Thousands of people left the LA Pride Festival unhappy Saturday night after organizers sold too many tickets and fans who waited in line to watch R&B sensation Kehlani perform were turned way.
The celebration was scheduled to run from 12 p.m. to 1 a.m. in West Hollywood, with Kehlani set to take the stage at 11:15 p.m., according to the LA Pride 2018 website.
But around 10 p.m., organizers said a estimated 100,000 people had descended on the area and the event was at capacity.
At that point, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the fire marshal began ordering the crowd to disperse.
In response, angry attendees took to Twitter in droves blasting organizers and law enforcement.
“#LAPride was so horrible. Waited almost 2 hours in line only for the line to stop at the gate due to full capacity,” one person tweeted.
“#LAPride needs to learn how to run a safe and secure pride because this has got to be the most unstable pride yet,” another person wrote on Twitter.
Someone else tweeted: “@Kehlani please know #LApride prohibited people to come in bc they’re “over capacity” GURRRRL we bought tickets MONTHS AGO.”
After getting word of what was happening, Kehlani tweeted an apology to fans.
“I’m seeing all your tweets and messages. I’m sorry LA Pride reached their full capacity and aren’t letting any more people in,” she wrote. “Y’all deserve refunds and i hope we get a chance to jam soon.”
i’m seeing all your tweets and messages. i’m sorry LA Pride reached their full capacity and aren’t letting any more people in. y’all deserve refunds and i hope we get a chance to jam soon 💔
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) June 10, 2018
During a live report on its 11 p.m. newscast, NBC Los Angeles described the response by sheriff’s deputies as “huge,” adding that the area was “an absolute mess.”
“People were trying to get into the event any way they could. They were trying to jump fences,” reported Gil Leyvas. “Two to three-hundred people that tried to push their way in assaulted one of the sheriff’s deputies, and that prompted even more response.”
Many fans said they bought tickets to the performances at the main stage months ago, and they wanted refunds.
Others wrote on social media that they felt unsafe amid the large crowds, and criticized organizers for over-selling the event.
The festival issued an apology early Sunday morning saying it would indeed offer refunds, but curiously deleted that tweet. Hours later, the festival posted a second apology.
“We are sorry and would like to apologize to everyone who could not get in after the venue hit capacity,” LA Pride wrote in its second statement on Twitter, adding that those with unused tickets could attend for free on Sunday.
Thank you for your patience while we’ve been working towards a fix to make up for the venue hitting capacity last night. We’ve got a couple options for you to choose from. See below. Thanks for showing up in full force last night! Happy Pride! #JUSTBE #LAPride #Pride2018 pic.twitter.com/8kaRJEFFUm
— LA Pride (@lapride) June 10, 2018
You can read more of the reactions to Saturday’s shutdown below.
— Perla Serrano (@perlaserrano95) June 10, 2018
Yo @WeHoCity and @lapride y’all made a huge mess here. Way over capacity, easily the worst, most uncomfortable, dangerous Pride I’ve ever been to. There’s a literal helicopter flying around telling people to go home at 9:45pm! Flop. 🏳️🌈😖🚁🚨🙅♂️ #LAPride
— Tenani (@Tenani) June 10, 2018
#LAPRIDE needs to learn how to run a safe and secure pride because this has got to be the most unstable pride yet.
— Chelsea🔪 (@ladyyvengeance) June 10, 2018
— M (@Marissamoonz) June 10, 2018
LA Pride was so horrible. Waited almost 2 hours in line only for the line to stop at the gate due to full capacity. Then they made people wait another hour before telling everyone in line to go home via helicopter. 😠 #lapride @lapride
— mkygod (@mkygod) June 10, 2018
This is what happens when #LAPride gets #greedy and sells more tickets than they can accommodate for. Tons of people who bought tickets in advance were not allowed to enter, yet they sold tickets all day. @lapride man just wanted to see @Kehlani 😭#LosAngeles #LAPride2018 pic.twitter.com/qohbgZrgyz
— KELLEN (@thereallkellen) June 10, 2018
Pride Festival shutdown, West Hollywood on lockdown. LAPride" We have a bit of a problem. We only have 5,000 tickets but we sold tickets to 10,000 people. heh heh heh. So I guess you're not attending anything." #LAPride #StrengthInNumbers #OverSoldThePLane #IWantMy40dollars pic.twitter.com/gVzQhmnrZQ
— ken sapp jr (@BigK1701) June 10, 2018