Thousands stranded and crushed after Brighton Pride

Thousands of Brighton and Hove Pride attendees were crushed and stranded hundreds of miles from home after Britney Spears’ performance.

Once the singer finished her headline act in front of around 57,000 of the more than 300,000 people who attended the Pride parade yesterday (August 4), fans were embroiled in chaotic scenes at the local train station.

British Transport Police asked that train services be suspended and the station closed from 11.40pm for about 40 minutes shortly after a crush which multiple attendees called “one of the worst experiences of my life.”

Thameslink said it ran 15 extra trains to deal with the extra numbers (bexbastable/twitter)

Many reported sleeping on the beach or taking taxis costing hundreds of pounds in an effort to get home in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The Brighton Centre and a local church were even opened for anyone who needed to take emergency refuge – despite photos and videos on Twitter showing trains travelling back up north with masses of free seats.

In a statement, Brighton and Hove City Council said that the chaos led to more emergency incidents.

Some called it the “worst experience of my life” (paulmbowden/twitter)

“Many people decided not to travel and went to the beach instead, the numbers were added to by others leaving the PVP (Pride Village Party) and also heading to the seafront. This led to overcrowding in some areas and an increase in calls to emergency services,” the council said.

Govia Thameslink told PinkNews: “We ran 15 extra trains yesterday to cope with the unprecedented visitor numbers, in addition to the plan we had agreed with the event organisers. Access to Brighton station was closed for a period by the police to help with crowding in the town.

Some slept on the beach or got taxis costing hundreds to get home (Davidconnal001/twitter)

“Everyone who needed to get home last night did so,” the company added, despite reports from many which contradicted this statement.

PinkNews has contacted Brighton and Hove Pride and British Transport Police for comment.

Some trains seemingly left the station mostly empty, despite the crowds (NatalieLou40/twitter)

One person who came to the city for Pride told PinkNews that it was “f**king chaos,” adding that when they asked a policeman how they should get home, the officer responded: “I’ll be honest, I haven’t got a F**KING CLUE.”

Many other frustrated and angry attendees took to Twitter to express their outrage.

One wrote: “The crush at Brighton station tonight was possibly one of the worst experiences of my life. Someone is going to get injured.”

“PSA: never ever ever try get the train back from Brighton pride. Worst experience of my life,” said another.

One attendee wrote: “Worst pride organisation ever,” before claiming that disabled children were stopped from getting through.

“Wait for the bruise photos and the disabled law suits,” they added.

“Oops you did it again – carnage at #Brighton station following #Britney at #BrightonPride,” wrote a Britney fan.

“I’d love to post a great story about #BrightonPride but the 2-hour crush for Brighton Station was not okay. Genuinely one of the worst experiences of my life,” said another person, who posted a video of the scene outside the station.

One person looking to get home said: “Absolute chaos this evening @ Brighton station.

“Police telling people all trains canx & station closed, no indication of what those of us who don’t live in Brighton should do.”

“Congratulations Southern rail, 57,000 people for Britney and apparently 3.2 trains running out of Brighton tonight. We managed to get on a train back to London but friends haven’t so far… You really f**ked up,” was another person’s assessment.

Another attendee who managed to take a train wrote: “Looks like we were lucky to get on a train from Brighton after being crushed for about an hour in the worst crowd ever – feel for the poor people who were there for hours after us.”

And for some passengers who were fortunate enough to secure a place on a train, a nasty surprise was lying in wait.

“Near crushed to death in the horrendous crowd locked outside Brighton Station for the last trains home for half an hour – only let through in dribs and drabs,” wrote one person.

“This is the penultimate train home and it’s empty! Lucky for me but feel so sorry for everyone who will be on the last…”

They added: “I genuinely feared for my life every time the gates opened – especially when I finally got through. Never felt so scared.”

Another said: “tens of thousands trapped and being crushed outside of brighton station, meanwhile this is how empty the trains leave.”

Another wrote: “Brighton police, @TLRailUK and @nationalrailenq have a lot to answer for.

“Physically screaming in people’s faces as they pushed us in to each other with gates outside Brighton station. Got inside to find an empty station and trains with plenty of room and space.”

And more delays and frustration were waiting for some.

“Absolute worst service from @TLRailUK @SouthernRailUK thousands of people stranded in three bridges at 2am cause half the trains from brighton to london are terminating here and connecting ones are already overpacked so no one can fit on why is there not a ticket booking cap???” wrote one unfortunate soul.

Another said: “It’s taken us well over 3 hours to get on the train to London from Brighton.

Now stuck in Crawley because so many people were left stranded from the last train and they’re trying to cram onto this one. This whole thing has been a complete joke!!”

All in all, more than one person was ready to call the experience the worst of their lives.

During the parade, activist group Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants occupied British Airway’s i360 tower to protest the “jarring hypocrisy” of BA sponsoring Brighton Pride while refusing to stop deporting asylum seekers.