On the third day of the party at Queimódromo, in Matosinhos, the problems experienced at the start of the event seem to have been left behind. “Bracelets are working well”, but most prefer to pay with cash.
At “Super Bico”, a tent at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Porto (FEP), “the wristbands were fully functioning”.
This was said by Carolina Proença, a student at the institution, recalling the problems in starting the event: “There were people who had their wristbands charged, but it didn’t work”.
After the controversy on the first day, the Associação Académica do Porto announced the adoption of a hybrid payment system. The students of “Super Bico” found out about the change “at the same time as the entire public, through Instagram”.
As they weren’t counting, on the second night (first with the hybrid system) there were also some dilemmas: “In the first few hours, we didn’t have change to give people. Either we got it right or it was for a wristband”, explained Carolina Proença.
But between advantages and disadvantages of the new system, sales in stalls “are being done at a 50/50”.
While there are those who pay with cash, there are also those who prefer the advantages of the digital system. As is the case of Raquel Correia. “It turns out to be more practical, because it prevents us from carrying coins and banknotes. Basically, you just touch the bracelet and the payment is done”, shared the Languages and International Relations student.
To charge the wristbands, there are two alternatives: either go to the automatic charging stations on the premises, or use the Associação Académica do Porto (FAP) application.
However, the first is the majority option, since the application “has some errors and sometimes does not allow to complete the loads”.
“The opposite of the slogan is happening”
The dramas of the first day appeared to be resolved on the night of this Monday, May 8th. However, and as with the payment system, opinions are also divided on the security and organization of the event.
Joana Amarante, a Science and Communication student at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Porto (FLUP), was among the crowd that had problems getting in on the first day of the event. “It took me at least 20 minutes, but I know of people who took three hours just to get the bracelet,” said the young woman.
According to what she reported to JN, digital payment is not being effective, and “the opposite of the slogan presented by the FAP of avoiding queues is happening”.
Even so, Joana Amarante believes that the wristbands worked fully for entry: “Getting in was much faster, and I agree that the ticket should be inserted in the wristband. But in terms of payments, it doesn’t work”.
The situation has improved, but there are still some problems. Still according to Francisco Castanheira, the limitations persist now in charging bracelets. “Sometimes it takes a day or two for the money to come in, and it doesn’t make any sense,” he said.
More than fifty complained at the Portal da Queixa
The start of Queima das Fitas, last Saturday, was marked by problems with access to the venue and with the wristband payment system.
The finger was pointed at FAP through numerous complaints registered on the Portal da Queixa, after thousands of people stayed hours at the entrance to the enclosure, due to complications in exchanging tickets for access wristbands.
In just one day, fifty complaints were registered against the FAP, where chaotic scenarios were described, between “people crushed and feeling bad” and “with signs of panic attacks”.
“They were pushing so hard that we felt we were being crushed and in danger. At this point, we called 112, desperate to ask for help, who did nothing except tell us to speak to the police who were there, whom we couldn’t reach”, can be read in one of the complaints.