Bluesfest turned off metal detectors for sold-out Foo Fighters crowd


At the sold-out Bluesfest show on Tuesday night, new security measures were effectively dropped to clear a backlog of thousands of people waiting to get inside to see the Foo Fighters.


Organizers admit the metal detectors were turned off for about an hour to move a crowd of thousands inside the grounds at LeBreton Flats, less than two hours before the Foo Fighters were set to play on the main stage at 8 p.m.

The decision was made at about 6:30 p.m. when Greta Van Fleet started playing, according to festival spokesperson Joe Reilly.

The crowd outside the festival grounds was so large, some people were briefly blocking traffic trying to get through the intersection at Booth Street and the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. (Kimberley Molina/CBC)

The festival sold out Tuesday night, reaching capacity at more than 30,000 people.

By about 6 p.m., thousands of eager attendees were standing outside the gates, many expressing confusion about where to line up to get through security.

Organizers saw more people than expected try to enter the line for people without bags, which was reduced to one entry point after long lines and confusion on the festival’s first night last Thursday for the Bryan Adams concert.

With more and more people arriving Tuesday night, security staff removed a zig-zagging line originally intended to move crowds more quickly through to the metal detectors, said Reilly. 

Some security guards were checking larger backpacks and purses, but many people could be seen walking through the metal detectors without their items being checked.

Reilly said there was no directive to have security staff stop checking purses and backpacks.

Big crowds like those seen Tuesday and last Thursday aren’t expected for the rest of the festival, which runs until Sunday, he added.

Less than two hours before one of Tuesday’s headline acts, Bluesfest organizers stopped using metal detectors in order to move the crowd inside more quickly. 0:29