Sunday, January 18, 2009

Inaugural Concert - Close, But Not Quite

Shira was a trooper today, and head down to the National Mall to try to catch the Inaugural Concert. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be.

We made it downtown without any problem, and then stood in a massive line for over an hour:

As we inched closer to the security entrance, the line we were in disintegrated. Apparently, the Fire Marshall had closed down the entrance, as the line had become more or less out of control, with people being pushed up against the entrance. We asked around, and two other entrances had been closed, leaving one option left. With the thousands and thousands of people, it became clear that we weren't getting in.

It's amazing, a campaign that could run a 50 state effort couldn't manage to keep lines from falling apart. Someone needed to take a lesson from Disney Land, and setup some barriers or even tape.

We headed back home at that point, and had few crowds to contend with. Though, I think this video captures the situation well:

There are two things to note:

  • Notice how the street is filled with a mass of people? Only a 15 seconds earlier, there was no one in the street - order was being kept by one traffic guard telling people to stay on the sidewalk. As you can see, the massive crowd filled in the street in no time.
  • This video was shot at 2:00'ish. The concert was either beginning or about to begin. All these folks you see have absolutely no chance of getting in to see anything. These are effectively the late attendees - imagine how many people were already there?

It was certainly a spectacle to see. We then watched the concert from the comfort of our own home. Warm and toasty and without a nasty commute home. I guess all worked out in the end.

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