THE organisers of Reminisce Festival have issued a statement after facing an avalanche of criticism from revellers.

The music extravaganza – which features a series of large tents that house dance music DJs and acts – went ahead in St Helens on Saturday with a capacity increased on previous shows.

In the region of 20,000 tickets were sold ahead of the event, with ticketholders travelling to Sherdley Park from around the country.

And while some festivalgoers have been swift to say they had an enjoyable time, many have hit out at facing hours of queues to enter the site and arenas inside.

Some have also voiced security concerns and labelled the organisation 'shambolic' and the overall experience a 'nightmare'.

Among those to contact the Star was one festival-goer who wrote: “We queued for two-and-a-half hours to get in. We then had to queue for another hour to get a drink.

“The card machine wasn’t working so we had to use all my cash to get drinks.

"If I wanted to get more cash out, I would have had to queue again.

“Basically we had no choice but to miss three-and-a-half hours of the festival queuing. We couldn’t get into any of the tents without queuing again.

“The main tent was absolutely no chance of getting in. People were sneaking under the tent to get in and I can’t say I blame them but I shouldn’t have to crawl on my knees to get into a tent.

“Basically, we paid to queue to get into the festival and to stand outside tents listening to the music when we could have done that for free and in the comfort of my own home and without having to buy overpriced drink and food.

“We had a reduced price residents tickets but even that was £110, too much to pay for this awful experience.”

The comment was mirrored by many posts shared on the Star’s Facebook page this morning.

Some questioned the decision to increase the capacity of the festival.

Groups of volunteers have also been out and about this morning cleaning litter on approaches to the park.

Responding to the criticisms, Lee Bulter, the Liverpool-based DJ who co-founded the event, said the internet system had failed shortly after the doors opened, causing disruption to contactless payments at tills and door scanning.

He said plenty of people had messaged him to say they enjoyed the day but he had also spent much time reading through the criticisms.

Mr Butler apologised to anyone who didn’t enjoy the occasion and said he wanted to respond to the complaints and be accountable, though he expressed disappointment at the personal insults he had faced.

In a statement, he said: “I've had so many messages off people that had an amazing time at Reminisce Festival.

“I’m seeing so many lovely posts and inbox messages of support, so thank you for them.

“I also spent a few hours reading the posts and messages from those who had a bad experience and I have to take the good with the bad.

“I'm always an honest lad and to say I’m devastated reading some of those posts and messages today is an understatement. I’m gutted, and some of the personal insults really hurt.

“We are just a small team and believe me we are all hurting that some never enjoyed their day.

“I know how much some of you were looking forward to it and today you're angry and upset. I get it.

“I'm so sorry to those who never enjoyed the festival.

“There were a few things that went wrong from the off. Our internet feed went down as soon as we opened, which left us with no card payment system at the tills and it meant the door scanning was hugely affected.

“This led to awful queues at the gate, at the bars and at the cash point and I totally get those who where frustrated.

“This also meant that the ticketing system on the entrance was running slowly when connecting to the backup 4G system.

“4G networks are known to become unavailable at crowded events, and thousands of customers were unable to download their e-tickets at entry.

“I'm not hiding away from the issues at all. We need to learn from yesterday and take stock of what was not right and improve and we will, I promise you that.

“We all worked so hard yesterday behind the scenes trying to fix all this, despite some being close to tears at one point.

“But I understand that I’m the face of it and so I refuse to hide away today, that wouldn’t be fair.

“I've seen so many amazing posts from people who had a ball, but also those who never and I can’t pretend they're not there.

“The negative messages and posts hurt so bad that I just don’t take in the nice ones to be honest.

“Anyway, I just wanted to get something out there and be accountable. I'm not gonna spend all day reading more personal insults because I’m already absolutely gutted reading the ones I've already seen.

“We really tried our best. We didn’t get it all right and trust me we will learn and fix any issues, I can promise you that.

“I can't answer all your messages and inboxes so I wanted to post something here for you all.

"I've also seen some people's true colours today, people in the industry and DJs chatting nonsense that’s not true and kicking us whilst were down, some who are usually really nice to my face, smiling assassins.

“I’m so sorry to those who never enjoyed there day."