'Abysmally organised' - Disappointed customers slam Monster Truck event at Newcastle Racecourse

The muddy conditions at the Newcastle Monster Trucks event and inset two of the customers
The muddy conditions at the Newcastle Monster Trucks event and inset two of the customers -Credit:Chronicle Live

A bank holiday event has been described by disappointed customers as "overhyped" and "abysmally organised".

Newcastle Monster Trucks was due to take place at Newcastle Racecourse between Saturday and Monday. Tickets for the event, which includes a Monster Truck show and access to a fun fair, cost £6.50 each and parking is an extra £7.50 per vehicle.

The conditions were so muddy on Sunday that one family walked out before the afternoon show began and another family arrived to discover the evening show had been cancelled.

ChronicleLive has been told that those who attended in wheelchairs or with pushchairs were unable to get anywhere near the show as the metal grid, which was acting as a pathway, did not extend far enough.

Another customer said that he was unable to attend the event in Newcastle with his family on Saturday as there was no disabled parking available and a three-hour wait to enter.

The muddy conditions surrounding the fun fair
The muddy conditions surrounding the fun fair -Credit:Chronicle Live

A mum-of-one, who attended the Newcastle Monster Trucks event on Sunday, described it as "absolutely horrific". She said there were lots of unhappy people, most of which were leaving.

The 36-year-old compared the experience to that of the Charlie & Chocolate Factory event which took place in Glasgow, Scotland, earlier this year. She said: "It was overhyped and it was unsafe and it was was underwhelming. I felt like I had been scammed really."

The mum, from Howdon, North Shields, said she attended to the event in the morning with her husband and her eight-year-old son. They were joined by friends and their two-year-old son.

The mum said that the field was extremely muddy and those with wheelchairs or pushchairs were unable to get near the area where the monster truck show was due to take place.

She said: "They had a metal grid that ran past the fairground rides so people could get to the fairground but they couldn't actually go down and see the show. It was quite a distance from where that ended. There was a lady at the end and she couldn't get any further down. She just couldn't see it.

"I saw wheelchair users coming in and I thought they are going to be disappointed. They're not going to see anything if they've got a wheelchair or a pushchair. They couldn't use the toilets either, they had about six portaloos in the middle of the field."

The walkway reportedly didn't extend all the way to the show
The walkway reportedly didn't extend all the way to the show -Credit:Chronicle live

When they arrived at around 10.30am, they were told the show wouldn't be on until 2pm. She said her and her husband decided to leave with their son rather than stand waiting for hours in a muddy field.

She said: "We booked the tickets online for the monster truck event with fair. I think it was marketed the wrong way, it should have been 'fair with monster trucks!'

"At around 11, there were just two scrap cars (which) they were going to drive. They made an announcement saying 'Go and enjoy the rides and come back at two o'clock, that's when the monster trucks will be on'.

"It was like a mud bath. Hook a duck was £5 and the other rides were £4.

"We decided we couldn't stand in a boggy field until 2 o'clock so we took the little one to Inflata Nation instead. We just cut our losses, we had other things we could have been doing with our time."

The mum said it took them around half an hour to get out of the event. She said: "As we were trying to get out it was absolutely heaving. There were drones and drones of people walking in as were were walking out.

"It was really unsafe. There was tons of people coming in as were trying to drive out. The stewards couldn't control the crowds.

"My other two friends stayed with their little boy and they said it wasn't worth staying. The trucks just drove around, went over a couple of cars and that's all they could do."

Dean Young with his eight-year-old son Harley-Paul
Dean Young with his eight-year-old son Harley-Paul -Credit:Chronicle Live

Dean Young, 42, said he attended the Newcastle Monster Trucks event on Saturday with his family, due to it proclaiming to be wheelchair/disability accessible.

He said his party included three disabled people - his mother, who has had a hip replacement, his wife, who has a chronic hip condition, and his eight-year-old son Harley-Paul, who is severely autistic.

Dean also took along his four other children. He paid for eight tickets, parking for two cars, as well as a booking fee and refund protection - a total of £75.82. However, when they arrived, they discovered there was no disabled parking and a three-hour wait to enter the event.

The care manager, from Bedlington, Northumberland, said: "We asked if they had disabled parking and were told that they didn't have disabled parking. The parking site itself was absolutely flooded. There was cars parked on the side of the road and it wasn't really accessible.

"We asked how long the queue would be and we were told an-hour-and-a-half for half of the queue. We were expecting it to be a three hour wait. When we said 'We can't possibly wait on that' we were just shown where the exit was! I was absolutely shocked and appalled."

The dad-of-five said he ended up spending another £50 at McDonalds to pacify the children. He said: "I think it's absolutely abysmally organised. There's no clear communication about disabled access. It was really disappointing."

Ben Doherty with his five-year-old son Hal
Ben Doherty with his five-year-old son Hal -Credit:Chronicle Live

Ben Doherty, from Fenham, Newcastle, planned to attend the 4pm - 8pm showing on Sunday evening with his two sons, aged 14 and five, his brother-in-law and his four-year-old nephew.

The 42-year-old, who works as a manager within a bank, said they spent 45 minutes in traffic on the racecourse site and 15 minutes trying to get into the site - only to be told that the show was cancelled. They were told to return on Monday but were unable to do so due to seeing family elsewhere.

Ben said: "An hour in traffic with a four year old and a five year old, then taking them home disappointed is no joke. We went for the trucks, we wouldn't have bothered buying the tickets otherwise.

"My first thought was keep it together because the kids are going to be pretty disappointed. This was their big Sunday afternoon out.

"My 14-year-old was pretty outraged, I'm trying to calm him down. He's like 'They shouldn't get away with this' and 'Are we going to get a refund because it's really expensive'. When I got there I couldn't believe I had paid £7.50 for parking - to park in a muddy field.

"Facebook was blowing up with comments from people saying 'This is ridiculous, cancel the show'. They took all the comments down and they are still advertising for today. I think that's pretty dishonest. They should be more upfront."

Another image of the muddy conditions at Newcastle Racecourse
Another image of the muddy conditions at Newcastle Racecourse -Credit:Chronicle Live

On Monday, Monster Trucks Newcastle issued an apology to customers on social media. In a statement, they said: "We would firstly like to apologise for the late notice regarding yesterday's Monster Truck event postponement. The decision was made at the last minute due to a significant increase in rainfall around 3pm, which further compromised the ground conditions.

"Safety First

"Our top priority is always the safety of our guests and performers. Following a risk assessment conducted in accordance with HSE guidelines, postponing the event was the safest course of action.

"Not Cancelled, Just Postponed

"We understand there may have been some confusion. The event was not cancelled, but postponed. All guests with tickets to yesterday's event are welcome to attend the today's 4pm show.

"Unexpected Weather

"The recent unprecedented amount of rain created difficult challenges with the field conditions. Despite this, our team worked tirelessly to ensure the event remained accessible as practicably possible.

"Learning from Feedback

"We appreciate all feedback, especially constructive criticism that allows us to improve future events. While we understand some negative feedback may arise due to the postponement, we hope you'll consider attending today's 4 PM show. See You Today!"

Big Peter Ltd, who has provided the trucks for the event, also posted a statement on social media saying: "People of Newcastle!!! It is our intention to do something with the trucks today. However we must drive to the conditions which may mean elements of our performance could be pulled for safety concerns. We made the very hard decision to pull the second performance yesterday in order to best preserve the field for today."

Chronicle Live has contacted Newcastle Monster Trucks and Big Pete Ltd for a comment.