Fans recall camping out on freezing night to see Genesis in Bradford


A COUPLE of weeks ago we ran this photo of the long queue for tickets for the mighty Genesis.

Fans camped out all night in January 1980 for tickets to see the supergroup at St George’s Hall.

There was a big response to the photo from those who were in the queue, with some memories coming in on the T&A We Grew Up in Bradford Facebook page. Here are some of their memories:

Paul Gallon was one of those who waited all night. He said: “I was in that queue, waiting out all night from around 7pm.

It was a lovely atmosphere. I remember a couple of small fires been lit round the back of Hall Ings in the car park to keep people warm and the fire brigade kept turning up to put out the fires. Most of us were sat or laid down and lots of banter going on. It was a very cold night. I remember wearing my Afghan coat which wasn’t normally practical during the day but was perfect for a chilly night in a queue.

“As the night went on the atmosphere changed slightly and word went through the queue (around 3am) that people were pushing in at the front or were being let in. People stood up and started to run forward, it was a bit chaotic for a while. A lot of people, including myself, lost our places and ended up further back. From then on it was a matter of waiting for the ticket office to open. The police arrived just after the mini stampede and things settled down.

“Once the ticket office opened the queue started to move and people who’d got tickets were walking back down the queue with broad smiles. I saw one guy already trying to sell on a couple of tickets. As I neared the ticket office we were told by the police that the tickets were all gone. I was really disappointed after being there all night. If it hadn’t have been for the queue jumping I would have got a ticket.

“A few weeks later I managed to buy a ticket from a friend of a friend for the inflated price of £10 (it felt a lot of money then). I had a seat in the balcony and the atmosphere at St George’s Hall that night was electric. Genesis were still seen as a progressive rock group at that time, it was pre their more commercial years. They didn’t usually play at smaller halls. It was like the atmosphere at a football or rugby cup final. It made the long queue on a cold night in January very much worth it.”

Stuart Swales wasn’t so lucky. He recalls: “I was in that queue all night. Very pleasant atmosphere, people were happy to keep your place. But the police really didn’t help matters in the morning – their response to people gathering on the road directly outside the box office was to force them into the front of the queue. We were ushered backwards to make room for them. This just got worse as the morning passed. I went away with nothing.”

Tony Heaton: “I’m in that queue somewhere. I was there from teatime, it was freezing all night. Badly organised though. I was only about 50 people from the door but still ended up in the ‘gods’ due to people jumping the queue next morning.

Fantastic gig though.”

Chris Hester: “I got near the end of the queue and the tickets ran out. Gutted.”

Emma Clayton


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