Scottish Glastonbury security worker lay dead in tent for 30 hours as grieving son blasts G4S bosses
Glastonbury UK October 8 2019
A grandad working at the “dangerously” hot Glastonbury music festival lay dead in a tent for up to 30 hours after supervisors thought he was sleeping.
Security guard Martin Fallone, of Clydebank, near Glasgow, was discovered a day after he missed a nightshift.
His son William, 41, has criticised security firm G4S for failing to check up on his dad following the no-show.
Grandad Martin, 64, was last seen on his way back to his temporary accommodation on Saturday morning after clocking off.
When he failed to show up for work that night, G4S bosses visited his tent the following Sunday morning but believed he was inside sleeping.
Later that afternoon, on June 30, they returned and went inside to discover he was dead.
Paramedics said Martin died from a suspected heart attack.
Festival organisers had been warned by the local authority that staff were at risk from the extreme temperatures.
Experts say being exposed to hot weather can trigger heart problems as the body tries to keep cool.
Mendip Council told festival organisers nightshift staff like Martin were most at risk, emails sent to the family show.
Family ‘broken’ after Scots security guard found dead in tent at Glastonbury
William, a Glasgow office worker, said: “We want answers from G4S. They’ve failed my dad and they’ve failed the family. We don’t want them to fail anyone else.”
The Met Office issued a “Level 2” alert for the south-west of England in the days leading up to the Glastonbury Festival warning that the heatwave was “dangerous”.
The cause of Martin’s death is still unknown with further results expected later this year.
William said the family are angry about how G4S bosses have behaved in the aftermath of his death.
He said: “It’s been very cold-hearted. We’re angry that no one checked up on dad for up to 30 hours.”
Widower Martin had worked for G4S on a zero-hours contract for two years. He’d previously spent 19 years caring for wife, Janette, 62, before she died in 2014.
Martin had worked as a security guard when his two children, William and Susan, 37, were young. He was taken on by G4S to work at sporting events and concerts. But his work life was insecure with periods of inaction followed by intense 80-hour weeks.
In June, he was asked by G4S to work at the Download Festival in Leicestershire and Glastonbury in Somerset.
Coincidentally, William attended Glastonbury with other family members, including father-in-law Richard Fearn.
He said: “We were surprised when my dad said he was staying in a tent.
“An employer shouldn’t be asking workers to stay in tents in this day and age. He’d done work trips before and they always sorted out accommodation. Dad didn’t even own a tent, so I borrowed one and organised an airbed for him.”
After working at Download, Martin travelled to Glastonbury and arranged to meet his son.
William added: “It was extremely hot. Dad said he wasn’t due to work until the following night.
“We saw some bands and said goodbye at around 3am. It was the last time I’d see him. I texted him in the afternoon because I didn’t want to wake him.
“I tried contacting him again later but he never responded. It was very noisy and he was working so I wasn’t surprised.”
Martin’s movements after work remain unclear. But he finished his shift at 8am and used a meal voucher to buy his breakfast in the staff canteen. William said: “My dad wasn’t particularly good with phones.
“I didn’t think too much about texts and calls going unanswered.
“He was also working nights so I thought he must’ve been resting.”
Police called William after G4S staff made the grim discovery.
William added: “I just broke down. Police told me it wasn’t advisable to see his body. I looked around the corner and could just see his toe sticking out from under a cover.
“I wanted to know what had happened but G4S staff told police they were too upset to talk to me.”
G4S paid for Martin’s body to be transferred to Scotland. But when they arrived home, William and Richard began asking questions. It was then G4S told them he had been missing for up to 30 hours.
William added: “Some staff go missing, preferring to go to gigs instead of working but my dad wasn’t like that. He was 64. If he didn’t turn up for work, it should have started alarm bells.”
Richard said: “G4S has stopped answering our calls and only paid Martin’s wages a fortnight ago for the work he’d done before he died. We want to know how this happened.
“Why did G4S go to his tent on the Sunday morning but not go in?
“The family think it’s important that workers at Glastonbury are safe and their welfare is monitored.”
A letter sent to the family from Mendip Council said it was “shocking” Martin had been left unchecked for so long.
The council’s environmental officer Marietta Gill wrote: “I do understand it is not uncommon generally for staff and volunteers to not turn up for their shifts but I would expect a good employer to make reasonable checks.
“I work closely with Glastonbury Festivals and have been encouraging them to ensure that all people are fully aware of what work they will be expected to do and are informed of how best to look after themselves in pre-event briefing.
“This year especially we were concerned about people who were expected to sleep during the day time, as it was so hot.”
Emergency services said they treated 70 people for heat-related illnesses at the festival. Union GMB, which represents G4S workers, said: “The circumstances surrounding Mr Fallone’s death are both sad and troubling. The Glastonbury Festival generates a fortune.
“It would be a modest request of the festival organisers to ensure both they and its sub contractors are adhering to decent employment standards and living arrangements during the course of the event.”
Andy Lane, chief operating officer for G4S Secure Solutions UK, said: “Martin Fallone’s death was a tragedy and our thoughts remain with his family at this difficult time.”
A spokeswoman added G4S didn’t decide where staff stayed on the festival site. Glastonbury Festival was contacted for comment but did not respond.