Suspended Morad concert in Torre del Mar: "It was a nightmare, it’s a miracle that we’re alive"

A police report has highlighted "insufficient personnel, no control of access to minors, capacity issues and entry of prohibited substances, weapons and dangerous objects, creating a situation of serious risk"

Eugenio Cabezas

The serious incidents at the Morad concert at the Torre del Mar fair in the early hours of Wednesday morning have provoked a wave of reactions. The images of dozens of attendees climbing onto the marquee and portable toilets to get a better view of the controversial Catalan artist have gone viral on social networks and been reported widely in the media.

The incidents have also formed an internal report by Vélez-Málaga police, to which SUR has had access. "It was awful, a nightmare, it’s a miracle that we’re alive": this is one of the numerous testimonies compiled by the officers who, despite their limited numbers, tried to bring some order to a situation that quickly became completely out of control, when more than 10,000 people tried to cram into an area with a capacity for just 2,000.

The police spoke to siblings working at a bar located near the marquee, who told them that they had been "very afraid due to the vandalism and violence” and said that bottles of alcoholic drinks were stolen from the bar and they received death threats for not providing drinks to some customers, including “'I will slit your throat if you don't give me a bottle of water", according to the report to which SURhad access.

"I feared for my sister's life"

In fact, four of the siblings were attended by the health services, "for panic and anxiety attacks”. They used phrases such as "It has reached a point where we had to jump from the bar and leave it for fear that something would happen to us" and: "It was awful, I feared for my sister's life". "They could have ruined us", they told the police, adding, "There was no way to stop it. It was a nightmare” The siblings’ report concluded: "You have no idea what it was like. It’s a miracle we’re alive.”

The officers state in their report the "lack of control in the marquee and the surrounding area, with requests for police presence due to fights, aggressions, thefts from the stalls located inside the marquee, etc.". The local police could see how the security perimeter "had been partially dismantled and used as a ladder to climb up, leading to crowds of people on the portable toilets, containers, parked vehicles and metal structures at the top of the marquee".

Laughing gas

According to the report, at 1.05 a.m., the chief of police contacted the communications room, "communicating that by order of the mayor, the head of service is informed, that with the help of National Police, they remove the artist from the stage and suspend the performance.”

The report goes on to say, "As the marquee wa being cleared, the officers are continuously being called by attendees who are reporting theft, threats, vandalism, lost children and assaults, with some parents stating that if they had known what was going to happen here, they would not have taken their children".

Contracted private security personnel arrived on the scene, "Upset and frustrated at being unable to control the event". Once the marquee was partially cleared, the report explains how officers "could see how the floor inside was littered with 'laughing gas canisters' as well as small balloons probably used for inhalation and glass bottles.” Officers also found “a number of minors, aged between 12 and 14 years".

The official report concludes that “Given the foreseeability that this could happen, based on the profile and background of this artist and of many of his fans, the number of personnel on site as well as the security measures, especially with regard to access control for minors, capacity and control of the prohibition of entry of prohibited substances, weapons or dangerous objects, was clearly insufficient, creating a situation of serious risk.”