YOUTUBE sensations The Sidemen have cancelled a planned live appearance at the launch of their new restaurant opening at Merry Hill after the council deemed the event “unsafe” due to fears of excessive crowds turning up.

The Sidemen planned to surprise fans at the opening of their new fried chicken eatery Sides on Saturday November 18 but the social media stars say Dudley Council ordered them to stand down amid fears up to 10,000 people may turn up.

The Sidemen, comprising best friends Olajide Olatunji, Simon Minter, Joshua Bradley, Tobi Brown, Ethan Payne, Harry Lewis, and Vikram Barn, have millions of subscribers on YouTube and the Merry Hill restaurant is the first Sides location to open outside of London.

Stourbridge News: The new Sides restaurant at Merry HillThe new Sides restaurant at Merry Hill (Image: The Sidemen)

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said of the drama: “Dudley Council chairs a Safety Advisory Group, working with partners including West Midlands Police, which prioritises the safety and wellbeing of people who live and work in our borough.

“Recently we were notified of an event that was proposed to take place this weekend at the Merry Hill centre.

“This was likely to attract significant numbers of people due to the celebrity status of some individuals who planned to make an appearance.

“Due to significant safety concerns, and the likelihood that such an event would attract more people than could be safely accommodated at the venue, we deemed the proposed event to be unsafe.

“As a result of these concerns being raised, the organisers have now taken the responsible decision to cancel the event.”

Jordan Schwarzenberger, manager of The Sidemen, said the group had been asked to “make it very clear that The Sidemen will definitely not be attending the West Midlands this weekend” and he added: “The boys are obviously extremely disappointed to not share this moment with their fans and supporters but after speaking to the local authorities, public safety has to be our primary focus.

“We’re still incredibly proud to be opening in Merry Hill and creating 40 jobs for the local area, and the restaurant will still be opening on Saturday from 11am onwards.”