Police in Riot Gear Shut Down L.A. Pride This Past Weekend Due to Capacity Issues (Updated)
UPDATE, Monday, June 11: An L.A. Pride shut down happened again on Sunday, as many ticketholders looking to enter the festival grounds on Sunday were turned away, after hours in line, due to capacity issues. That included many people who had been turned away the day before but were told they’d be able to use their Saturday tickets on Sunday.
Last night, the L.A. Pride festival was shut down by police during Kehlani’s set. Over 40,000 people turned out, and by 9 p.m. the fire marshall determined the event was at capacity, telling festivalgoers waiting in line they wouldn’t get in, regardless of whether or not they had a ticket. An hour later, the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Department used helicopters to announce that the crowd had to disperse, causing the L.A. Pride shut down.
The event was held in West Hollywood Park, as usual, however this year part of the park was unavailable. L.A. Pride had less space, which was bad news, given that it had record ticket sales this year.
It’s still unclear if L.A. Pride had any mechanisms in place to prevent overselling, or if they were selling tickets based on the full capacity of West Hollywood Park — or whether something else entirely was to blame.
Festivalgoers (or rather, attempted festivalgoers) were understandably upset. About 200 people attempted to push their way back into the festival. Some festivalgoers apparently threw rocks, and the police responded by donning tactical gear. Authorities said no arrests were made.
Jerwyn Morton, a man who flew from New York City for L.A. Pride told the Los Angeles Blade, “What were they expecting, Stonewall? I have never seen so many cops in my life wearing riot gear at a gay event.”
Organizers apologized for the L.A. Pride shut down, and said people turned away could exchange their Saturday tickets or wristbands for Sunday tickets. In addition, L.A. Pride posted video of Kehlani’s performance, which you can watch below.
Sunday’s events include the annual parade down Santa Monica Boulevard, which will include a new, special contingent highlighting the 31 states where LGBTQ discrimination is still legal. The special contingent was formed after this week’s Supreme Court decision on the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.
Watch Kehlani’s performance before the L.A. Pride shut down here:
— LA Pride (@lapride) June 10, 2018