Short Promises Safer Jamboree

Irish country music promoter Andrew Short has made improvements to ensure this year’s Jamboree In The Park in Fintona is safer than last year’s event.

Numerous people were hospitalised after crowds congested around the main entrance and restroom areas during peak times, while Short’s AJS Promotions admitted its staff was “overwhelmed by the number of people descending on the venue within a short period of time.”

This year Short says he’s invested in new flooring, which he feels is both safer and better for dancing, while a new entrance has been created and a one way system to the toilets so a reoccurrence of the bottleneck issues don’t repeat themselves.

He said the last Jamboree is “in the past” and “got blown out of proportion,” and pointed out that his company has subsequently staged the Shamrocker Festival over St. Patrick’s weekend and it was a huge success with no incidents.

“We have received lots of positive messages from people looking forward to the event and our concentration now is making it as successful, safe and enjoyable as possible,” Short told the Ulster Herald.

Phil Scraton – one of the authors of a report into the Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989 in which 96 people died – called for an investigation into the safety measures at last year’s Jamboree show. Scraton claimed fans were minutes away from disaster after several sustained injuries during the crush.

Omagh District Council, which licenses the event, launched an inquiry into the safety measures in place at Fintona’s Ecclesville Centre.

The acts playing Jamboree In The Park May 10-12 include Derek Ryan, Jim Devine, Mike Denver and Ritchie Remo.