Thousands of people left frustrated, many of them military service members, after a benefit concert for troops hosted by Dwayne Johnson reached maximum capacity on October 22.
Many people that got to the concert had to wait for several hours waiting in line to get into the concert, only to be turned away.
The show, dubbed “Rock the Troops,” included appearances by Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Nick Jonas, Flo Rida, Lynyrd Skynyrd and others.
The concert, which was at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham in Hawaii, was free to military and Defense Department ID card holders. These people were also allowed to request passes for up to 10 non-DoD guests.
Even though DoD ID card holders were allowed to invite up to 10 guests, only 9,000 visitor passes were requested. Roughly 4,800 of them were granted according to Air Force officials.
Event organizers were expecting roughly 25,000 people to show up to the concert, but more than 45,000 were there in attendance. Organizers say that roughly 9,000 people were non-military.
Officials said that around 6:30 pm, approximately one hour after the concert started, for the sake of security, they had to close off the gates.
Many military members complained on the base’s Facebook page saying that civilians shouldn’t have been allowed to attend the concert.
“Waited for four hours in line and traffic only to get turned away,” one commenter said. “I hope all the civilians enjoy the ‘Rock the Troops’ show.”
Aiea resident, Malia told Hawaii News Now that she left her home at 2 pm to get to the concert but then was caught in a great deal of traffic. She then stood in line for four hours before being denied entry. She was roughly 10th in line before being told that no more people were being allowed in.
“Had we known we were going to waste four hours of our day just to not get in there, we wouldn’t have wasted our time,” said Malia.
“I think in any situation when you have that many people its hard for 45,000 people to have the exact same experience,” said Casey Patterson, executive producer of Rock the Troops. “What ended up happening is that the demand for the event was more than anyone anticipated.”
“I think this event was a home run,” Chris Stagner, a spokesperson for the Air Force Entertainment Liaison office told Military.com. “It allowed us to get 45,000 people on the installation and watch this amazing event … it was a great event and it really was unfortunate that not everyone was able to attend.”
Spike TV is airing a Christmastime special of the concert on December 13th.