After Dark organisers make huge changes to event after damning reviews

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Organisers of a new Halloween event say its last night was a success after it implemented changes following scathing online reviews.

Hull Live told on Saturday how the team behind After Dark at Driffield Showground had been left “devastated” after customers branded its first event on Friday evening as “terrible”.

The event cost £12 or £20 for VIP fast track tickets and included three live action scare mazes – Outpost 42, The Convent, and Old Stinker. Live music, food and drink and more were also on offer at the event.

But the first night failed to impress many, with some taking to social media to vent their disappointment, and some even wanting refunds ahead of the second and final event on Saturday night.

On Saturday, a spokesman for the event said the negative comments had “saddened” all involved and said the price reflected the fact it was the first time the event had been held. You can read what they said in full by clicking here.

The spokesman said it was hard to improve the event based on many of the “general” comments left, but said some changes would be made based on some of the feedback, including adding more actors and making it “jumpier”.



There were some frights
After Dark at Driffield Showground

More marshals were also put in place to help spread out the amount of people attending across the attractions so everyone was not queuing at the same place and plans were established to avoid attractions being temporarily closed during the event, as they had been on Friday evening due to bad weather.

And following alterations, the spokesman said the team finally received the response they were hoping for, with many taking to social media to praise it after Saturday’s event.

Posting on the event’s Facebook page, one comment said: “We had a brilliant night, thanks everyone.”

 

While another said: “I enjoyed tonight thanks! I’ve never been to anything like this before so to compare I can’t but I did enjoy it and I’m glad I went and we were VIP tickets so queuing wasn’t an issue. Thank you.”

And one said after reading the reviews online, she was “pleasantly surprised”.



Jamie, Amanda, Courtney and George Robinson enjoyed as family night out
Jamie, Amanda, Courtney and George Robinson enjoyed a family night out at After Dark at Driffield Showground

“After reading reviews from Friday, I was pleasantly surprised last night!” she said. “We came as a group of eight and all of us enjoyed it!

“Seems a lot of people came expecting York Maze at £12, far from York Maze but a couple of hours of good fun and laughs! Something different for Driffield!
Thank you!”

One man who said he’s been to some brilliant Halloween events previously, offered up some tips.

“After yesterday’s reviews, I must say it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be,” he wrote. “Yes, if they plan on doing it again next year, there’s lots of room for improvements.
“We are a family of Halloween fanatics and have visited many scare sites from Twinlakes to Universal horror nights in Florida so can honestly say we’ve been in the best.

“I’d say for a first year attempt, they have many lessons to learn. First, better make up, in truth that is poor. Second, more scare actors, it was all too predictable. Third, set dressing, too many areas with nothing to see that’s in the mazes.

“Outside, the mazes not enough walkabout actors, and very little to do. But I’m sure, given time and experience, they can get better. We still had a good time as a family just all too brief – arrived a 6.15pm and was all done and back in our car for 7.20pm.”



Outpost 42 was one of the scary attractions
Outpost 42 was one of the scary attractions

Posting on Hull Live’s Facebook page, others also praised the event.

One said: “Great night Saturday. Just what you’d expect from the price. It was all what you made it. Group of six from Hull had an ace time. Nice staff everywhere, actors in the mazes, room for improvement, but we really did enjoy it. My favourite was Outpost. Well worth it so glad we did it. See you next year.”

Another wrote: “Seems it was definitely better tonight and they really did listen to feedback. Still needs improvement though. Exactly why I don’t go to the opening night on anything lol there’s always hiccups.”

A spokesman for the event said he would not put all the blame on the weather on Friday evening but said it did cause issues.

He said on Saturday night, the cast were also used in a better way and were spread out more.

“We sat down yesterday morning and we looked at constructive comments we received by email and on Facebook,” he said.

“We had calls and messages from people coming last night asking for refunds. We said we have made some changes, give it a chance and let us know what you think.

“We implemented all the changes. It was like a totally different event.



Hundreds queued to get into the attraction
Hundreds queued to get into the attraction on Friday evening

“People turned up in high spirits. The whole atmosphere was just better.”

He said the team were happy to see the positive reviews about Saturday’s event and were in high spirits after the event.

He said the fact plenty of people has left positive reviews spoke volumes as people do not tend to go out of their way to post positive reviews in the same way they would if they were posting negative reviews.

“We were relieved because we worked on it for so long,” he said. “People don’t often go on and say something positive.

“Everyone was quite shocked [after Friday night’s reviews] because we thought what we had done was quite good.

“They were really heartbroken yesterday so to turn that around was incredible.”

He thanked everyone for their feedback, good and bad, and said he hoped “all being well” that the event would return next year.

Further information about the event, including the email address to contact, can be found here on the  website. 

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