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Monday, 15 July, 2002, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
'No repeat' of Fatboy chaos
Fatboy Slim crowd
Organisers had been expecting just 60,000 people
Police chiefs have said there can never be a repeat of the weekend's Fatboy Slim beach party in Brighton, after four times the expected number of people turned up leading to scenes of chaos.

Only 60,000 had been expected to attend the Big Beach Boutique, but the situation spiralled out of control after a quarter of a million partygoers attended the event.

Council leaders and members of the emergency services met on Monday to discuss ways to prevent similar scenes in the future, as a massive clean-up operation - partly paid for by the DJ - continued.


I do not think we will close Brighton down as a public place for entertainment, but clearly safety needs to be looked at

Chief Supt Doug Rattray
Sussex Police
A 26-year-old woman is still critically ill after falling from railings onto the lower esplanade during the crush. Another man died of a heart attack, although the death has not been connected with the event.

More than 30 other people who were injured had to be rescued by the RNLI Brighton lifeboat, as the congestion left emergency services unable to reach those needing treatment.

Thousands of people were left stranded in the city and forced to sleep on the beach because of a lack of public transport to ferry people out, leading to yet more scenes of chaos.

Council workers are now working round the clock to clear over 60 tonnes of rubbish, broken glass and bottles left on the beach.

Fatboy Slim, who lives in the city with wife Zoe Ball, forked out 100,000 of his own money to ensure the event went ahead after its main sponsor pulled out.

He has pledged money to help with the clean-up costs.

Fatboy Slim's beach party
Police blamed some injuries on "high spirits"
But the DJ told the BBC he was pleased with the event overall.

"Most people had a good time, there were just six arrests and everyone was well-behaved," he said.

"It goes down as a triumph in my book."

'High spirits'

Chief Superintendent Doug Rattray, who led the police operation over the weekend, has said Brighton may have to consider making the party a ticketed event in future.

"If an event like this was to happen again we would have to look at changes. I do not think we will close Brighton down as a public place for entertainment, but clearly the public's safety needs to be looked at."

Fatboy Slim
Fatboy Slim spent 100,000 on the concert
Other events planned for the area are now in the balance, including a T4 party this Sunday at which bands are scheduled to play on the beach. Mr Rattray admitted the event may have to be cancelled.

However, he added that the crowds at the beach were largely well-behaved.

He said: "There was drinking and high spirits but the crowd came to dance and have a good time. Everyone co-operated with us very well."

A spokesman for the Royal Sussex County Hospital described the situation following the event as "a nightmare", and said resources were stretched to deal with 90 casualties.

'Monster'

Other revellers were treated for minor problems such as crushing, though a police spokesman said some of the casualties were victims of assaults which were "mostly the effects of high spirits".


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