A Janet Jackson concert has been labeled “a nightmare” after fans waited hours to get to an Illinois venue, some missing out altogether.
Now fans are hoping for refunds following the Saturday, May 27, concert at Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre in Tinley Park. Ludacris opened for Jackson, with the show being the first of the year at the Chicago-area venue.
But many fans missed Ludacris and instead were waiting in a traffic jam that spanned miles.
“It’s pretty sad that so many tickets were sold and thousands of people could not even get in to park to see a Janet Jackson concert they paid for,” Theresa Howell Mendez said in a Facebook post. “Well Over 2 hours sitting on one road that takes you directly in and never got everyone in.”
“We need a refund asap and my ... gas money back and Janet Jackson, please don’t ever do a concert there again because a lot of your fans were turned away tonight,” Shawnese Williams-Shannon said on Facebook. “Tinley Park really dropped the ball tonight.”
Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre, previously called Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, has a capacity of 28,000, according to its website. But many people speculated thousands more attended the concert, leading to a packed lawn.
Before Saturday’s sold-out show, the venue warned concertgoers about the likelihood of high traffic. It encouraged fans to arrive by 6 p.m. for the 7:35 p.m. show.
That wasn’t enough time for some people, who missed out entirely on Jackson’s performance. Some concertgoers who made it inside said they parked their vehicles on the shoulder of the road and walked the rest of the way.
Others said the venue was understaffed and not enough people were directing traffic.
“It took 4hr in bumper to bumper traffic to get to the parking lot at the amphitheater,” D’andre William Baker said on Facebook. “Once we were close to the the parking lot we were told that there was a reroute that took us another hour. Then we was told that we had to go to the over flow parking lot at the car max dealership 10 min away driving but we were still in bumper to bumper traffic and Janet was already 3/4 done. So we left.”
“Tickets were bought in March. I already had the outfit! Also had the babysitter. Cancelled other plans,” Tracee Blackburn said in a Facebook post. “Just to get to the venue on time to WAIT in the parking line for over 2 hours and still 0.4 miles away!”
Shania Twain, Snoop Dogg, Eric Church and Pentatonix are among the upcoming acts at the amphitheater, but some concertgoers have no plans of returning.
Hundreds of people expressed their frustration with the venue in the amphitheater’s Facebook post during the show. As people demanded refunds, the venue responded, “You can email us at HCAmpChicagoInfo@LiveNation.com so we can discuss this further. Please know we are working to respond to everyone that has reached out about their experience and will reach out by the end of the week.”
It’s unclear how the venue plans on compensating the concertgoers.
In a statement to WGN, Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre noted the experience was “incredibly frustrating for fans.” It said its team had already began contacting fans who missed part or all of Jackson’s performance.