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Solis: Pakistan Music Festival stopped as hundreds storm venue

The Music Festival in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, had to be halted after hundreds of fake ticket holders stormed the venue, the organizers said.

Solis Festival stated people broke through the barricades after they were denied entry to the event on Saturday.

Many then climbed to the VIP stage, which collapsed as a result of overcrowding, causing injuries.

Several women have accused men of groping and harassing them in chaos.

Dozens accused the Solis Festival of poor planning and security management, calling for “answers,” but the organizers said they had taken the necessary precautions.

“We chose the venue and our security based on the number of tickets sold, however we underestimated the sheer volume of fake tickets sold illegally,” said Solis in a statement on Instagram. “We are deeply sorry that this experience was ruined by others. We could not put your safety and security at risk and had to stop the event.” 

The Solis Festival is called Pakistan’s first and biggest concert series. This was the fourth e-Dance Music event featuring international performers.

Hundreds attended the festival when it started to be overtaken by those who allegedly held fake tickets. VIP tickets were sold for up to 11,000 Pakistani rupees ($71; £54).

One woman, who said she was at the festival on the VIP stage, said the concert was 30 minutes in when the stage collapsed.

“The stage was almost 7 ft [ 3 m ] high and I’ve lost consciousness for a minute. All I remember is that I’m struggling to get up and a guy starts to grab my hand. We’re getting stamped and literally no one’s helping … people start touching groping and harassing us,” said the Instagram user named Shanza.

She asked in her Instagram post: “Where are you now, Solis festival? How are you planning on compensating the physical pain, mental trauma [and] sexual harassment?”

Another woman with a VIP ticket said she had been harassed after the stage collapsed.

“When I regained consciousness, a guy had ‘fallen’ on top of me… moving his hands all over my body ‘trying to get up’. I pushed him and [then] he spit on me. I tried to get up but I couldn’t,” Fatima Ahsan said that in a post to a private Facebook group named “Soul Sisters Pakistan,” according to a screenshot on Twitter.

A Twitter user wrote, “Solis organizers should be held 100% responsible, complete negligence on their part.”

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