Hundreds of people swarmed the coat check area, snatching up jackets and leaving people without their belongings after a concert at EnerCare Centre at Exhibition Place in Toronto on Saturday night.
Just after midnight when the Disclosure concert came to an end many people were lined up eagerly waiting to get through the coat check area.
Melanie Langevine was seeing Disclosure for the second time and attended the concert with a group of friends.
“People just started to break into the barricades they had set up for the coat check,” Langevine said. “People were breaking in… people were crowd surfing in and nothing was happening.”
Langevine described that people were shaking on the barricades and yanking on them to get to their coats.
“The people there admittedly behaved very badly,” she said.
Langevine said the security guards and police were standing nearby and did not intervene, and that’s when she started to film the incident.
People are seen rummaging through the racks of coats in the video and some people are seen leaving the barricaded area with clothing bundled in their arms.
Langevine said there were about 15 to 20 security guards standing nearby, and she questioned some as to why they weren’t doing anything.
Langevine did recover her jacket but some people were not as fortunate.
“My girlfriend and I are extremely upset with the issues that occurred after the disclosure concert,” Tyler Boss wrote in an email to CityNews. “Her $250 jacket was stolen. No security in site (sic). No police to control this ‘allowed looting.'”
Another person who attended the concert said it poorly planned.
“There were girls lining up to pee in a corner on the floor because they were told only one single stall bathroom was available to them,” Kaveh Baradaran told CityNews.
In a statement issued to CityNews, Enercare spokesperson Laura Purdy said the promoter, Embrace Presents, was responsible for both coat check and event security at the concert.
“We are asking the promoter to communicate with patrons and are very concerned with the events that transpired,” Purdy said in the statement.
Ashley Trevellin who was also at the concert said it was very disorganized and said “many people, men and women, ended up urinating on the ground in a stairwell corner because the lines were too long.”
Natalie Brais had a VIP ticket to the concert and paid the $4.00 to put her grey Eddie Bauer jacket into coat check which had $200 of cash, two asthma inhalers, the key to her home, her MP3 player and a few small valuables inside of it.
When she went to get her jacket it was gone.
Brais did find her purple scarf which was the only thing to keep her warm on her walk to a friend’s place she was going to stay at downtown Toronto.
“Hundreds of people and no semblance of order,” she said. “There were security guards and cops standing around doing nothing.”
Brais travelled from a town near Sudbury, Ontario and when she couldn’t find her jacket she recalled thinking “I have no way of going home, I just about got hypothermia.”
CityNews reached out to Embrace but did not receive a response or comment back.
Many people have taken to the Embrace Facebook page to post about their lost jackets in hopes of finding them.
Embrace has responded with a statement to many of the people on the Facebook page:
We’re very sorry about the coat check situation. Anyone with a missing coat, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a photo of the coat check ticket as well as a description of the coat.
Embrace also said on their Facebook page that they were setting up a lost and found for all coats.
“My jacket isn’t lost, someone walked out with it,” Brais said.
Langevine thinks Embrace and Enercare Centre fell short and she wants the police and security to be better trained to handle the crowds.
“I will not be going to another Enercare event at all,” Langevine said.