Radiohead’s rain-drenched May 11 sellout at Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, Va., has resulted in an Internet-driven firestorm, with message boards and the blogosphere lighting up amid fan frustration.
The D.C. market was faced with monsoon-like conditions around the show, with an estimated four inches of rain and flooding forcing road closures and maddening traffic conditions. Apparently a significant number of fans — hundreds or thousands, depending on who is estimating — were extremely late or unable to get into the show for a variety of reasons.
As such, many fans have taken to the Internet to vent their dissatisfaction, with neither the venue, the promoter nor the band being spared. One area blogger offers this headline: “Radiohead @ Nissan: You Both Suck.”
Radiohead’s Web site offers the following comment: “Due to Sunday night’s torrential rain storm and consequential multiple road closures, many fans were unable to reach the Nissan Pavilion. While acknowledging a lack of control over the ensuing flooding and detours, the members of Radiohead are nevertheless disappointed regarding this turn of events. For further inquiries, ticket holders who didn’t get in are urged to contact: email@example.com.”
Nissan Pavilion owner/operator Live Nation has offered fans that were turned away tickets to an Aug. 12 show at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, N.J. (near Philadelphia), or tickets to a show of their choice at Nissan Pavilion (subject to availability).
“While we have no control over Mother Nature, we certainly are disappointed that some fans did not make it to the venue,” says Live Nation spokesman John Vlautin. “We take customer service very seriously and urge ticketholders to contact firstname.lastname@example.org, where we will resolve their issues on a case-by-case basis.”
But that may not be enough to pacify some fans. One online petition with more than 350 signers calls for another Radiohead show in the market, with such comments as, “I would ABSOLUTELY want to attend another DC/Baltimore show — as long as its not at Nissan!! The offer that Nissan provided me of free lawn tickets to the Camden, N.J., show is insulting! For one, I had pavilion seats. Two – its Camden, NJ!!”
Adding fuel to the fire is Radiohead’s self-stated intention of making its summer tour as environmentally friendly as possible. According to one fan post, “One-third of the concert-goers that night were driving around in circles, burning fossil fuels all the while. This is your save the Earth tour … and yet you play in the middle of nowhere with no public transportation leading there. You owe us!”
And from another, “If you gave even one tiny llama turd about environmental impact, you would never have scheduled a show at a venue 40 miles away from downtown D.C., nowhere near public transportation of any kind.”