‘Absolute disaster’: Hundreds walk out of daredevil show
Hundreds of "disgusted" Aussies walked out and booed loudly when a supposedly high-octane Sydney show from some of the world's best daredevils fell disastrously flat.
A 6500-strong crowd gathered to watch the world-famous Crusty Demons motorbike stunt show at the Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Saturday, and they were promised death-defying stunts, pyrotechnics and scantily clad women.
However, attendees - paying up to $139 each for tickets - were left sorely disappointed at almost every aspect of the show, which was called off after five minutes of tame jumps and a burnout.
"It was a total disaster," Newcastle father-of-three Ryan Baker told news.com.au. "I've never been to a worse event in my entire life. Hundreds and hundreds walked out in disgust."
He said there was an hour of "boring" 20-minute interviews with riders before the five-minute show, after which the crowd was told to "get drunk at the bar".
The show's organisers blamed a sudden blast of strong winds that made conditions "unworkable and life-threatening for the riders" - meaning they had to make some "adjustments to the show".
However, almost 600 people have complained and a major backlash has begun on social media, with disgruntled show-goers demanding their money back.
"It was my seven-year-old son's first-ever motorbike show and it was so boring that he said he never wants to go to one ever again," Mr Baker said. "There were kids there who live and breathe motocross and they were saying the same sort of things."
Mr Baker said he drove three-and-a-half hours to western Sydney with his three young children, having shelled out $320 for a family ticket, plus one.
However, he knew upon arriving that something wasn't right when he saw people swearing at and arguing with security guards at the stadium's entrance in front of their kids.
"It was so disorganised," he said. "There was just one big bottleneck going in and no separate line for bag checks, so people were being pulled out of the line and you could see them all arguing with security," Mr Baker said.
Another attendee, Lorrinda Hendry from Wollongong, told news.com.au she, like many others, turned up to find their seat had been taken.
"Families started fighting in the crowd because they booked five seats and ended up with three and found others sitting in their seats - it seemed like the organisers had double-booked," Mr Baker said.
"VIP" ticketholders, who paid $139 for their seats, were also disappointed to have a limited view of the show.
Ms Hendry said that once the show began - reportedly up to 23 minutes late - two MCs spent over an hour introducing the riders before five minutes of group jumps.
"There was one burnout, a couple of jumps and a backflip - anyone can do this and these guys are supposed to be the best in the world," Mr Baker said.
After the five-minute performance, there was another break and that's when hundreds started walking out.
"After about 20 minutes the MCs came back out and all the bike riders were lined up in the front and we were informed that due to bad weather they had decided to cancel the show. The leftover crowd weren't happy to say the least," Ms Hendry said.
After loudly booing and making their way out, motocross fans told news.com.au they'd had no luck in getting a refund.
Some said they're thousands of dollars out of pocket after travelling up to seven hours and booking several night's accommodation to see the Crusty Demons.
Organisers, Complete Events Group, told news.com.au regular safety meetings were carried out throughout the day to monitor the weather conditions.
Concerned fans asked whether the show was going ahead on Facebook, to be told by the Crusty Demons, "No wind is going to stop us."
It looked as if it was safe to press ahead, as the forecast for the evening improved, and the wind speed was reported to drop below 15km/h.
However, Complete Events Group said the wind picked up dramatically to what had been predicted and was coming through the stadium in gusts of over 43km/h, which made it "unworkable and life-threatening" for the riders.
They said they had to make some adjustments to the show, and the Crusty Demons performed "as many of the stunts as possible for over an hour".
"The speed of the wind and change in direction on Saturday night made it impossible for the riders to continue the show. No one is more disappointed than them, they wanted to put on the best show they could for the fans," said Matt Mahoney from Complete Events Group.
Complete Events Group has added a second show back at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on November 16 and will be offering all ticketholders complimentary tickets to attend.
Hundreds of attendees say they're not interested and want a refund.
However, they've hit a brick wall - even those who paid extra for insurance on their tickets - and they're now petitioning on social media and writing to Fair Trading.
The organiser is understood to be looking at each individual refund request and judging it on a case-by-case basis.