A home for random writings

I've decided to create this blog for any writing that I want to make public, such as for #FridayFlash or #CircleofScribes. Please feel free to read and comment!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jedward fiasco at Newbridge Silver

Dear Jedward fans - before you attack me, at least do me the courtesy of reading to the end of my post, where I make it clear that I don't blame Jedward. Thank you.

This is the content of an email that I sent yesterday to the Ray D'Arcy show on TodayFM, which I cc'd to Louis Walsh and to Newbridge Silver:

Dear Ray, Jenny, Will and Mairead,

This probably won't be the only email you'll get on this subject!

Yesterday, as advertised on the Newbridge Silver website and also as emailed to everyone on Newbridge Silver's mailing list, Jedward were to appear at the store. As you can see on the notice, they claimed that entry was free and all fans were welcome. 

I brought my 8 year old daughter down at 4.30 to wait to see them. We were far from the first - large numbers of kids had been waiting and queuing since 9am that morning; I heard of some who'd been there since 6am.

By the time we arrived, the signs outside Newbridge Silver had changed to say that Jedward were arriving at 7pm, but we were prepared to wait. There was no attempt at crowd control outside the doors, apart from occasional security guards wandering out and shouting, so I kept my daughter at a safe distance. 

Eventually an entourage of cars and a van went in through the back gate of Newbridge Silver, which obviously contained the duo. The kids immediately set up a cacophony of screaming, shouting and chanting in huge excitement at the prospect of seeing the boys. 

After a few minutes, a spokesman appeared at the front door to say that no-one was being allowed in to the centre, and that Jedward weren't going to be coming out. He shouted at the kids at the front to clear away from the door, and tried to get the crowd to disperse. There was utter confusion, particularly as most people couldn't hear what he was saying. 

By chance my daughter and I were far enough back from the door to notice the back gate opening again, and the entourage of cars leaving. My daughter just caught a glimpse of one of the boys at the window of the van, and they were gone. They hadn't said hello to a single child, or signed even one autograph. There were children, some very young, in floods of tears. 

My daughter turned to me and said "That was disgraceful! They just used us." Out of the mouths of babes! She was absolutely right; there were plenty of photographers there to snap the crowds, probably plenty of business for Newbridge Silver, but what a disgraceful way for Jedward to treat their fans - especially when the fans are just kids as young as my daughter and even younger. 

We all know that Jedward are a spectacularly talentless pair of kids, but children inexplicably love them. They're going to have a very short career, though, if they continue to treat their fans this way. Certainly they lost one fan today for good, according to my daughter. 

Today I received a response from Newbridge Silver, which was as follows: 

Good Morning Ms. Travers,
Please see statement below from Newbridge Silverware:
Newbridge Silverware very much regret that Jedward could not make their appearance at the Visitor Centre on July 20th.
However the decision to cancel their appearance was completely out of its control. This decision was made by the Jedward management team and was made for Health and Safety reasons.
Please note that this event was not advertised as “signing” or a “meet and greet” event.

It was our intention to give fans the opportunity to see “Jedward” when they arrived, before they entered the Showrooms and Museum.

Absolutely no one was to be given access to the Museum as filming was planned with RTE.
This point was made clear to all fans several times during the day.  
We were conscious of the fans that turned up very early at the Showrooms and decided to give out access tickets to the first 40 fans only.
However as the day progressed “Jedward” management team became more and more alarmed by the numbers gathered outside.   The number of fans that arrived was not anticipated.
The decision to cancel was made at 6.30pm by the “Jedward” team and was done with the safety of the fans in mind.
Newbridge Silverware very much wanted to give fans the opportunity to see “Jedward” but safety is of primary importance. 
We do acknowledge and appreciate the disappointment experienced by all fans and thank you for your understanding on this matter.
kind regards,
Customer Care
Newbridge Silverware

Since I found this reply inadequate, I have responded as below: 

Dear "Customer Care" team,

I am in receipt of your reply in relation to the Jedward event. I take issue with a number of your points, which I have itemised below. 

1. You say that this event was not advertised as a "signing" or a "meet and greet" event. Granted. 

However, it was advertised (and I quote directly from your website) as "Entry Free" - implying that admission would be granted - and that "All fans are welcome" implying that there would be some reward for the fans who attended - even just to see Jedward without any signings or meetings. 

2. You say that "Absolutely no one was to be given access to the Museum as filming was planned with RTE." Once again I refer you to your website, advertising "Entry Free". Again, that implies admission. 

3. You say that this point was made clear to fans during the day - yes it was, but this was in direct contradiction to the information on your website. This left people - especially children - confused as to your real intentions. It was also done in a manner that was rude and upsetting to a number of people, especially children, many of whom had waited for hours to see their idols. 

4. You say that there were Health and Safety issues with the crowds, that prevented Jedward from appearing. Indeed there were, and they were entirely of your own making. You made no attempt at crowd control, nor were any clear directions given to the fans outside as to what was expected of them.  I find it laughable that you say "The number of fans that arrived was not anticipated." With all due respect, you would have to have been living under a rock for the last six months in order to be unaware of the popularity of Jedward. However, since you advertised this "event" on your website and also emailed everyone on your mailing list about it, I can only assume that this was not the case and that you were, in fact, fully aware of their popularity. 

5. "The decision to cancel was made at 6.30pm by the “Jedward” team and was done with the safety of the fans in mind." If you truly were concerned for the safety of the fans then you would have planned this event better. Crowd barriers should have been erected around the entrance to your shop, out of bounds areas should have been cordoned off and properly briefed security staff should have been in attendance. 

I do not blame Jedward's management for not letting them appear at this point; I blame Newbridge Silver entirely for lack of planning and lack of health and safety considerations that led to this decision. 

Your management failed on a number of counts. You failed to give clear information; you failed to exercise crowd control and to protect the health and safety of very young children; and you have now failed at good PR.


  1. Good going, Jane. This really sounds like a terrible nightmare, and as you so correctly stated, totally devastating for the children. I'm glad I didn't know about it, as my 9 year old would have wanted to go.
    Glad you gave 'em both barrels, and I hope others complained too.

  2. Here flippin'here! Awful pair of talentless idiots as they are - and obnoxiously arrogant - you are right when you say kids love them. They won't last as long as the Cheeky Girls with their attitudes.

  3. Thanks for your comments Sally and Nettie!

    In fairness Nettie, I don't think yesterday's fiasco was Jedward's fault. I don't blame their management at all for pulling the plug - the venue was in such chaos, that I would have done the same thing.

    It's the venue - Newbridge Silver - that I take issue with for organising the whole thing so appallingly badly.

  4. Well, all I can say is that if they did make announcements throughout the day that plans had changed and no one would get into the showroom, they didn't try very hard to clear fans away. They clearly seriously underestimated the number of people who would turn up.

    I think it's more a case of them seeing it as a chance for some publicity for them using Jedward by promising something, without having first agreed it with Jedward's management, and then having to cover their tracks.

    Unfortunately, as well as being bad publicity not only for them but Jedward, it's left a lot of kids disappointed, all of which could have been avoided, if this had been handled properly.

  5. Dear Jane

    I have never met anyone as committed to their fans as John and Edward. They go out of their way 24/7 to make themselves accessible to fans whenever they can, they tweet all the time where we can meet them, and get us meet and greets. They do signings galore and meet and greets everywhere they go, on only 4 hours sleep a night because they want to give all their fans a chance to meet them. I don't know any other act ever that have done so much for so many fans in such a short period of time. The boys will have been absolutely gutted when they were told it was too dangerous to stop and the blame needs to be put firmly at the door of the venue and possibly management who underestimated what the turn out would be. Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting and spending any time with these two amazing fun positive young guys, who are totally entertaining, will know they would have wanted to have done this event if they had been allowed to.


  6. Thanks Kath. Yes, exactly! You hit the nail on the head.

  7. Excuse me but sorry, John and Edward ALWAYS want to meet their fans. They jump at the chance, I recently went to see them and John was about to run to meet us when he was dragged back by security! Its not their fault! Its their security, they decide whether John and Edward can go out! Edward is also on crutches people should realize the crowds go crazy and push, this is dangerous for them! Don't say they are disgraceful they are sweet and wouldn't like their fans to cry.

  8. I wouldn't blame John and Edward. They love meeting their fans but management makes the decisions of how long they can appear and when they can. Newbridge Silver is to blame, complete lack of understanding and organisation.

  9. Hello, I am a Jedward fan, and I am sure that Jedward really did want to make an appearance. In interviews prior to this event, they have repeatedly said that it's their management team that act like 'divas' not them. I understand the disappointment in not actually meeting Jedward, but you must consider the fact Jedward probably would have had no say in the final decision. I hope that this experience doesn't mean your daughter doesn't like them permanently.

    Ashleigh C.

  10. Thanks Lynn, Abbie, Aiveen and Ashalee for your comments!

    Yes, I've come to realise that this fiasco was not at all Jedward's fault - as I clearly said in my second email to Newbridge Silver. I now lay the blame for this mess firmly at Newbridge Silver's feet for their lack of organisation. If I were Jedward's management I would have pulled out too.

    It's a real shame that Newbridge Silver's lack of forethought led to disappointment for so many.

  11. The decision had absolutely nothing to do with the boys themselves and it is not fair for you to say that they will loose fans because of this. There ismore to this story and some of the things you have said due to the dissapointement of not meeting the boys were unfair. I am very sorry your day did not work out as planned but do not take it out on John and Edward. The twins have been non stop working since the xfactor tour, edward is on crutches after a very serious injury but still he has continued to travel the country to meet all the fans for hours each day. He is in huge pain but still, he has continued for the fans. They get close to no sleep because they are working so hard. I was there yesterday, and there was a very good reason for the appearance to be cancelled. Please do not blame the boys for this, they are in absolutely no way responsible. Your daughter shouldn't give up on them, as they are the lovliest boys I have ever met in my life. Yesterdays events were out of their control.

  12. Hi Lizzy, thanks for your comment. However, I think you should read my blog post more carefully, particularly my reply to Newbridge Silver.

    After receiving Newbridge Silver's response this morning, it is clear to me that Newbridge Silver are entirely to blame for lack of planning and foresight.

    Do, please, read my reply to Newbridge Silver (at the end of the post) and you'll see what I said.

  13. The twins do so much for their fans and would never intentionally disappoint. They said on radio today that they were disappointed they couldnt do it, but surely everyone's health and safety comes first, including your children.

  14. Hi Z, thanks for your comment. However, if you read my post you'll see that I don't blame Jedward, I blame Newbridge Silver for their lack of health and safety precautions.

  15. Appreciate you saying you arent blaming Jedward but calling them "talentless" is also probably not going to endear you to Jedward fans to be honest.

  16. Jane, I hope this won't put you off trying to take your daughter again. If you can get her to a concert she'll have a great time as the boys are thoroughly entertaining live! Sorry she was so disappointed. Boo hiss at Newbridge Silver for deffo. The boys commented on a radio interview today how upset they were at not being able to do it and how cool all the crazy fans were tho.

  17. Hi z, I'm entitled to my opinion! ;)

  18. Hi Lynn, yes, I heard that about the boys on the radio today. I fully believe that they would have met the kids if they could.

    I'd like to take my daughter to a properly organised concert alright; hopefully it would be a much better experience for her. :)

  19. Hi Jane...

    You should not take your daughter by simply go through some blog news of the website. If you decides to attend any concern then you should fully confirm from any other website blog news like Newbridge Silverware Shop or search on the Google of that news.