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Norfolk Showground: Fortnite Live organisers passed our vetting process

Fortnite Live day two at the Norfolk Showground. Picture: Conor Matchett

Fortnite Live day two at the Norfolk Showground. Picture: Conor Matchett

Archant

The venue which hosted the controversial Fortnite Live event says a strict vetting process was undertaken with the organisers.

People at the Fortnite Live event at the Norfolk Showground. Picture Jane Barron. People at the Fortnite Live event at the Norfolk Showground. Picture Jane Barron.

Exciting Events has been heavily criticised by families who attended the gaming festival over the weekend, with some comparing it to the 2017 Fyre Festival.

Complaints were mostly focused on long queues times and a lack of activities related to the popular video game.

The Norfolk Showground which hosted the festival said organisers Exciting Events had been properly vetted before Fortnite Live took place.

It said the company passed every part of its “strict vetting process”.

Archery at the Fortnite Live event at the Norfolk Showground. Picture Sarah Travers.Archery at the Fortnite Live event at the Norfolk Showground. Picture Sarah Travers.

A showground spokesman said: “That includes everything from looking at staffing levels, references and health and safety.

“The Norfolk Showground is obviously concerned that some visitors had an unsatisfactory experience, but all third-party organisers are fully vetted before they host an event at the showground.”

Shaun Lord, from Exciting Events, said there had been a “staffing issue” on Saturday which resulted in queueing.

Speaking on Sunday he said: “We have improved it over night and we’ve had some staffing issues which caused the queuing and today is 100pc better.”

The weekend festival was billed as a “fantastic event” with “awesome activities”.

But families who bought tickets to the two-day event queued for more than an hour to enter.

On top of the £13.95 ticket, visitors were required to purchase a £20 wristband to take part in the “specialist activities,” such as archery and laser tag, with many having to wait again for another hour in long queues to participate.

Over the weekend floods of comments appeared on the Fortnite Live Facebook page with customers airing their frustrations.

Some compared it to the 2017 Fyre Festival in which thousands of festival-goers paid up to £75,000 for tickets for the event in the Bahamas, but slept in soaking wet tents and were fed soggy sandwiches.

The Fortnite Live Facebook page appeared to have been removed on Monday.

Mr Lord said on Sunday: “There is more than six minutes worth of stuff to look around here. It is £20 for a wristband and they can get anything, all day. Here, you’ve got unlimited usage on anything. People are utilising it a lot.

“Yes I think it is value for money. There is a lot of equipment in there for kids to go on. Kids are going round and round all day on the equipment.

“I think we have been more than fair, yesterday [Saturday], to offer a full refund at that point. I think we have been more than fair as an organiser.

“I don’t even see how the Fyre Festival is even related because they charged like £100,000 a ticket and we’re not charging that sort of price.

“It is not a muddy field, there is a lot of technology here, tens of thousands of equipment so we have to charge at a certain level because of the technology involved in the show.

“To relate to that was a bit harsh. People are entitled to their own opinion and we can’t stop that.”

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