I and some of my family went to see world renowned superstar Rihanna at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday 25th June 2016.
Rihanna has become a modern music, entertainment and fashion icon. As an accomplished performer, she has sold 54 million albums and 210 million digital tracks worldwide making her the top-selling digital artist of all time.
We were all so excited to see Rihanna and it was great that she was performing at our own town of Coventry. However, we were not impressed with the Ricoh Arena and how unorganised and unprofessional it all was. We had gold circle tickets where we would be standing but to get near the front or at the front we needed to arrive early. We had all planned for this and had our picnic supplies, mat to sit on and of course our rain coats and umbrellas(as you can't go to a Rihanna concert without an umbrella,Ella, hey, hey...)
We arrived at 1pm giving us three hours before the gates opened at 4pm, we sat by the entrance stairs at gate 25A where our tickets had directed us to. There were a few people in front but not too many so we were positive about being near the front and was very excited. As time went on more and more people arrived and were all trying to squash into this very small area. Although there was plenty of staff around they were doing nothing about organising barriers for queuing and people were trying to push in. If they had used queuing barriers this would not have been a problem, why should people who arrive just before opening the doors be able to push in.
The doors were due to open at 3.30pm but was late so opened at 3.40pm but only for people who had paid for priority gold circle tickets allowing early entrance half an hour before, there was not many and they got through quickly. More and more people were arriving at this point and we were all squashed together like sardines waiting to go up the stairs and get inside. The tension within the crowds was building up it was pouring down with rain and when doors finally opened at 4.20pm the crowds pushed and we were all thrown up the stairs towards the doors.
Because of the amount of people that were pushing the staff just about managed to check our tickets but did not check our bags.Then to make matters worse we were all sent into another room, squashed together some more and had to wait for what seemed like forever for two very small doors to open. What on earth were the staff thinking? let's wait until there are hundreds of people in one very small stuffy room, make everybody wait a further 15 minutes until the room is so full from every corner then squash them all through the doors together! Why wasn't the doors open for us when they had checked our tickets we could have all just walked through without the big surge. I suffer from claustrophobia and I nearly passed out at this point, I was stuck, there was no way back as there were so many people behind me and at the sides.
When the doors opened, we all thought our lives were over as everybody started pushing and it was simply horrifying we were squashed through those doors like caged animals and my 15-year-old niece had her wrist bent back and bruised, Luckily we survived but there were some extremely bruised people who were crying and shaking. I'm so glad I didn't bring my 13-year-old daughter she would have been crushed, I saw some younger girls crying it was shocking. The Ricoh are to blame and if they are to hold more concerts in the future they need to sort things out. What would Rihanna have thought if she knew bags were not checked and she was at risk?
But after all the drama Rihanna was simply amazing, I loved all her new songs from her new album and of course all the old favourites. She is absolutely stunning, can dance so well, her voice was just perfect, the stage act was so cool along with her dancers and all her sexy outfits. We were at the front and it was so surreal to be that close to such a super star what a great life experience that I will never forget!