LA Pride turned away hundreds of ticket-holders after overselling an event last night (9 June).
As part of a special LA Pride Festival concert in West Hollywood, many people showed up and then got turned away.
According to eye witness reports, organizers were turning people away from as early as 8:30pm. This is despite having a prepaid ticket to the event or not.
Pride-goers even noticed a helicopter hovering above, telling people not to bother trying to get in and to go home.
One Twitter user wrote: ‘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!’
‘You guys created an extremely dangerous environment’
As a result, a lot of people became angry and riot police became involved.
One Twitter user wrote: ‘You guys created an extremely dangerous environment. Besides paying for bracelets at the table and seconds later be denied entry at the metal detectors (due to “over capacity”), you mfs did not protect anyone from the treatment ppl recieved outside of these gates.’
Another wrote: ‘Dear LA Pride, I got my weekend ticket and couldn’t event go inside the festival. The real question is why you oversold so many tickets leaving people who got them b4 out? I want my money back!’
LA County Scanner then reported an escalation of events, with people trying to rush through the metal detectors.
They tweeted: ‘Crowd is forming and is about to breach the metal detectors. Tactical Response team responding.’
GRAVELY disappointed in L.A. Pride. Went in earlier, had to leave, then came back to only be told to go into this ONE LONG LINE, WAIT 2 HOURS, THEN 300 FEET FROM THE GATE WE’RE TOLD IT’S CLOSED?!? #fail #LAPride
— Andrew (@ABrooks2007) 10 June 2018
One attendee took to Twitter to express how terrified she was with the heavy police presence. She tweeted: ‘I honestly feel like crying having just witnessed a riot police presence at a pride event. Police with pellet guns standing under the pride banner. It was terrifying.’
In response to the confusion on the night, LA Pride tweeted a statement: ‘We are sorry and want to apologize to everyone who could not get in after the venue hit capacity.
‘If you have a ticket or wristband that was never used yesterday, we will exchange it for a Sunday ticket at the box office,’ they said.
It is not yet clear if LA Pride plans to issue full refunds to ticket-holders turned away at the door.
Gay Star News reached out to LA Pride for further comment.
Kehlani: ‘Y’all deserve refunds’
Openly bisexual singer Kehlani was one of the headlining acts on the night.
She took to Twitter to address the angry reactions to LA Pride being overcapacity. She said: ‘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 then later tweeted: ‘as fun as that was my heart goes out to all the folks who drove, flew, train & bussed here and weren’t allowed in. my heart is wit those who had scary run ins with the LAPD & bad security tonight. we gotta do better.’
through all the mishaps.. tonight we broke a record. made history. LA Pride committee said they’ve never seen ticket sales like this. thank you again. really.
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) 10 June 2018
She also addressed technical difficulties from the night.
Kehlani said she had to perform with no functioning ear monitor, after taking it out during the first song. She also had to start her first song again because her microphone wasn’t even on during the beginning.
Kim Petras also performed with technical difficulties. During the live-stream of her set, the audio cuts out from the broadcast.
The LA Pride parade occurs today (10 June), starting at midday.
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