Hit or miss? Mixed reviews over Little Mix gig at Earlham Park in Norwich
- Credit: PA
Little Mix have received a mixed reception in Norwich after their concert in the city on Sunday night.
Thousands of people descended on Earlham Park to see the world's biggest girl band and although a large majority of Mixers were bowled over by the evening, concerns were raised over the organisation and duration of the event.
The city park was turned into a music venue as Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock belted out some of their biggest hits to nearly 20,000 people with some calling it the 'best day ever'.
But a number of people have complained about the running of the show which left some children in tears.
Simon Carter, 43, from Somerton, attended the concert with his wife and his two children Sofia, five, and Lydia, three. Mr Carter said problems began before they even arrived at the venue.
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'There was no sign for the premium car park so we had no idea where to go until someone informed us the car park was actually at the UEA,' he said. 'People were reversing the wrong way down the road a driving up the grass verge, it was chaos.'
It was his daughters' first concert, with the tickets costing £180 for four, but after arriving at the venue the girls started to get upset about having to wait for the band to come on stage.
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'The girls really love Little Mix and they had look forward to it for months but had enough of waiting after 40 minutes and were in floods of tears,' he said. 'None of the security guards knew when they were coming on and where we were standing in general admission there were kids in blankets on the floor and they were being trampled on by drunken adults.'
The Carter family left the venue at 8pm with the daughters in tears but did return for a period of time when they heard Little Mix come on stage at 8.15pm.
'It was their first concert but they were so upset I don't think they will want to go to another one for a while.'
One concert goer, who does not want to be named, attended the gig with her 10-year-old daughter and said she was 'absolutely disgusted' by the event.
'I paid £145 for two tickets and they were only on for an hour,' she said. 'I've been to Olly Murs and Take That recently and they were on for at least an hour and 45 minutes.'
Other people complained on social media about the long queues for Park and Ride buses after the show finished, two hour queues to enter the golden circle area and the lack of staff processing tickets.
But despite some complaints from Mixers many people told us they had a 'brilliant' night.
Amanda Marsh, 42, of Wymondham went to the show with her daughter Mia, 12, and said it was a great night.
'We really enjoyed it and so did everyone around us,' she said. 'Mia told me it was the best day ever and her favourite part was just breathing the same air as Jade.'
Melissa Powley said: 'Little Mix were brilliant! We got there early before they opened the gates and queued for about an hour. There wasn't enough food outlets that was the only downside for us. Had an awesome day!'
Sarah Smith added: 'It was brilliantly organised and well planned. My little girl had an amazing time and there was a good atmosphere.'
And Carrie Catchpole said: 'Loved it and I also thought it was well organised although getting off the car park seemed a little chaotic but that's to be expected.'
In response to the criticism from some of the event a spokesman for Cuffe and Taylor said: 'More than 19,000 Little Mix fans enjoyed a fantastic concert at Norwich's Earlham Park last night.
'The band were incredible, they delivered the full set they have performed throughout their summer tour, and we are delighted to have seen so many positive comments from fans following the event.
'This was an incredibly busy event and, as with all events of this scale, queues were inevitable. For those people with tickets to the Golden Circle there was a two-tier security level as they had to be given wristbands to access this area. This did slow things down but all ticket holders were within the venue well ahead of Little Mix' headline performance.
'We want to thank everyone who attended for their patience as we ensured all those who attended were able to enter and leave the venue safely.'
And a spokesperson for Norwich City Council added: 'We were fortunate to have two big gigs on over the weekend – Little Mix and Sundown. As a result it meant we had to change our usual traffic management plan because Costessey Park & Ride wasn't available and Thickthorn was used instead which caused traffic jams that buses got stuck in.
'With a large scale event like Little Mix there were about 20,000 people all wanting to leave the park at the same time so the organisers have to make that happens safely and calmly. They also made sure that important facilities – such as toilets and catering – were available outside of the arena for anyone waiting.
'We're sorry it took people longer than usual to get home after the gig so we'll make sure we review our transport arrangements for future gigs at the park to see if we can speed things up.'