O2 drafting extra Gardaí for tonight's Hardwell gig

The O2 in Dublin is paying for 23 Gardaí to police tonight's Hardwell gig.

The venue said it is standard practice that, at larger events, the State supplies a certain number of officers, and the promoters hire in the rest.

The O2 says a full medical and security team will be in place, and that anyone under 18 or anyone who appears intoxicated will not be allowed in.

The precaution comes after more than 100 young people fell ill at the Dutch DJ's gig in Belfast last night.

Tests are being carried out to see if drink or drugs were to blame.

The general manager of Belfast's Odyssey, Adrian Doyle said, as with any concert, the safety of patrons was an absolute priority at all times and the event control team was confident that it had sufficient staff on site to maintain a safe and enjoyable concert.

He said anyone who turned up to the event visibly drunk was not allowed in.

Mr Doyle later insisted the number of adverse incidents inside the arena were not on an unusual scale.

“Incident levels inside the Odyssey Arena before, during and after the Hardwell concert were at normal levels for an event of this size and nature and were managed effectively at all times by staff,” he said.

He said thorough pre-planning had taken place with the PSNI and Belfast City Council.

“Decisions were taken at this meeting, to ensure safety, caution and good management of the event and a detailed management plan was agreed and put in place,” he added.

“Both the PSNI and Community Enforcement Teams from Belfast City Council were on the ground at the event confiscating alcohol that was in the possession of patrons as they arrived at the Odyssey.

“In anticipation of any patrons being turned away at the door for any reason, the support services of the SOS Bus were also deployed.

“High levels of staff were employed to manage queues at the door. Searches were carried out on the door by a team of Security Industry Authority (SIA) accredited personnel, with two PSNI sniffer dog teams also deployed. Large numbers of patrol and response staff were on the concourses and in the main hall throughout the evening and supervisers checked toilet facilities on an ongoing basis.

“Stringent ID checks were in place under the ’Think 21’ guidelines for any patrons wishing to purchase alcohol within the Odyssey Arena, with patrons required to produce a valid passport or driving licence as proof of ID. Purchase of alcohol was limited to two drinks per ID, and all alcohol sales were stopped at 9pm.”

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