Radiohead: Flooding Forces Fans To Circle Parking Lot For 3 Hours

It seems this weekend’s Radiohead concert in the D.C. area was a spectacular failure. The show was billed as rain or shine and rain it did — fans are reporting that they were turned away from the parking lot and forced to circle the venue for the entire duration of the show.

Reader Tmoney02 says:

One of the two roads getting into the venue was closed due to flooding, and the venue began denying people parking. Instead they would send them on “detours” around the venue never letting anyone park causing a lot of people to spend hours sitting in gridlock in their cars going around and around the venue while the show played.

Here are a few experiences from the comments of DCist:

The rain didn’t just cause thousands of Radiohead fans to send out endless Twitter updates. It caused thousands of us to miss the entire show. Traffic was a mess, and one of the roads in flooded out. They were turning back people at the entrance. My friends and I gave up about 1/4 mile from the place (after detouring all the way around it) when it became obvious Radiohead had just started the encore. I’m never going to Nissan Pavilion again, and I hope Radiohead (and Live Nation) can find a way to schedule another show in the area (in the city would be nice). But I’ll get over it eventually.

Some sort of explanation is definitely called for from Nissan Pavilion on this one. If your venue depends on auto access (as Nissan does), and people can’t get in by car, then, frankly, you ought to give them their money back. At a minimum you ought to apologize for making them sit in lines of traffic six miles long for a few hours. Would it have been so hard to send a guy with a bullhorn out to tell us we weren’t going to get in?

my boyfriend and his 2 friends never got into the show. they were pretty devastated – they love radiohead. i left early because they gave up after they were turned away at the entrance and told there was a “detour.” they were still trying to get into the venue during the 1st encore. they gave up and went to ihop.

we left in sufficient time even in rain to get there, i know we did. we all knew we did.

we had a blast in the car. me and my friend were going to get out and kick down this sign that said ‘no open fires before 4 PM’ which we thought was funny.

i just think the little people get forgetten about. just sitting in cars not knowing anything.

a cancellation would have been fine, a redo on the tickets a new show or something.

Apparently, all three of the D.C. area’s major airports set daily records for rainfall yesterday. Maybe the tickets should have said “rain, shine, or freakish acts of god.” Were any Consumerist readers at this show? Let’s hear your experience in the comments.

Morning Roundup: Water and Weddings Edition
(read the comments) [DCist]
(Photo: easement )

UPDATE: Reader Guy CC’d this complaint letter to our tipline:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to complain strongly about the handling of the Radiohead concert at Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, VA on May 11.

After waiting in traffic in pouring rain for over two hours, my wife and I were unable to gain entry even into the parking lot, much less the concert. While the management is certainly not responsible for the inclement weather, they are clearly to blame for the lack of adequate traffic control measures to ensure that those who purchased tickets to a sold out concert (including a parking fee above and beyond the ticket cost which is charged per ticket rather than per car).

In addition, the fact that flood warnings were issued not only for the location of the concert but nearly all the surrounding counties as well, created a dangerous situation for all concert goers. The fact that these flood warnings were issued before the stated starting time of the concert compounds the error.

It should have been clear to Nissan Pavilion’s management before the concert began that they would be unable to provide parking and entrance to all ticketholders and that their attempts to do so would create a dangerous situation. The responsible action on the part of Nissan Pavilion would have been to cancel the concert and offer refunds to all ticketholders or to postpone the concert and offer refunds to those ticket holders unable to attend the later date.

I hope that Nissan Pavilion will take some action to offer remedy to those ticketholders who were refused admission to this concert because of management’s poor planning and reaction to adverse conditions. The fact that all tickets contained bar codes which were scanned upon admission to the concert should made it easy to identify the injured parties.