After the dust had settled on Thursday morning and Garth Brooks fans left Skelton Travel clutching their treasured tickets, attention focused on the litter left behind by some of those in the queue.
The rubbish left a bum note with those who had formed their own little community having queued together for three nights.
Steven Jordan, one of those who’d been queuing in High Street Arcade since Monday evening said: “We tidied up all of our mess. I even went and got my van the next morning and lifted lots of the rubbish until the PSNI pulled up behind me and told me I was obstructing traffic and told me to move on. At that stage I had most of the rubbish and the rest was sitting beside the bins.
“As far as I am aware it was the younger ones that arrived on Wednesday night and made a mess of the town.
“Those very small minority of people have spoilt it for the rest of us and have caused an absolute uproar and personally I am not happy that those small minority of people had to bring us down with them.”
Councillor Carla Lockhart both condemned and commended those in the queue at Skelton’s. She said: “This is a bittersweet issue with two sides to the story. What we saw in Lurgan was a queue of people awaiting eagerly for tickets to go on sale in the well-known Skelton’s. There did appear to be a great atmosphere with some queuing from the Monday of that week.
“There were those who embraced the community spirit and enjoyed the experience and undoubtedly embraced their civic duty and did not litter. In fact there are many photos to prove this fact and I would commend those who did bring rubbish bags and ensure that their rubbish was disposed of in the right and proper way.
“However, there was a small element of people who did not exercise any civic duty and left rubbish in the High Street area with empty alcohol bottles being a common feature also. I was extremely disappointed in this activity and when I was contacted by concerned business owners and constituents I immediately spoke with Council and had the area cleaned within half an hour.
“It was a most unfortunate end to what appeared to be a fun occasion for the many who queued. This was a learning curve for council and I believe we should have been more proactive on the ground cleaning as time progressed.
“I believe the authorities were caught off guard and didn’t realise the level of interest in these tickets and the fact that there would be large crowds gathered within the area.
“I would also commend Skelton’s for their handling of the ticket sales and say that it is great to see a local business benefit from the very obvious Garth Brooks following.”