Thousands of people who had tickets to Paul McCartney’s concert in San Francisco on August 14th did not get to attend because of horrendous traffic. The traffic, which had many stuck outside the venue for hours, was said to be caused by a lack of an efficient parking plan at Candlestick Park.
CBS local news reported that “concert-goers who paid $40 for parking were reportedly left driving around a lot with no available spots, and disabled ticket-holders were denied access to ADA-required parking accommodations.”
An article from the night of the incident quotes another woman who was having trouble that night, having waited in three and a half hours of traffic. “We came from Newark, and we’re handicapped, and we can’t even find a place to park,” she said, as she circled the lot looking for a place to park. Another concert-goer that night said, “There’s no one managing the traffic. The flow is really difficult to get in and out of the lanes. It’s a mess.” With nowhere to park, and no one controlling the resulting traffic, the night was a disaster for thousands of people.
Even people who had been to Candlestick Park before and were used to the traffic it causes found themselves stuck outside the gates. The San Francisco Gate reported of those like Bob Calhoun of Daly City, who were “shut out with their backup plans or secret routes to Candlestick barricaded. He was rerouted a couple of times, found access to backup lots closed and finally made it to a lot at 10:25 p.m.” Upon learning that the parking attendants still wanted $40 hours after the concert started, he decided to leave.
Some fans who never got to see the show because of the chaos asked for refunds, as it was by no fault of their own that they were not able to redeem their tickets. The promoter, Another Planet Entertainment, has refused to offer refunds as a general rule. As a next step of their demand, some ticket-holders formed a petition for a full refund to be given to those who could not get in. The petition asserts that concert organizers and the city of San Francisco “should be held accountable for the negligent lack of planning for this event,” and that “it is unethical for them to profit from sales of this event when they were unable to competently manage access.” The petition currently has 393 signatures out of a goal of 500.
This incident was similar to another just a month before in Washington, where ticket-holders did not get to attend a Live Nation-run Journey concert because of an hours-long traffic jam. Seeing this happen multiple times in a short span of time begs the question of whether concert organizers failing failures to live up to their obligations to fans is becoming a trend. Primary ticket sellers have always accused secondary ticket sellers of being bad for fans—but in the case of these concerts it is clear that the primary organizers were not and are not acting in the best interest of fans.
Representatives from Another Planet Entertainment, Candlestick Park, and Paul McCartney did not respond to the TicketNews requests for comments.