THE Rihanna concert which attracted thousands of people to Wearside was marred by reports of widespread disorder.
Officers from Northumbria Police praised the majority of the 57,500 concert-goers who travelled to see the performer at the home of Sunderland AFC for her Diamonds World Tour.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “People were generally well behaved and boisterous. There were nine arrests for various offences, mainly related to alcohol.”
There were claims by some gig-goers that there were inadequate security measures to deal with pockets of disorder.
But a statement released by Sunderland football club’s head of safety and security, Paul Weir, said: “We welcomed over 57,000 people to the Stadium of Light last night.
“The crowd was lively, exuberant and the vast majority were very well-behaved, responding to directions and instructions from staff and security officials.
“Naturally, with any event of this magnitude there can be the potential for isolated minor incidents to occur.
“Safety and security is always our primary focus and any incidents on the evening were dealt with swiftly and comprehensively by the police and safety stewards. Overall the event went very well.”
Despite these reports, people took to social media sites to express their displeasure in the security at the gig.
One concert-goer, who wished not to be named, said: “The security was ridiculous and everyone was so drunk.
“There were a few fights in the crowd. At one point people were throwing things on to the stage and Rihanna said, ‘If this continues then we will all be going home early’.”
Sarah Blaney on Facebook said: “It was a total joke, security was non-existent, fights all over the place, nothing done about them, the control was hideous people getting squashed.”
Another user, Linda Patrick, said: “My family missed part of David Guetta because of trouble on entrance. Lots of booze being sold and plenty of drunks. Christmas presents wasted. Very disappointed.”
Jenny Fairclough said: “The crowd control was disgusting. I will never go there for anything again. Put off for life.”
One user on Twitter, going under the name @shellyanna38, wrote: “Worst lack of public safety and security at #rihanna #SOL”.
At one point Rihanna said, ‘If this continues then we will all be going home early’.