I was there withy dd and chaperoning one of the groups.
The delay lettingvthecsudience in was because it took longer for the kids to clear the concourse (they were going to the loos and buying food) and they wanted to make sure that we could keep track of everyone once the audience were let in
After we left the arena I got a call from one of the children's parents to say that they had witnessed an old lady falling very badly and were waiting with her until the ambulance came. The parents youngest dd was very distressed as there was apparently a lot of blood and the North car park exit was closed to allow ambulance access
Child protection offices were escorting every single school back to their coaches. The aim was to get every school out by 11pm. I think they was achieved.
I can't fault the organisation as far as the kids safety was concerned. I've Ben involved in much more chaotic events. I used to work at the NIA though so perhaps knew more of what to expect. Delays in doors opening is do commonplace I didn't even think about it.
Looking on our local FB page, and from an email sent round by the group leader, I think there's been a lot of frustration expressed about the way stagecoach HQ and the NIA actually handled the event. A shame they couldn't have done better, the kids worked so hard and produced an incredible show, but were let down by others incompetence both at the start and at the end.
We were in 2 seperate coaches, children and adults, arranged by our local SC. The adults made it back to our coach with no problem by 10.30 (never saw an ambulance!) but our SC group was the last to be 'released' from the arena, at gone midnight! The 2 coaches eventually met up at Warwick services on our way back to Hampshire at 1am. Arghh! My DD has already broken up, but I took the morning off work ...
My DD1 was - I thought it was absolutely amazing. Not so impressed with the time it took to clear the arena, though, but I suppose child protection/safety was beyond reproach. Home at 3am, just coming to!