Nearly seven hours after Electric Zoo’s gates opened on Sunday and with some three-and-a-half hours left of performances still to come at Randall’s Island in New York, festivalgoers were notified that capacity had been reached. By then, the festival gates were being breached by valid ticket holders who were being told they could not enter.
Jeff Wang, 22, was among those that rushed one of the gates. Amid the mania, he tells Rolling Stone one of his friends lost his phone.
“I’m never coming back,” Wang says. “Worst experience of my life.”
The festival had already been plagued with issues, having already canceled its first day on Friday mere hours before the gates opened, and Day Two got a late start as well. But its final day caused even more frustration as those who paid to be there were turned away.
Reports on social media showed video of people rushing the gates after they were told that the festival had reached capacity and valid ticket holders would not be granted entry.
At 7:22 p.m. ET, the festival shared on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that they would be providing refunds, though they did not address how the event could have reached capacity prior to all ticket holders entering the venue.
Organizers and the festival’s public relations reps did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s requests for comment.
“Every single staff that is at EZoo is mad at EZoo,” a security guard tells Rolling Stone. “Why would you oversell the tickets?”
The EZoo app notified guests at 7:40 p.m. that due to Friday’s cancellation the venue had reached capacity earlier than anticipated.
“Everyone who was denied entry today will be issued a full refund If you’ve taken the ferry, they will remain running and will safely transport you from the island Buses will also remain running to transport you off of the island,” organizers wrote, adding, “Even if you did not purchase a ferry or shuttle pass, they will still allow you to board to safely transport you off of the island.”
“Entry to the event is now closed and will not re-open,” organizers said.
Eileen Tayam, 28, flew in with friends from Houston and tells Rolling Stone that her sister Elise, 32, was part of the agitated crowd denied entry. As crowds pushed forward, Tayam says her sister decided to go home. Tayam added the heavy crowd reminded her of the time she attended Astroworld in 2018.
“This crowd was the closest I’ve been to Astroworld,” Tayam says.
On Friday, the festival posted a message explaining the decision to cancel the day at 11:35 a.m., writing that “This year has presented unparalleled challenges for everyone. The global supply chain disruptions have impacted industries worldwide, and, sadly, our beloved festival has not been immune. These unexpected delays have prevented us from completing the construction of the main stage in time for Day 1.”
People who purchased Friday tickets will get a full refund, according to organizers. Those who had multi-day passes will get a partial refund in the amount of one of the days. People who purchased ferry and bus tickets to get to the festival on Friday will also receive refunds for their transportation, the festival said, with prorated refunds to those with multi-day transportation plans. Kx5 (aka Deadmau5 and Kaskade), Galantis, and the Chainsmokers were among the artists set to perform on Friday.
This is a developing story…