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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Concert Ban after Oasis Troubles at Murrayfield?
MURRAYFIELD should not be allowed to stage any more non-sporting events following trouble at last week's Oasis concert, the council has been told.
In an emergency motion which will go before councillors tomorrow officials have been urged to scrap future high-profile events.
Senior Conservative councillor Jeremy Balfour, who represents the Corstorphine/Murrayfield ward, launched the appeal after speaking to local residents following last Wednesday's gig.
As well as trouble inside the stadium, those living in and around Murrayfield complained of fighting, vandalism and people urinating in their gardens.
However, Scottish Rugby said it hoped to continue putting on a range of events.
Cllr Balfour said, in spite of council and police assurances to the contrary, locals' worst fears came true on the night, just as they did when the band played in the stadium nearly a decade ago.
He said: "It has been shown now that large concerts cannot be managed there, it is just impossible, and it should be kept for rugby and other sporting events only. I experienced it myself driving through as people were going to the concert, and having spoken to residents I think something should be done.
"I appreciate the police did their best but you are never going to be able to control a crowd like that."
Murrayfield has hosted numerous live music events over the years, including the Live 8 concert and acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but it seemed to be the crowd who follow Oasis who caused the most trouble.
Cllr Balfour added: "The people who lived in the area last time the band played knew what to expect, and that is what happened."
He appears to have support of local people.
Murrayfield Community Council secretary Milton Park said: "There are always problems with large music events, and Oasis was an exceptional example.
"Of all the main events the only one we haven't had problems with was the G8 concert, which was very well organised and policed.
"Far and away residents' biggest complaint is people using as a urinal anywhere they please."
If the motion were to succeed, it would almost certainly mean the city losing a number of high profile events to Glasgow, undoing years of hard work across the Capital to stage concerts featuring the world's biggest bands as well as sporting events attracting the eyes of the world.
A spokesman for Scottish Rugby said: "Murrayfield has a proud history of hosting sporting and non-sporting events which have been an overwhelming success over many years.
"These contribute significantly to the city's economy which can be measured in the tens of millions.
"We have a healthy relationship with local residents, the council and the police, and before the Oasis gig we held a residents meeting where we informed them of what was being planned."
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