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Fainting fans: Complaints about lack of water at Ed Sheeran show

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Ed Sheeran fans have called on Etihad Stadium to provide more free water at future concerts after people collapsed from dehydration over the weekend.

Ambulance Victoria has confirmed a number of concertgoers were treated on Saturday night after the city sweated through temperatures as high as 35 degrees. By 9pm the mercury was still at the 30-degree mark.

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Etihad Stadium's roof was closed despite the balmy conditions. It will remain shut on Monday for Sheeran's final Melbourne performance, however a cool change has swept through the city – with a top of just 20 degrees expected.

An Etihad Stadium spokeswoman said the roof was shut "at the request of the touring management".

"Patrons' health and safety is always our number one priority and we are continually monitoring the situation," she said. "The temperatures inside the stadium were not at a level that put Ed's fans at risk.

"Free water stations were available throughout the venue for fans to continually hydrate ... and they were encouraged to do so. On the stadium floor there was free water being handed out throughout the night to fans."


However, some concertgoers said the free water stations were not enough to hydrate the tens of thousands of people at the event. While security guards did hand out cups of water to people close to the stage, they were unable to reach everyone, according to people at the concert.

Ed Sheeran fan Anna Wiseman said the pop-up bar she attended refused to give her free water.

"The young bloke was like, that's an extra five dollars," she said. "I was a little taken aback. It's my belief as a drinker and holder of my RSA that they can't refuse water to a customer. Not once was I informed about water filling stations, nor did I see signage."

While Etihad Stadium did tweet out information about the water stations, Ms Wiseman said she doesn't use Twitter. Nor did she see any information on Facebook.

"I was there Friday on level three and Saturday on the floor," she said. "It was like a sweat box. No circulation and five dollars for a water is bloody ridiculous."

Licenced venues selling alcohol must provide free drinking water to patrons, according to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation. It is up to the venue as to what is deemed "adequate facilities".

Ms Wiseman said Etihad Stadium didn't provide adequate water and she would be taking the issue up with the liquor regulator.

"I've looked at the picture of where the free water was located," she said. "[The drinking fountains were] about 10 aisles either side of where I was, with no signs that I could see. The bar itself should provide water."

Sheeran is currently on a record-breaking tour of Australia and New Zealand, with ticket sales in excess of one million.