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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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It didn’t feel like Aggieland’: Crowds mar ticket pull for Kevin Hart show

Long lines and aggressive behavior marked the scene Friday for ticket sales to comedian Kevin Hart’s upcoming Rudder Auditorium show.
The Sunday event, hosted by MSC Town Hall and MSC Woodson Black Awareness Committee, quickly sold out. Town Hall posted at 1:24 a.m. to its Facebook page that the line for 10 a.m. ticket sales had reached capacity.
Reed Parker, industrial distribution senior, said students cut in line and exhibited aggressive behavior.
“By making it a really closed-in and confined area for such a large [ticket] pull, that was kind of a problem to begin with,” Parker said. “They knew that this was going to be an event that sold out immediately and between the closed off environment and really what was a lack of security, just a lot of problems existed.”
The situation grew to be problematic after the line became disorganized and students became too disruptive, said Dave Salmon, Town Hall advisor.
“The students, in my professional opinion, were not responsive to our instructions,” Salmon said. “It didn’t feel like Aggieland.”
A scheduling conflict and terms made clear in Kevin Hart’s contract, however, prevented the event from being held in Reed Arena, Salmon said.
“When we contacted Reed Arena there was a volleyball game scheduled and so I actually worked with the Reed Arena manager to see how quickly we could flip the room — meaning when does the game end, how quick can you get the floor — because they’ve got to take the floor up, set the chairs, set the sound system,” Salmon said. “When I saw the contract rider that had the sound system requirements, I knew immediately it was impossible.”
Salmon said the venue selection did not hinder them from wanting to bring the show to Texas A&M students.
“We knew this was a very unique opportunity,” Salmon said. “And so we knew then that we had to use Rudder Auditorium. We also knew that Rudder Auditorium was much smaller than the demand for tickets would be.”
The location change prompted MSC Town Hall to change plans, Salmon said. The high anticipated attendance inside such a small space had to be taken into account.
“When we decided to let students line up we actually created a Facebook event about the line a Facebook event about the line that went out two days early, on the 11th, to make sure everyone understood the rules,” Salmon said. “And again, making it clear that the line starts at 10 a.m. but also that we knew some people would arrive early. It’s just human nature.”
Salmon said despite its best efforts, the event staff did not predict the event’s outcome.
“We underestimated the number of students who would arrive early as well as how early they would arrive,” Salmon said.
To help manage the influx of students, members from Town Hall and MSC WBAC, as well as the University Police Department, helped supervise the event, Salmon said.
“We’ve got approximately 150 students between MSC Town Hall and MSC WBAC and they were working shifts, six at a time, to help manage the line overnight and then to manage the line once we were actually selling tickets,” Salmon said.
Some students eventually became too uncomfortable to remain in line, Parker said.
“Me and my girlfriend started seeing all of this and we left,” Parker said. “We felt like it wasn’t safe. There was a choice of our safety and getting Kevin Hart tickets and we picked our safety.”
Ryan Trantham, MSC president, said some students dismissed the staff members who were doing what they could to control the situation.
The students exhibiting aggressive behavior were mixed in with the crowd, making it difficult to contain the situation, said Lyndon Pryor, WBAC advisor.
“By and large, most of the students were cooperative and generally obedient in at least trying to figure it out. Granted, [they were] frustrated, but at least trying to work things out,” Pryor said. “But you certainly had a handful who were not going with the program and they were in spots where, unfortunately, we really could not get to them.”
Tickets have been posted for sale online for upward of $100, 10 times the listed price of $10. Only ticket-holders with a valid student ID will be admitted to the show Sunday.

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