I was pretty ticked off yesterday, huh? A bit nutty, even. Well, very little sleep, a traffic disaster, and hours of exposure to the elements will do that. So, today, I'll offer a more coherent version of why Sunday was such a mess:
1. Radiohead has promoted this tour as "green" and Earth-friendly...but Nissan Pavilion is miles from nowhere, has ALWAYS had a reputation for horrendous traffic, and is nowhere near transit. Even without the weather, thousands of cars were going to idle for hours on end. Pretty hypocritical, if you ask me. I've lost a lot of respect for this band.
2. I'm sick of people who say concertgoers should have "been more prepared for the weather." It wasn't just a little bit of bad weather or a steady rain. It was raining sideways, water was rushing all over the place, roads were flooded out, winds were high and temperatures were dropping rapidly. I am surprised people were not hospitalized for exposure. I was in the middle of the pavilion, had on full gear (and when I say full gear, I was outfitted for an Arctic exploration/monsoon) and still got soaked and frozen. I did see a few people in inappropriate clothes, but by and large people were bundled up and wearing rain gear. It just didn't matter.
3. Conditions were far too hazardous to hold an outdoor concert. People should have been in their homes, not on the slippery roads full of black water, and definitely not in the flooded Pavilion area. Nobody is accusing Live Nation of controlling the weather, they aren't responsible for the storm itself. But flood warnings were in effect before the gates even opened. Live Nation is responsible for recklessly endangering the health and safety of concertgoers by not cancelling or postponing the show. If people pay through the nose in lean times for their tickets, and they know they won't get their money back, they're going to go to the show regardless of the weather. Live Nation should have taken the choice out of people's hands.
There is no way this show should have gone on...and it did. And somebody needs to tell us why.
4. The pavilion was half full. The lawn was almost empty. When it became apparent that guests were being turned away at the gate due to flooding (around 10:00), they should have started letting lawn people into the pavilion so they wouldn't freeze. I'm guessing the teenyboppers running the parking lot didn't have any way of communicating with the pavilion teenyboppers.
5. Nobody deserves to spend two hours plus just to get out of the parking lot, then be routed all over hell and creation before they could get back on the freeway. People were already tired from being out in the elements, driving conditions were hazardous and bad weather plus tired people is a recipe for accidents.
6. Some people never even got into the show, instead, they circled the venue for hours with zero information, only to get turned away at the gate. Would it have been so hard to get a guy with a bullhorn? Or go car-to-car telling people what was happening? And still no word from Live Nation as to whether those people will get their money back. (My bet? Live Nation is going to keep the money and claim they have a "rain or shine" policy. From their press release, "While we have no control over Mother Nature, we certainly are disappointed that some fans did not make it to the venue." See Item #3 for why that excuse doesn't, ahem, hold water.)
So, anyways, this isn't a minor inconvenience that people are whining about. This was a dangerous weather situation compounded by hypocrisy on the part of Radiohead and their management, and general incompetence and greed on the part of Live Nation/Nissan Pavilion. What a mess.
In the comments section, finish the following sentence: "I would never ever go to Nissan Pavilion, even if..."