Over the weekend, country superstar Garth Brooks played a show at the University of Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, but students who didn’t attend the concert were stuck maneuvering around campus with blocked roads and full parking lots, typically reserved for residents.
According to Alligator.org, UF spokesperson Steve Orlando said the UF Transportation and Parking Services sent out an email to students and faculty about reserved concert parking ahead of the event, as 16 on-campus reserved parking areas were closed. The notice stated that the Commuter Lot, Welcome Center Garage, and other parking lots were reserved for $25 to $50 parking.
One UF student, Jenna Waterous, told the site that she went to the library to study, like she usually does on weekends, but found that concertgoers were parked all throughout campus.
“They were just letting the fans park wherever,” Waterous said. “I’m confused about what people on campus were supposed to do.”
While reserved parking lots were selected to “minimize the event’s effect on students,” according to UF Transportation and Parking Services senior director Scott Fox, some students were stuck unable to focus on their studies. Another student, Shannon Moriarty, told Alligator.org that she had a long week, but couldn’t relax due to Brook’s voice “everywhere.”
“We live here. We don’t just come here for Garth Brooks,” Moriarty said.
Others took to social media to explain their situation, mentioning the fact that the show was just ahead of finals week.
Disappointed that @UF would schedule the Garth Brooks concert the weekend before finals, making it harder for students to get to/from libaries, offices, etc. Not to mention the fact that likely very few UF students are attending the concert.
— Evan Milch (@evanmilch) April 20, 2019
FDOT: “On-campus parking capacity is capped at a set limit due to the constraints of arterial and local streets.”
FDOT on Game Days & Garth Brooks: “Welcome to UF, where the rules are made up and students don’t matter. Do whatever you want. Anything to keep alumni happy”.
— Ethan Huber (@counthuber) April 20, 2019
@UF using all the law school parking for a Garth brooks concert during finals season is SUCH A FUNNY JOKE
— 𝖇𝖚𝖌𝖌𝖎𝖓 (@CASSEROLEBOY) April 18, 2019
On the other hand, students who are fans of Brooks had the chance to see the singer’s soundcheck for free and he took questions from the crowd.
Brooks is currently on a three-year stadium tour. He is set to make stops next at Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium on May 3 and 4, followed by a gig at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field on May 18. His Pittsburgh show is already sold-out, breaking the venue’s sales record at 72,887 tickets.