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In a recent incident at the Sondheim Theatre, a group of activists caused significant disruption to a scheduled performance, leading to an estimated bill of £60,000. While the trial verdict found Hannah Taylor, Lydia Gribbin, Hanan Ameur, Noah Crane, and Poppy Bliss guilty of aggravated trespass, Gribbin and Crane were also found guilty of causing £2,000 worth of damage to the orchestra pit netting.

During the sentencing, Judge Briony Clarke emphasized that the disruption had been premeditated. The defendants had meticulously planned the act, bringing bike locks, purchasing tickets, and wearing T-shirts displaying the name of their cause before taking the stage. The judge denounced their actions as a deliberate act of inconvenience against a large number of theatergoers.

Approximately 1,000 angry audience members were asked to evacuate the auditorium before the performance was forcibly halted an hour later. The court learned that the orchestra pit netting sustained structural damage due to the weight of the activists standing on it.

Fortunately, the expenses for repairing the damage and refunding the audience were covered by the theatre’s insurance policy, relieving the establishment of additional financial burden.

This incident serves as a reminder of the complexities faced by establishments hosting public events. It highlights the importance of security measures and insurance coverage when it comes to unforeseen disruptions that can significantly impact both finances and the overall experience of the audience.