-one I know had a bad night! Maybe less advertising next year would see less people...or somehow make it ticket only. But I can't wait for next year...the last two have been great!
Andy Wilding, England

I saw the whole thing on a pub telly just up the road. We could hear the music live but there was no crush, just a comfy leather sofa, access to the bar and toilets!
Antonio, England

As a local resident who attended the Big Beach Boutique event, I think that some hard thinking and planning needs to be done if we are to have another "NormStock" next year. Brighton & Hove simply does not have the infrastructure to cope with a sudden influx of such a crowd without better organisation. The Council, the emergency services and local rail and bus operators simply underestimated the popularity of this event and could not deal with an extra quarter of a million people in a relatively small area.

Perhaps access to the beach should be a ticket only event next year with tickets available in advance only. Perhaps a limited £2.00 charge could go towards clearing up the beach and seafront? This way the authorities would at least have a idea of how many would attend in advance and could plan accordingly. This was a brilliant and entertaining event which also helped to boost the local economy.
Craig Turton, Brighton, England

Norman, bless, didn't look like he was enjoying himself as much as last year

Julian Lane, UK
I thought Saturday was fantastic, it was totally mind blowing the sheer amount of people that turned up!! At no point did I feel in danger and think that if better organised and anticipated there would be no reason not to hold another event next year.
Alison Edwards, England

We drove down and were stuck in queues for about an hour but we parked well out of town and had no trouble walking down to the front.

We were up on the promenade as we couldn't get on the beach, and the atmosphere was friendly and positive. It was fairly crowded but not nearly as bad as London on Millennium Eve.

We left at 10.30 to avoid the crowds and luckily had a friend's place to stay overnight - so we seem to have missed the chaos experienced by others.

The only downside was from where we were standing we couldn't see the stage and so missed out on some of the atmosphere.
Alison, London, UK

Norman, bless, didn't look like he was enjoying himself as much as last year. Last year he had a fixed grin on his face the whole time - you could tell he was genuinely amazed and overwhelmed and loved every minute of it. He'd be holding up record sleeves with messages for the cameras and it was just incredible. This year he looked worried and didn't interact with the crowd half as much. I know he's been quoted as saying he "created a monster" and you could tell that by his face. Shame, what a top guy for funding it and trying to do the right thing - I hope he doesn't get any bad press from it.

We were lucky enough to stay at friends last night but other friends of ours had nightmare trips getting home. WHY were no extra trains laid on? One of my friends was literally jumping across electrified tracks on his route home. There could have (and may have) been far more injuries. As for the chap who had the heart attack - terrible stuff but I guess when you get that many people together there's always that sort of possibility. Anyway, we had an amazing day but shame it finished early and I hope Norman's not stressing about it. He's just too popular - what a terrible thing to wish on someone! Well done Norm - 99.9% of people would have had a day to remember. Jules x
Julian Lane, UK

The emergency services should also be praised for handling things so well considering no one had a clue how many people were going to come

Krissie, UK
I attended the Big Beach Boutique event on Saturday night and found it to be a really enjoyable experience. Waiting around until they opened the station at 6.30 in the morning was a nightmare but you have to expect these things. I hope that there is a future for this event although some form of ticketing will have to be arranged in future.
Dominic Barry, UK

I was in the middle of the crowd both this year and last. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and so did all my friends. The level of injury was tiny in comparison to the vast number of people there for the party. Perhaps it will happen next year if the authorities can manage to get things organised a bit better. I hope it does.
Guy Mayhew, UK

I have never seen Brighton looking so busy in the evening and so disgusting! There were countless drunk people sitting around Brighton passed out from their excesses with vomit spread around everywhere! I went along, but didn't stay long because you couldn't hear/see much. Would have been much better if they had put speakers and screens alond the whole length of the beach. Would have spread everyone out also.
Ruth Davies, England

Our group got split up due to the massive crowd. Because there were so many people using mobiles the system overloaded and it was impossible to get through to anybody. It took us four hours before we could contact each other again.
Dean Bates, UK

I live in Brighton and am proud to be a part of such a wonderful event. I think people should be praised for their behaviour as considering the amount of people that turned up there seemed to be no bad behaviour. The emergency services should also be praised for handling things so well considering no one had a clue how many people were going to come. An excellent time was had by all and I really hope things can be organised for next year. Norm kicked up a storm!!!
Krissie, UK

I think the pre-gig publicity wasn't needed, it was always going to be a big event, but swarms of Londoners just engulfed it. Keep it local in future and publicise it by word of mouth

Alan W, UK
Definitely one of the greatest days of my life. Everyone there was having a great time and the whole city felt electric. It looks pretty doubtful for next year, but at least we can say we were there!
Richard Cottrell, England

I couldn't really tell whether it was as good as last year musically - for most of Fatboy Slim's set, all I could hear was the helicopter overhead. There was still the wonderful atmosphere though. I hope it continues for many, many years.
Rob Orchard, UK

I've never seen scenes like it, not even in Glastonbury. The town was overrun, never mind the beach. I had a great time though, but was with a large group of friends and we were able to create a bit of space for ourselves. I think the pre-gig publicity wasn't needed, it was always going to be a big event, but swarms of Londoners just engulfed it. Keep it local in future and publicise it by word of mouth. But hats off to Norman.
Alan W, UK

I slept on the beach overnight because the last train had gone, and when we arrived at the train station we were told there were no trains until seven, when national rail enquiries had said they began at five. The train was so crowded it felt like the rush hour on the tube. The gig was wicked though!
Katherine, England

I took my seven-year-old son, arriving from Hove at about 7.30. We were within 20 yards of the stage with him on my shoulders. Danced away 'til 10ish surrounded by good-humoured peple. It was fab. I reckon that 30 people injured when there were 250,000 is an excellent figure - the heart attack person would probably have had that any way, and the woman that fell and was seriously injured did so at 1.20 - two and a half hours after the party finished. No doubt the large crowds were attracted by the good weather. Better planning by the authorities in expectation of the large numbers will make it a highlight of the summer next year.
Nick Bowman, UK

The atmosphere was brilliant, beautiful day, great music and an excellent crowd. My only criticism was the organisation, or complete lack of, at Brighton train station from 10.30pm onwards

Sue, London
Couldn't even get onto the beach - attempted to but turned back when it looked like there could be a huge crush . Ended up having a picnic on the road outside looking enviously at the people on the balconies of The Grand Hotel - definitely the best place to be on Saturday night. Hope it happens next year but I somehow doubt it - it was too dangerous.
Simon, London

It is irrelevant whether there were 50,000 or 250,000. The beach is not an appropriate place for this without a lot more planning. How does the council think it can clean a pebble beach of the mess left by 250,000 who can't get to the toilet? I pity the owners of the boats down there that were being used as portaloos.
Gareth, Brighton, UK

I had a wicked time and don't really know what all the fuss is about. With that many people in one place there are bound to be problems, but from where I was standing everyone was high spirited and having a good time. The only thing I would say is that there should have been more toilets, therefore reducing the amount of people urinating up the wall. It was the first time I had been to anything like that and would definitely go again.
Karen Woolley, England

The atmosphere was brilliant, beautiful day, great music and an excellent crowd. My only criticism was the organisation, or complete lack of, at Brighton train station from 10.30pm onwards. Ok, so they weren't expecting 250,000 people, but we were stuck in the station like caged animals for two hours with not one announcement of what was going on with the trains. People were jumping on trains with no idea where, or even if they were going. Instead of switching the lights off and getting people out of those trains going nowhere, they let more people into the station!! Absolutely apalling - it's amazing there weren't more injuries. Let's hope lessons are learnt and it can go ahead again next year.
Sue, London, UK

Shut these damn moaners up. The place rocked on Saturday, yes maybe a little overcrowded but that's what makes it the best

Calvin, UK
Great party - took my seven-year-old son (it was his birthday on Saturday so it was his party too!) and we both had a great time. Couldn't get near the stage but had a lovely time by the sea playing games and dancing to the (slightly distant) music. Luckily we legged it off the beach after the fireworks and escaped Brighton easily (I drove through Kempton and Falmer back to Tunbridge Wells). All in all, a night to remember for both of us! Thanks Fatboy...
Martin Bell, UK

Yeah right it will happen next year! It just goes to show how destructive we can be in large numbers, yes lots of people had fun as they trashed the place, caused lots of trauma and created a huge mess. Well done everyone.
Barry, UK

Shut these damn moaners up. The place rocked on Saturday, yes maybe a little overcrowded but that's what makes it the best...Norm, you were great and thanks for organising. (Next time, keep the Londoners out).
Calvin, UK

It was a great atmosphere and the music was great. It is such a privilege to be able to go to such a large event and feel completely safe. I was lucky enough to have friends to stay with in Hove and the walk home from the stage was fantastic because everyone was in such a chilled mood. I hope that it'll happen again, and its' nice to see someone in the public eye do something for their town - good on ya Norman!
Clare, UK

It was absolutely amazing. I am a DJ in France and I have never seen so many people at the same time in my life. It was astonishing, moreover Fatboy Slim was very good. I don't think we can improve the security when there are so many people... I look forward to buying the CD.
Jean Calvez, France

Don't get me wrong, my feelings go out to injured and worse parties but the fact is, 1/4 of a million people on a beach, it ain't just gonna be a case of spilt ice-cream. Brighton rocks, Fatboy rocks and we should be proud that our country can hold an event like this and not only is it paid for by the star, but there aren't any gun fights. Keep it up Norm.
Uncle Pauly, England

This is totally disgusting, irreponsible and immature that all the rubbish left behind on the beach.

I would rather to see this gig taking place in a stadium.
Joseph Kuan, UK

I was lucky enough to be there on Saturday - and if you weren't then you must be gutted, as the atmosphere was literally out of this world

Faith, England
I had a brilliant time, arrived on the beach at 5.30 and didn't move till the end. It only took us 30 minutes to get back to our car, and a further hour to get onto the motorway which due to the size of the crowd isn't bad at all. Hopefully if the police and council get their act together it can go ahead again next year.
Pete, England

This was a party for the people of Brighton Hove (and Sussex), laid on by Fatboy Slim as a thank you to the locals for their support for him.

No wonder so many people came down from around and about if E4 were plugging it all week. And why was XFM a main sponsor when you can't even receive it in Sussex?

Sorry about the long queues at the station and on the A23 - but if you couldn't walk home you shouldn't have gone.
James, Brighton, UK

The crush and panic at the train station could easily have been avoided if the staff and police there told the crowd what was going on, instead of just shutting the gates. If we had been told that they were going to hold the trains until we had got on or that the train was full, then there wouldn't have been such a rush to try to get on.
David, UK

I live next to Brighton station and watched 30,000 people have a wee against my wall... quite an event!

Richard Partridge
I was lucky enough to be there on Saturday - and if you weren't then you must be gutted, as the atmosphere was literally out of this world. It has truly gone down in my book as being one of the best events! Yes it was a bit of a struggle at the end of the night, but bearing in mind the amount of people that turned up, and the lack of police/security that was in place, the situation I felt was handled really well. You learn by your mistakes so there's no need to cancel the event next year - just take more precuations .. oh and more toilets is a must!!
Faith, England

Great atmosphere - a credit to all who were there. It's always a shame the negatives grab the headlines - the fact is the city coped pretty well given it's population doubled in a matter of hours, and there were probably less arrests than a normal weekend when the stag nights are in town. I sat on a wet seafront on Friday and would never have predicted blazing sunshine or 250,000 people within 24 hours, so I don't blame the organisers for getting caught out. Thanks to FBS, good luck to those cleaning up.
Matt, Brighton, UK

Whoever thought that the people that came to brighton on the 50 odd trains that arrived in brighton between 11 am on Saturday and 7pm on saturday could all get on one train back at 11.02pm should be sacked - if it was you Norman -you're sacked!
I live next to Brighton station and watched 30,000 people have a wee against my wall. I didn't watch all of them mind.

Quite an event!

Watch out London we are all coming up to ruin next year's Chelsea Flower Show.
Richard Partridge, UK

I am a Brighton resident (50 years) and enjoy the atmosphere of Brighton. But the large influx of people on Saturday night was way over what the town can cope with. residents returning to Brighton after around 7 pm foun parking almost impossble. If an event of this type is to take place again arrangemnts similar to those in force for the November 5 celebrations in Lewes - ie no non resident cars allowed into the town immediately before, during and immediately after the celebrations. That said considering the numbers and generally good behviour of the crowds it would be sad to stop an event like this completely. Also congratulations to the very overstretched public sevices for coping with such a large influx.
G Robinson, UK

Everyone who wanted to get back to London had to wait until the 4am train, which was then cancelled due to that old chestnut - engineering works

John Lee, UK
Had a good night DESPITE the overcrowding and bad organisation. Why was an event that was guaranteed to attract nearly 100,000 through word of mouth alone promoted on mainstream media (Radio 1, XFM, Evening Standard, E4) all week?? I hope it goes ahead next year but I doubt it will unless they can limit the numbers & control the crowds better. Firstly if they had more speakers & screens along the beach that would have stopped everybody from trying to push toward the stage. I wouldn't mind paying for a ticket if this improved the over-crowding but I'm not sure how feasible it would be to limit access to the beach to ticket-holders unless they build a Glastonbury style fence.
Darren, Kent, UK

I had a great time - down to the sea danced for an hour or so - saw the size of the crowd and got the group off the beach and went to a club for the rest of the night - wicked - can't wait until next year.
Regman, England

Great gig but I feared for my safety during and especially after the event.It could easily have been another Hillsborough and people pulling their friends out of the crush on the beach from the road brought back bad images of the football disaster.

Also, public transport was a joke (there's a surprise!). They were expecting 60,000 - even before I set off from London I could have told you there'd be at least 100,000 there - it didn't take too much brain power - it was a red-hot day.

The train operators knew no-one would make the 11pm train back to London because the gig hadn't finished by then - so then everyone who wanted to get back to London had to wait until the 4am train, which was then cancelled due to that old chestnut - engineering works.

As far as I can see its a miracle no-one else died. Common sense needed I think - especially the morons who run the trains!
John Lee, UK

I didn't come down by train so throught I would buy a ticket at the station when I caught the train home. Well as you can guess given the chaos there was nowhere to buy a ticket (even the machines were turned off) and was very lucky to catch the 11:40pm train. When we got to Victoria at 1:30am I couldn't believe it when they wanted everyone to present their tickets to get out of the station.
Simon, London, UK

I'm pleased that so many people had such a good time but I'm so angry about the mess left behind for the rest of us. The beach is covered in rubbish and broken glass - how on earth do you think that's going to get cleared up? One night has created a no go area for the rest of us for some time to come. Next time - take your crap home with you - some of us live here. Yes, Brighton is a friendly and hospitable place - please don't abuse it!
Julia, Brighton

We just got fed up and left by 8 pm. Too many drunks and drug dealers were openly dealing, and a real bad element was there. would have been great if it was just for the people of Brighton. Most of them probably didnt even like Fatboy Slim or Midfield General.
Stephen, Brighton, East Sussex

Wicked show, only hope Fatboy is going to make a nice big donation to the lifeboat charity after what they did. Bring on next year,
Dave, UK

I am a local having lived in Hove most of my life. It soon became clear to me that there were many many more people than expected in the area. It was obvious that police and stewards were not coping with emergencies as they could not get through the crowds. Having said that I had a great night, felt safe on the whole and would welcome the event again if plans were made to cover rubbish disposal and closure of roads. I think it was a credit to our city and the atmosphere was great. I am surprised and grateful that there were not more accidents.
Sandy, UK

I watched it from a speedboat anchored just off the coast. I thought there was a real lack of lifeboat and lifeguard vessels and personnel. They really seemed to be struggling. Fab night though!
Tim Boryer, UK

The Big Beach Boutique on Saturday was fabulous and the crowds were extremely well behaved. There was very little pushing and there was room to dance even though we were relatively close to the stage. I enjoyed watching people swim in their clothes (and sometimes in their birthday suits) and the light show during Fatboy but ultimately thought John Digweed put on a better performance.
Fiona, London, UK

Our night of partying was amazing! No problems anywhere to be seen! Apart from a 4 hour car journey from London to central Brighton, a crushed set of sunglasses and a slight shock over the amount of people... all was SWEET!
Till Scherer, England

It was awesome!! I thought the crowd was very well behaved in general although it was unfortunate about the crushing. We cleaned up our section of the beach and so did many others around us! Thanks to all the Brighton clean up squad and the police who were jovial and pleasant in what can only be termed "A Madhouse"!! Fatboy, you're the BEST!!!!
Kerry Stirton, South African

I was there on Saturday and I had an amazing time. But this was probably more due to the fact that I arrived early, got a space on the beach and then somehow managed to get a train back to London after the show. It was a shame that people got hurt but it was a fantastic event that my friends and I really enjoyed. I hope that they will not cancel future events like this - it is a shame that the organisers didn't organise it better. Surely they considered that quite a lot of people might want to attend a free event on the beach? Let's hope that they learned from their mistakes so that we can have fun in the future too.
Jemima, UK

The people of Brighton should be proud and realise how privileged they are to be able to create such a special atmosphere

Sharon, UK
My wife and I took our 2 year old daughter - I had been to last years event on my own and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere - this year was no different, there were just more people. We all had a fantastic time. We danced on the beach, but were far enough away to hear the music quite clearly without being right in the thick of crowd. I send my condolences to the family of the man who died, but overall the event went off very well considering how many people were expected - most of the injuries sound self inflicted, although crowd control is always an issue at events such as this. I am concerned that the Sussex hospital struggled to cope with the 100ish injuries - after all, they could easliy have to tend to that many injured if there was a serious road or rail accident. Thanks Norman and Damian - I had a great time and hope to see you there next year.
Jim Clews, UK

Evening was superb with the exception of getting crushed, robbed and dealt with like an animal at the train station!!
Matt, England

Had the most amazing time. JUST managed to get the last train home,after almost being crushed to death. Was the best event I have ever been too. Sorry to hear about unfortunate stories
Marie Sewell, London-UK

It wouldn't have mattered if we had had to stay, Brighton had the best atmosphere in the country that night!
Caroline, Beds, England

It makes me sad to read through the comments of 'keep it local' and 'keep the Londoners out next time'. Maybe some people haven't noticed but Fatboy Slim is huge all over the world. And which British person is going to say no to a free gig?! I had a fantastic time, the atmosphere was amazing. I didn't see any trouble (but then again didn't go anywhere near the train station). I hope it does happen again next year, the people of Brighton should be proud and realise how privileged they are to be able to create such a special atmosphere :)
Sharon, UK

Fatboy Slim? Brighton? Was it really worth the stress and death and destruction? He's rubbish anyhow. I know cos i've heard him DJ. It's house music for Hollyoaks types, beery Australians and people from Clapham who don't like house music.
Jake, UK

I hope Norman Cook doesn't feel down about the bad press, because it was fantastic.
Rich Morgan, uk

Absolutely wonderful beach party - many thanks for the invitation! We were lucky and got a 10:30 train to London - but our carriage had space for many more who were kept away from the platform by train staff who were clearly overwhelmed by the whole thing.
Rene van Bavel, Chile

I'm a veteran of scores of festivals but I can honestly say I've never seen a crowd scene like it. Me and a few mates were stood on a jetty right the stage and the view from there along the beach was out of this world. I still haven't seen a picture to do that scene justice. Extraordinary.
Ben, UK

Another record broken: The world's longest pissoir. An unbroken line of guys stretching between the two piers, relieving themselves, whilst revellers danced merrily about nearby in the water. Grim!
Jason, UK

A large proportion of blame has to be laid at the door of the rail companies (chiefly Thameslink) who failed to provide adequate numbers of trains for people travelling into Brighton . They had knowledge of the event for several months, yet showed themselves wholly unprepared.
Colin Houlson, UK

Despite living near Palace Pier I decided to stay indoors - it was just pointless trying to get there with a 200,000 Londoners blocking the way. However at 4am, with the beach fires going and chilled out crowds, it was great. I don't think you can blame the Council or Police. They estimated double the clubbers - they got FOUR TIMES that. However, the media's incessant hyping of the event was irresponsible. E4, Radio 1, Guardian Guide, shouted that it was free from the rooftops. Brighton Beach just ain't big enough for a festival bigger than Glasto and Reading.

I hope events still occur on the beach as it usually works really well. The films and theatre are wicked in the summer. And talking of cancelling the T4 party is just crazy.

But it does need to be handled better. With free tickets - like the Jubilee maybe at Buck Palace.

But well done Fatboy, and the authorities. And well done all the beachgoers for keeping the atmosphere happy.
Benedict, Brighton, UK

That was by far the most amazing event I have ever been to. The living atmosphere was unlike anything I have ever witnessed.
Naveed I Khawaja, England

Luckily I could see what was happening early in the evening and decided to leave about 10pm before the rush happened. I have never seen so many people squashed together in one place. I think the highlight for me was walking along the promenade and suddenly realising that the sea wall was being used as a toilet by about 50000 men and I was literally walking through a river of urine!
Colin Jones, England

We were right at the front and it was way too packed. Last year there was so much more room to dance and move! Bring in tickets for next year - just as long as I get one!!!!
Dave Huntt, England

It was an excellent gig - all respect to Fatboy Slim. It's just a shame that people have no respect for the safety of others. Disgusting to hear/see so many people booing and jeering at the police for trying to keep people safe. Can't understand why extra transport wasn't laid on just in case!
Claire, UK

One obvious way to prevent Brighton beach being full of broken glass after beach-bound concerts is for the council to ask shops in the area to only sell cans to people attending the event. Think on councillors.
Lenno, UK

The girl fell off the railings at 1.20, two and a half hours after it had finished, not during the crush as you sensationally reported. You should be more positive in your reports. 250,000 had a great time and there were only six arrests! How about some praise for people having a good time for free?
Martin, Hove, England

What a nightmare! We went last year and had a fantastic time, but this year was terrible. We couldn't even get near the beach and didn't see the stage at all. There were people everywhere, even sitting on top of the traffic lights. My evening was spent sitting in the road, outside the cinema - not my idea of a top night out.
Colin James, UK

We found a good spot just to the left and behind the DJs so could see what was going on but there were thousands behind the stage who would have benefited from speakers and a screen facing that way too. I run a bar in Brighton and we had great takings Saturday, the streets looked awful but locals started to clear up their own areas and the beach is nearly litter-free. Don't stop doing the event just plan for it! Brighton definitely benefitted from the extra revenue and we're used to this sort of thing anyway.
Joanne Chubb, Brighton, England

It was a great evening. Some incidents are inevitable with 250,000 people. The lack of bureaucracy made the event - overly regulating such events would be disappointing
Ian P, England

I was there and it was absolutely fantastic! I have never seen so many people! We were about a third of the way back and could hear little or nothing. Maybe if they had put speakers all along the beach there wouldn't have been a rush to move forwards just to be able to hear. Bet it doesn't go ahead next year.
Owen, Surrey

What a wicked night! Although the sound was lousy the atmosphere was great, I didn't see any trouble, just lots of people enjoying themselves, although we were aware of the problems near the stage. I just hope that it will become a regular event and won't be tarnished by the unfortunate death that occured.
Purdie, England

My friends and I had a fantastic time on Saturday night and although it was busy, we saw no trouble and just boogied all night, we also had no problems getting out and home to London.
Lynn Abrahams, England

After seeing the filth left behind and the anti-social behaviour of what I think has become "the average UK citizen", I am sad to admit that I felt ashamed to be British on Saturday night.

I can not understand what has happened over the last few year's to make people forget basic decencies such as not expecting someone else to clear up your rubbish, which actually includes human faeces in this case. Worst of all is the fact that our beach will be hazardous for a long time to come, because the broken glass cannot be removed from the pebbles on the beach other than by being imbedded in the soles of peoples feet. Thanks for another great beach party Norm.
Dan Jarvis, Brighton

Absolutely fantastic. Considering the numbers there, there was very little trouble. We got in smoothly on the train and had an equally smooth drive home by car, after allowing about an hour and a half before setting off. They really ought to let it happen again next year, but just prepare for the crowds if the weather's nice!
Melanie Coene, London, England

What a great day at the seaside! Nice one Fatboy. Now what I'd like to know is will Brighton and Hove Council be recyclying all the glass they've collected from the beach?
Sheepdog, UK

The story you have run about bits of glass being impossible to clearup is rubbish. I grew up near the ocean and if there is one thing that the sea is very good at its making glass harmless to people. Within a few days of being on a beach any piece of sharp glass would be ground smooth by the actions of the waves and the movement of the sand. Instead of printing things that will affect the tourism etc of Brighton, find out what would really happen to those bits of glass that are impossible to remove because they will probably be harmless before the council can clean up the rest of the area!!
Evan Davidson, UK

What a superb day. Great atmopsphere, great weather, even had enough room to dance. Over six hours in the car was well worth it!
Tom Anderson, Swindon, UK

I had a fantastic time. It was very crowded in front of the stage but I sat on the beach behind the stage, near the West Pier, and it was relatively civilised. The fireworks were amazing. It is true, though, that the facilities could have been better organised, as even if the expected 60,000 had showed up, there were not enough toilets or police and it would have been very easy to put loads of rubbish bins all over the beach. It was also very predictable that if things started when the tide was low, there would be less space on the beach for the crowd when it came in.

I stayed in Brighton but for those relying on public transport, obviously the train situation was ridiculous, because people had been pouring into Brighton all day and then there was only one train back to London (probably with four coaches) only minutes after the event finished. Given how much money Connex and Thameslink must have made out of the event, the least they could have done would have been to put on an extra train, but then I suppose they didn't know until it was too late.
Claire, London, UK

I don¿t know why all this media hype has put such a negative view on the event. It was very crowded, but most people were very friendly. Apart from my sister being jumped on by some man insisting on cuddling her, nothing really went wrong. Two people died, a man who had a heart attack, which was nothing to do with the event, and a woman fell off of the promenade, long after the party had finished so nothing went wrong. Sure, it was a bit crushed and took a while to get anywhere, but the atmosphere was fantastic!
Sam Beddoes, England

What are you lot talking about?!! Saturday was fab, so Dave if you were looking for crowd pleasers and you think house music is boring, what the hell were you doing there?? Big thumbs up for the atmosphere was unbelievable and apart from a few idiots misbehaving themselves I think it was a roaring success, big up the Fatboy and all involved including the lovely policemen.
Jessica, England

I have to say that I had a great time. There were blatantly too many people there but it was advertised relentlessly, which is why it was so overcrowded, what did they expect? We could hardly hear the sound system from where we were but the atmosphere was great. I just wish everyone could have taken all their litter home.....
Daniel, England

In reference to the comments made by Evan Davidson, he has obviously never been on Brighton beach. It's not sand, it is stones. As for the action of the waves, they only come up about a fifth of the beach at high tide. The majority of the beach will be unfit to walk on barefoot for probably some years to come.
Gail, Brighton

This was reminiscent of Notting Hill Carnival a few years ago where the crowd control was clearly not very well planned. A shame to ruin what should have been a great event.
Justin Harrison, England

The comments about nasty Londoners coming down and messing up Brighton are pathetic. Brighton is a resort town and always has been - those of you that are lucky enough to live there need to wake up to this fact. It's not "your" city - it's a beautiful place on the coast that every Briton has a right to visit if they wish to do so.
Julie, London, UK

All those who were annoyed by not being able to get home should quite clearly have done what myself and my friends did: stayed partying on the beach all night, and all through Sunday. There were live bands down on the beach, and thousands of people still enjoyng themselves - in blazing sunshine. Forget the litter!
Christian, England

After having lived in Brighton for eight years and leaving the place behind a year ago I'm glad to say I wasn't at the Big Beach Boutique on Saturday. I remember going to a similar event on Brighton beach to see a modern interpretation of Shakespeare The Tempest. There were 40,000 people there that night and the performance was so bad all sorts began to kick off.

Places as small as Brighton with a population of 150,000 cannot possibly hold a quarter of a million people. Returns are ranged in price between £10 and £18 from London and presuming there was 30,000 who took the train, well thats £540,000. Maybe some more organisation between the relevant parties next year, eh lads?
Lee, London, UK

Click here for more from Southern Counties
Summer Festivals 2002

Latest stories

Festival reviews

Band diary

Send us your views

See also:

15 Jul 02 | Music
05 Jun 02 | Entertainment
07 Sep 01 | Music
01 Aug 01 | Music
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Music stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Music stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |