"Despite a crowded concert, UPD reports no major Fall Fest incidents "
Students at Saturday’s Fall Fest may have felt more like sardines than they did concertgoers.
More than 8,000 people piled into Alumni Arena’s Parking lot for the annual Student Association-hosted concert Saturday. In the aftermath of the massive show – co-headlined by T.I. and School Boy Q – many students said the event felt too crowded. But despite the high attendance number, the University Police Department said it encountered no major issues, other than students being hospitalized for drinking too much alcohol.
“There were no incidents, no arrests and no one was ejected,” said Lt. Scott Marciszewski. “For a concert with about 8,000 students to go off without a hitch is pretty great.”
There were about 15 to 20 officers at the fest, which is not abnormal for a concert, according to Marciszewski. Marciszewski said at least four people were removed and hospitalized for alcohol consumption. He also said there were violent incidents.
Officers were dispersed between roads outside the venue, near the line to enter the concert and around the crowd. Although the crammed crowd didn’t turn too rowdy, many students were still uncomfortable during the show.
“I spent about five minutes in the crowd before moving back,” said Eboni Hinnant, a sophomore international relations major. “Even when Schoolboy Q was on I stayed back. It wasn’t worth it to be in such a tight space.”
As the night went on, some of the crowd’s discomfort increased, as quarters grew closer leading into the headliners.
This year, 8,324 people attended Fall Fest – nearly double the last Fall Fest and more than triple that of Spring Fest 2014. With more than 8,000 people in the parking lot, space was tight. But the lot’s capacity is 9,500.
Even after the show was set to begin, fans continued lining up to enter the event, eventually reaching Alumni Arena.
“We held the concert outdoors so that there would be space to back away from the crowd and have some room,” said Evan Chen, SA’s vice president.
Once the gates opened at 5 p.m., a flood of students immediately began to rush the stage, aiming for coveted front-row spots. There was a large crowd against the gates even before opening act Bas came out.
Chen said SA was prepared had the concert’s large crowd gotten out of control.
“We had police stationed around the area to keep an eye on everything,” Chen said. “As soon as they saw a problem, they went right in and took out whomever they needed to. We wanted to make sure everyone was safe and able to enjoy themselves with as little disturbance as possible.”
By the end of the concert, attendees had little to complain about other than the lack of space. Once the fireworks were finished, students exited the parking lot chattering about the music.
“I had a lot of fun, but it was really crowded,” said Carli Rescott, a sophomore International Studies major. “I strongly believe that they should only allow UB students in, so the venue isn’t so packed.”
SA leaves its show open to the public and students. General admission tickets were $40.
SA’s next big concert will be Spring Fest.