Anger as village centre ‘gridlocked’ after Little Mix concert

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Thousands of concert-goers led to traffic chaos in Ardingly on Friday when the world’s biggest girl band - Little Mix - performed in the village.

The girl band were at the South of England event centre as part of their Summer Shout Out tour. But tempers flared and police stepped in when queues of traffic all tried to leave at the same time as the concert ended.

One villager, who did not want to be named, said: “The whole of the village was gridlocked. There was a huge amount of anger and frustration and it seemed that they couldn’t cope with the situation.”

He said there were traffic jams from Ardingly to Haywards Heath and up to Turners Hill in the other direction.

“Everyone arrived at the same time. They had 5,000 cars and about 15,000 people. It’s clear that the village can’t cope with something like this.”

He said many concert-goers parked on verges and pavements in the village, rather than pay a £10 showground parking fee.

Meanwhile, people caught up in the queues took to Twitter to vent their feelings. One tweeted: “Absolutely terrible. Thousands of people with young children stranded for nearly 2 hours with no one in charge. Totally ruined concert.”

Another tweeted to Sussex Police: “anyone dealing with the traffic at ardingly tonight, thousands of cars stuck in car park. no cars moved for 1 hour. Help.”

And another: “Still here now over 1.5 hours with young kids, people getting very angry, arguements flaring up as people try to get out of this place.”

Sussex Police themselves replied: “We are aware and have traffic officers at scene, large number of vehicles trying to leave so will take some time unfortunately.”

Ardingly Parish Council had previously posted information about the concert on its website saying that parking was being controlled by event centre staff and volunteers.