WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Ticketholders and visitors to Winston-Salem say they are out hundreds to more than a thousand dollars after they missed the Paul McCartney concert due to heavy traffic, and shortage of parking spots available close to Truist Stadium.
The Deacon Demon stadium sits 31,500 people and was expected to be “at capacity,” as of the Wednesday before the concert.
Concertgoers were given instructions to arrive by 6 p.m. on Saturday and to expect different traffic patterns and alternative parking locations away from the stadium.
One Wake Forest University representative told FOX8 on Monday that there were scheduled shuttles to take people to the stadium from parking locations on campus.
On Saturday, concertgoers who tried to arrive at 6 p.m., as suggested, found that they were unable to get within two miles of the stadium due to traffic.
Deborah Cronin and her husband were among them. The couple drove from Myrtle Beach and bought tickets to celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary with Paul McCartney music.
However, they sat in line for more than three hours before giving up.
Deborah told FOX8, “It got to the point that after three and a half hours we gave up. I was just like, ‘We’re not getting in.’ I’ve never seen a concert venue so poorly handled.”
She explained that it ruined their night and their anniversary.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience that we missed out on, and it was replaced with horrible memories of being aggravated and angry on our wedding anniversary,” she said.
The couple turned around and went back to their hotel and missed the concert.
WFU representatives told FOX8 that the sold-out show was delayed due to severe thunderstorms.
Gates opened an hour later, at 7 p.m., and the show started at 8:45 p.m. as opposed to 8:05 p.m.
People in line, including Erin and Bryan Harris, said the delays in the show were not the problem, but rather lack of open spaces.
Erin told FOX8, “We were actually directed into a parking lot that was actually full. So everybody then had to back down lanes to get out. Then they took us back to the entrance. The cop again sent us to the same direction, and by the time we got back around the corner they had realized that they had blocked it off. Then it was like, ‘OK, well, you gotta go this way.’”
Erin and her husband found a parking spot and were inside the concert by 10:45 p.m. to hear the last few songs. However, they say they have no plans to attend another concert at Truist Stadium.
FOX8 asked WFU about refunds, but there was no set comment on that subject.
They advised that fans with questions are encouraged to reach out to Wake Forest University through firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Greensboro Coliseum, who managed the event, said this:
Everyone who purchased through Ticketmaster received two e-mails last week with detailed event information that stressed arriving by 6 pm. Press release was also sent out with links to event information website and parking maps. Parking lots opened at 3 pm. The rain/lightning/winds were certainly a factor in delaying arrivals.
We are still collecting information on how many actual patrons were impacted.