A number of customers experienced a concert nightmare last Saturday, July 19, in Auburn, WA. They had bought tickets for the Journey and Steve Miller Band concert at White River Amphitheatre, but can’t be called concert-goers because they never got to attend. They missed out on the show because they were stuck in a, for some, 5 hour long traffic jam outside of the Live Nation operated venue.
Affected customer Georgia wrote a local radio show explaining the “logistics nightmare.” “It was not the effect of the I-90 lane closure issue going on, etc. It started as you exited 167 onto 18 E. From then on, driving 12 miles to the venue took 5 hours! It wouldn’t have mattered how early we got there. It was an absolute standstill for hours.” Georgia couldn’t get through on the phone to speak with White River Ampitheatre about her experience, and neither could the radio station she reached out to, KIRO Radio, after a week of calling.
Numerous others who attempted to attend the concert wrote disappointed reviews on Yelp about the problems they had. Dozens complained about traffic issues and some about parking problems at the venue. One reviewer reported, “The hassle to get here is not worth any show. It took 3.5 hours to go 10 miles to get to this venue.” Another wrote, “When we got into the lot the parking attendants were standing around doing nothing.”
TicketNews did reach out to officials at White River Amphitheatre for comment, who did not respond. While the venue has not commented on their seemingly disastrous lack of preparation for the event, Live Nation did release a statement:
At this past weekend’s soldout show at White River Amphitheatre, we understand some fans unfortunately experienced delays due to heavy traffic. To supplement our onsite parking we also offer offsite parking, which is accessible via a shuttle. With each concert we work to provide information via email and on the venue website in advance of the show date to provide alternate routes, parking recommendations, encourage carpooling, etc.
Not only does Live Nation not admit any fault, but they also appear to be blaming their customers for the chaos, for not carpooling or taking the appropriate route to get to the venue. Unfortunately for those ticket buyers, the Live Nation operated venue is not offering refunds, and therefore neither are secondary ticket markets.
On the venue’s pages on both ticketmaster.com and livenation.com, it is claimed that “plenty of well-lit parking is available on-site.” However, seeing customers’ comments, this is clearly not the case. City of Auburn spokesperson Dana Hinman said that the show drew an estimated 20,000 people while the venue only had parking for about 6,800.
Customer Michael Worby commented, “There is no excuse for Ticketmaster, Live Nation, and White River to conduct business in the fashion they do and sell tickets to an event they know cannot be honored. Never, never, never again will I attempt to attend any event at White River or a Muckleshoot sponsored function anywhere for that matter. It’s time for a Class Action Lawsuit.”
It is unclear whether anyone will be following through on a lawsuit against Live Nation or White River Amphitheatre, but what can be safely asserted is that countless customers will think twice before buying their next tickets for a White River Amphitheatre show.