Wednesday, June 8, 2011

U2 traffic nightmare = the masses speak, PART ONE

UPDATE = The traffic tale was on Channel 2 (KTVU) at 5, and will be on AGAIN at 7. Pat Missud is taking up our case with Sal Castaneda, so a HUGE shout out to my new favorite attorney.

Apologies to everyone, I was at Great America all day and just got back to an inbox with about 60+ comments. I'm posting the first batch here. If you didn't see my earlier post, read that before sifting through these comments. Thank you to all who took the time to comment, and let's hope we get some closure from this madness.

Anonymous =

3 hours in traffic, turned back at 9:40 when they took the stage. Spend 1 hour in less than half a mile in 880. Never made it even to the exit, which looking back probably was the smartest thing we did, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to get out, for another two hours, like happened to friends of mine. I will sign any law suit petition against the Oakland coliseum. I am never going back and I will make sure I turn myself into a marketing campaign against them.

Another Anonymous =

Same experience. Four and a half hours from San Jose, only to turn around and go home. I have contacted the lawyer cited at the beginning of this blog. Hope all will do the same.

Steve B =

Massive, massive fail on the part of the concert organizers and the city of Oakland last night. We left San Francisco at 7 PM and, after crossing the Bay Bridge, sat in traffic for the next THREE+ HOURS, finally arriving in the overflow parking lot (I use the work 'lot' generously) at 10:20 PM. We paid $40 for the privilege of parking in what surely must've been a former WWI battlefield with all the ruts, trenches and mud. I'm sure many cars were stuck and/or their underbellies ruined as a result of navigating this terrain. After calculating that the band had been playing for almost an hour at that point and it would take us a half hour to walk to the stadium, we figured that we could maybe catch a half hour of the concert...and then be stuck in who knows what mess trying to get out of there. Knowing it would be pretty uncool to roll in and relieve the babysitter at 4 in the morning we turned around and headed home. It took us 25 minutes to get back to the hotel. Tickets+hotel+babysitter+parking=incredibly frustrating waste of time and money. This was absolutely shameful planning on the part of the organizers. The thousands of people who got screwed like we did should at the very least get their ticket money back.

Eric =

We also decided at 8:45 after being in traffic for 4 hours and looking upon the sea of red in the over flow parking area that we wouldn't be able to catch the show. It is by far the worst organized event I have ever been to. I don't ever intend on going back to the Coliseum.

Anonymous, with the worst story I've heard thus far =

All sad stories but not as sad as mine. Only had $32 so they turned me away from $40 overflow parking (I dropped the family off on the exit ramp so they could walk - wife had the money, as usual). Missed first 5 songs. Return to a smashed windshield. Perhaps Bono and his 'love everyone' attitude will reimburse me? Love you Oakland.

Anonymous BART rider, who made it in =

We went to dinner at Zachary's Pizza on College before the show at around 5:30. Call it luck or some random premonition, but I ad this kooky idea to leave our vehicles parked on College and BART from Rockbridge to the show. Glad we did!! After hearing about the 40 dollar parking and the 3 hour plus waits on the freeway, I am glad we decided on mass transportation. The only hiccup was this, after the show which ended around midnight (U2 didn't come on til 9:30, which I am now guessing is because so many fans were running late), the BART crowd was unreal!! The crowd backed up way beyond the bridge and into the stadium. My friends and I were lucky enough to had made it on the train, but I wonder how many were not so lucky?

Neldridge =

I've been going to shows in Oakland for many years and have never experienced anything so horrific as last night. It took us almost 4 hrs. from San Jose.
My husband isn't a big concert person but I was able to pursuade him for this U2 show (we bought the tix about 18 months ago)but after our experience last night he'll never go again. We got ripped off by the City of Oakland big time. I realy loved seeing the cops that were gettting paid for supposedly being on duty at the intersections just standing around and chatting it up instead of directing traffic? Worst night ever. Does anyone know who we contact with a grievance or better yet to try and get reimbursed?

Working on that. Another Anon. =

Waited 2 years for this concert and had exactly similar situation. Never made it inside. It was so sad. I can't belive this night went the way it did.

Another Anon., with a request that I'd like to second =

If anyone is able to get a refund, let us know.

Yet another Anon. =


Another Anon. =

Start your lawsuit with Live Nation - the promoter. They were irresponsible.

Not sure yet if it's more with them than it is with the Oakland Coliseum. To be continued.

Wendi =

Wow, we hear you all...this was the worst traffic management I have EVER seen at any event. I cannot figure it out how they managed to screw up so many people's nights. We left Santa Clara at 6:15 and we walked in the Arena's doors after 10:00. And we were LUCKY because there were a ton of people behind us, and we just moved cones and parked eventually in a space they were blocking off because of a bit of a ditch in the space (the SUV was just fine though in this space). We had to walk probably 1 mile to get to the arena...and again, we were lucky we made it at all. A bunch of the seats were empty even when we got there at 10:00. There is no reason that this should have occurred. We recognize we were leaving peak time (sorry Oakland, I have to work and get a babysitter and put dinner on the table for my kids before I could leave, so NO I could not leave earlier) and expected some delays as a result of leaving at a peak time. But FOUR hours? What a joke. We should be compensated.

Anonymous, with an irritating tale =

Just an update, I called the Coliseum box office and they were extremely unhelpful and a bit rude. Basically they said that since I was in traffic at 7:45 for a 7:00 show, it was my fault for not planning accordingly. I called Ticketmaster earlier and they told me to call the Coliseum box office. I'm beyond frustrated now.

John =

I had a similar experience to everything stated here. We left the Penninsula at 5:30, and were trying to exit on Hegenberger Rd at 6:30. 3 hours later we were still in our car and gave up. The Coliseum is a joke. Never again.

JesseLovesCows (great name, by the way) =

We left the Los Gatos area at 6, expecting to arrive at the Coliseum around 7:30 with traffic allowance. We felt a little foolish when we approached the Hegenberger exit after 8:00 and saw how congested bothColiseum exits were, presumably with fellow concert goers. After TWO HOURS of sitting in the exit lane, it was obvious that the lots were full but nothing was being done by the Coliseum to redirect traffic or even just prevent the hundred and hundreds of cars waiting in both directions to arrive at the same FULL lots! We got out of the 66th Street Exit lane when we could indeed see all the closed lot gates, took the next exit, found street parking, and walked to the show. It ended up taking us FOUR & A HALF HOURS to get to our seats at a venue just 45 miles from our home. We missed the opening act & nearly an hour ofU2, and ended up leaving at 11:00 for fear it would take us just as long to get OUT of the hellhole that is the " Coliseum." Doesn't matter who's playing there; we will NEVER patronize this venue again!

Sherry =

I am glad there is an outlet to VENT. Our car of three fans, driving from San Jose also shared the horrific experience of inept planning!! 4 1/2 hours. Driving to Tahoe would have been faster. The promoters, ( who should have this down to a science) the City, the Coliseum, they all should be called to task over the lack of any foresight when it came to handling a large, and I might add, EXPECTED, crowd. I would also like to mention how pathetic the police, and highway patrol appeared...their plan, was obviously 'no plan' a pathetic handling of the situation. Good Bye, Oakland, NEVER AGAIN!!!!

ij, who spent a ton of money =

yup, insane. took 4 hours from sunnyvale. we paid $825 for 3 tickets and $40 for overflow parking lot. nightmare. 2 of us saw maybe an hour and a half of the show, the other only saw an hour when he arrived at 10:45pm. Sucks. No one directing traffic or anything. Still like U2 though. Venue and lack of organization, yeah not so much.

John =

I bought the tickets when I was still living in SF. I have since moved to LA, but kept the tickets after the rescheduling drove up. The drive is about 5 hours. I got a hotel the night before and after in Redwood Citythe, a short drive across the San Mateo Bridge. My girlfriend and I left the hotel at 5:30 with sushi and drinks with the plan to do some light tailgating before catching some of Lenny's set.

4 hours later, with still no sign of an open parking lot, the sushi long gone, the echoes of the concert taunting us having already started...we flipped a u-turn and the bird to the new Coliseum. We pulled out of the cluster at 10pm after sitting in traffic for over 4 hours. It took 25 minutes to get back to the hotel. No joke. 25 minutes.

I had been looking forward to that concert for 2 years, and was robbed of the experience because the Oakland venue does not know how to handle an attendance of that size. I am beyond frustrated. What happened is flat out wrong. They knew how many people were coming, and their contingency plan for overflow parking is to redirect all traffic from the 880 exits and surrounding streets to the same mud hole lot down one road? What numb skull brainstormed that bottleneck.

We went back to the hotel and drank the two beers we had purchased. $250 for each Bud Light tall boy.

For how long I sat in traffic, I could have driven all the way back to LA.

It is flat out wrong.

Erin, with a heartbreaking story =

Sums it up. I've had these tickets since 2009 and have wanted to see U2 play since I was 4 years old. Instead I spent 4 hours in traffic and going from lot to lot and street to street only to be told it was full. I left with my boyfriend with tears streaming down my face. This was the worst, most heartbreaking experience i've ever had with something I was looking forward to for so long. Sorry we all had to suffer this, but i'm glad I'm not alone. I hope we can at least get our money back...

Meredith =

I know it is only more of the same but I NEED to vent. My excited group of 4 left Santa Cruz at 4:40 p.m. thrilled that the day had finally arrived (tickets were purchased in October of 2009). We made it intoOakland by 6:00 p.m. but then we hit the 66th Street exit. Fast forward to 9:38 p.m. when I begged my fiancĂ©e to duck out of the traffic line waiting to exit at Hegenberger due to what was quickly becoming a potty emergency (no shoulder to even cop a squat on!). We shot up to the High Street exit, observing the standstills at all Coliseum exits. After being turned away at three different gas stations we finally found a truck stop with facilities close enough to hear Bono crooning in the night air. We found a “back way” into the traffic line up but as we inched ahead we were told by multiple pedestrians (some in parking vests) that all the lots were full and we needed to turn around. Determined to stay the course as we listed to “All I want is you”, we were finally ushered into the Coliseum lot (NOT overflow) and asked to hand over the $40. When asked where we could lodge a complaint we were directed to a “guy in a chair”. We ran into the Coliseum as “Beautiful Day” was hitting its stride and had to eject the folks that had moved into our nice 7th row seats. I am grateful we got to see the hour or so we did but utterly heartbroken and more than a little pissed off. How could this have happened? I saw Sting and the Police here a few years back and it wasn’t nearly the disaster this was. What is a fan to do? We could have driven all the way to Anaheim to see them in the time it took to sit through this.

Anonymous =

Left Redwood City at 6pm. Got to the 66th St exit lane around 9pm. Was in the exit lane for another 45 minutes. When I got to what looked like a parking lot entrance, I saw the sign that said "sorry lot is full". By this time it was 10pm and I was a mile or more away from the stadium still unable to find a place to park. People were abandoning cars and walking along the freeway. No traffic directors, no signs, no help for the thousands of vehicles left standed. Worst of all time. Turned around and got back to Mt View in 30 minutes.

Jane =

While I would never, ever wish my experiences last night on any decent human being, I'm happy that I'm not the only one to be completely blown away by the grievous unpreparedness and disorganization of last night's concert.

Simon =

Thank You for posting this! Good to know those other people out on the clusterfuck onramps from hell also were angry about this.

My wife and I left Santa Cruz at 5:45pm. With 880 packed all the way to Oakland, we got to the onramp to Oracle Arena at ~8:15. Lenny Kravitz hadn't started yet so we were hopeful to catch U2... 1.5 hours later, we had moved ~500ft and still could not see the actual entrance to the onramp. Having worked all day, knowing all the parking lots would be full, and fearing we would arrive only to see 10 minutes of U2 and then have to navigate back out through the gridlock, we left. To spite Oakland, we took the bay bridge home and had one moment of sanity as we crossed the bridge and made our sorry, sad way home. After two years waiting with the tickets, and our previous life spans waiting to see U2 perform live...this was up there with the worst few hours of our lives. We would never drive there again, but most likely we will just never go there again.

Anonymous, rubbing it in ;-) =

Empathy & compassion for all of you - this experience really sucks. Hope civil action goes somewhere but at least you have a place to vent. I had a stroke of insight midday and checked $40 parking prices & BART and really glad now I went with my gut. Left my home in SJ at 6:30, got to Fremont BART at 7:15, to Colisum stop by 7:45, to seats by 8:00, back on BART at 11:15 with no lines, and home by 12:00 - all after an 18 month wait. It was a great concert!

Jerk! J/k. Different Anon. =

Ditto. Left Palo Alto at 6:00 straight up, got to our seats at 9:30. Will never go to O.Co again.


Anonymous said...

Same story here as the rest of you. Headed home after three and a half hours, that was at 10:20. We did't see any information on what was happening. We saw no Police, No Security Guards or Parking attendants. Nada, nothing. I have been searching the web all afternoon. I went to the band's official site and there were comments posted on there similar to ours and now it appears they have been removed.

Anonymous said...

Disgusted with the system, how can you allow so many tickets to be sold when you don't have enough parking available, we left San Jose at 5.20 and at 10.15 finally reached the overflow car park and decided to give up because we thought it was disgraceful that they wanted to charge $40 for a non secure spot at that time of night and we still had a way to walk to the stadium. I have never seen so many frustrated people in one place!

Mark said...

Anyone clever want to rework the "Beautiful Day" lyrics into "Horrible Day" with traffic stories?!

I have resource who can mix traffic jam and U2 Images and sing it for Youtube/Facebook video!

P.S. Any other ripe U2 Songs to parody?