FFF Fest: Huge crowds lead to logistical difficulties
On a beautiful day, with temperatures in the upper 60s, clear blue skies, and a lineup that featured the first Austin performance from Judas Priest in 20 years, huge crowds turned out for Day one of Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014. With them came problems the festival has never experienced before. Most notably, the unprecedented turn out led to long lines that stretched from the festival entrance near the traffic circles on Riverside Drive down South First Street onto the pedestrian bridge across Ladybird Lake. Around 2:30 p.m. fest-goers at the front of the will call line reported waiting for over an hour to gain entry.
By 5 p.m. the situation was worse with the line stretching all the way across the bridge and down past City Hall downtown. An upbeat crowd who earlier in the day joked about the situation and formed a fake twitter account @fffwillcall began to turn hostile and there was significant social media grumbling.
Festival organizers tried to respond as quickly as possible. According to Fest representatives they increased the manpower at the front gate and by 5:20 p.m. they were walking the line handing out water and pulling out Fest goers who had bought Friday only tickets to try to expedite entry for fans who paid specifically to get in for that day’s entertainment.