Sunday, January 27, 2019

"Birmingham brought to standstill by YouTuber James Charles"

Guardian:

Birmingham was brought to a standstill on Saturday, with motorists abandoning cars and the city gridlocked for hours after thousands of teenagers flooded the city centre to see a 19-year-old YouTuber make a 30-second public appearance at a cosmetics store.

...

Charles, who was making his first visit to the UK, stepped outside the Birmingham shop for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4pm before heading back inside for a private meet-and-greet session with 250 competition winners. He later claimed about 8,000 fans were in the shopping centre itself, which had to shut down its escalators for safety reasons and employ extra security staff.
BBC (which has photos of the packed mall):
West Midlands Police had earlier said the gridlock was caused by problems with traffic lights at the junction of Bristol Street and The Horsefair.

But contractor Amey later said this was incorrect and the lights had been working all day.