Holmenkollen organizer: People’s behavior is tragic
The organizer of the ski festival in Holmenkollen is disappointed that so many made Saturday’s party into a dunken ravage.
– As the organizer, we are disappointed with how the audience behaved. It’s simply tragic, says communications manager in Holmenkollen Ski Festival, Emilie Nordskar, to NTB on Sunday morning.
– We do not want to experience what we did on Saturday, and the reports we received from the police were abhorrent. This is not an audience we want in our arena or that we wish to be associated with Holmenkollen. This is supposed to be a safe and positive sports event where all in our audience feels included, she says.
The organizers had expected around 100,000 people in the Holmenkollen this weekend, but according to estimates, as many as that turned up on Saturday alone. When many were very drunk, it became a complete chaos when everyone was returning home at the same time after the 50 kilometer cross country and the ski jumping event. More than hundred persons were treated for alcohol related injuries, people fainted in the crowds and a woman was seriously injured when she fell down onto the Metro track.
– We were prepared for large crowds, but that this many would attend a 50 kilometres run on a Saturday, was far more than we had ever imagined. What happened on Saturday is just saddening, says Nordskar.
– For the past two years, we have been working very closely with the police, Oslo municipality and The Metro to dampen problems and to curb the party we experience happening in the area. There have been more police patrols, even more volunteers, better facilitation, and better logistics. Despite all these measures, what occurred on Saturday happened, she says.
There were 14-15,000 people in the actual arena on Saturday, and the organizer expects as many on Sunday. Sunday has however a stronger family profile, and based on past experiences, there is also much less alcohol consumed. Additionally there are far fewer people out in the open areas.
– There are far fewer that parties on the Sundays, it is Saturday the party is happening and the day we traditionally have to provide extra provisions, says Nordskar.
The organizer, together with the police, the municipality and Metro, has put in place additional security measures to ensure that everyone is going to be safe in Holmenkollen on Sunday.
– We have increased the security measures in cooperation with the police and the Metro significantly compared to Saturday. This is primarily because we have more people in place. The crew has been increased at the Metro stations: Holmenkollen, Besserud and Midtstuen, and we have an increased focus on Frognerseteren, says Nordskar.
Controls inside the arena
While the organizer has good control over the audience inside the arena, there is a completely different story on the outlying areas as they are open to the public.
– There were no serious events inside the arena on Saturday, but in the outlying areas we have to rely on the authorities to keep control. It is impossible for us as the organizer to control everyone in that area by ourselves, says Nordskar.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today