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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Live At the Station: A hit or miss

Photo courtesy of Clay Watt/Instagram

Texas A&M students share their experience from the first Live At the Station music festival.

Students said expectations were high heading into Live At the Station, a Saturday night of live music that ended in hours of traffic, lack of water and more. 

Zach Bryan, Flatland Cavalry and Treaty Oak Revival performed at Snook Rodeo Grounds on Saturday, Oct. 21. An estimated 30,000 were in attendance, with people traveling across the U.S. for the big night, according to festival organizers.

The amount of traffic the event brought was like no other, sport management freshman Erica Eastman said. Eastman, who took an Uber to the festival, said she and her friends got out and walked some of the way because they felt bad for the Uber driver. 

“I believe it took us like an hour and a half to get there,” Eastman said. “We didn’t even make it to the rideshare area, we got out and walked some of it.”

Snook Rodeo Grounds is approximately 15 miles from College Station and takes around 30 minutes to arrive on a normal day. Having no plans on how to get home, Eastman said she and her friends were lucky enough to find a ride back to College Station in the back of a stranger’s truck.

Industrial distribution junior Luke Sims said it didn’t take as long for him to leave the festival as it did for him to arrive. However, Sims said he knew of people who waited upwards of four hours just to get out of the parking lot.
“It took us two hours to get out of the festival,” Sims said. “I think it was done in the worst way possible with getting people out.”

With multiple parking lots and one road to take all 30,000 attending home, a trapped feeling struck out amongst attendees. Since the festival, Live At the Station organizers sent a statement to KBTX regarding the various issues attendees expressed. 

“We understand attendees’ frustration concerning traffic flow in and out of the venue and acknowledge we have some work to do and have already started on new ways to alleviate traffic congestion,” festival organizers told KBTX.

Chilifest, a Texas A&M favorite since 1999, is a music festival that takes place in the spring at the same location Live At the Station was held. A major difference between the two festivals was the availability of shuttles, finance senior Harper McCracken said.
Fetti, a ride share service, was used at Chilifest to shuttle people to the festival from Post Oak Mall. This helped aid traffic congestion by transporting upwards of 15 people at a time. 
“Please partner with us next year so we can reduce congestion and people can get in/out safely. This could have been mitigated. We attempted to reach out and set up a partnership similar to what we did with Chilifest but our offer was declined. Let’s set up a proper plan for next year and make it a great event together!” Fetti said via Live At the Stations Instagram. 

Several Live At the Station attendees passed out due to lack of hydration. Eastman said she had first-hand experience with watching others pass out at the event. 
“My friend actually ended up passing out,” Eastman said. “She wasn’t one of the ones that passed out during [Zach Bryan’s] set, but we had to move back because of how clogged it was.” 
Eastman estimated Zach Bryan stopped his set at least five times to allow for medical attention to be brought to those who had passed out. 

“We went to get water for my friend who passed out and there was no water to be found,” Eastman said. 

Eastman said employees running the beverage booth told her they had nothing left to give. Event organizers  included the following statement regarding lack of hydration to KBTX.

“As event organizers, we take the safety of our guests seriously,” the statement reads. “We understand the need to stay hydrated and allowed attendees to bring in water. Contrary to what has been reported, we did not run out of water at the festival and are working to determine where the issue was.”

Live At the Station organizers announced it would be returning for a second year in October 2024. The festival will be held on Oct. 11 and 12 at the same venue in Snook. 

“I had a fantastic time,” Morrison said. “I know people didn’t necessarily have the greatest of times, but I loved it.” 

Morrison said he had VIP tickets and believes that’s why his experience was so different. 

“I could actually see the people on the stage without having to fight for a spot,” Morrison said. “They laid down gravel in the VIP section … We had nicer bathrooms, concessions and a bar.”

Sims said his decision to return to next year’s festival depends on a lot of factors. If the festival organizers figure out their organizational issues and have a good lineup, Sims said he would consider buying another ticket.

“In the end, it was worth it, I love Zach Bryan so much … I’m a big memories person, so it was a good memory to have,” said Eastman.

Live At the Station organizers released a statement following the festival via Instagram and Facebook that has since been taken down.

“We take pride in delivering a great consumer experience and acknowledge we missed the mark in certain areas … We appreciate the feedback received from attendees and are making improvements to create an enhanced experience for Live at The Station Festival 2024,” organizers wrote.

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