The Governors Ball is offering refunds after Sunday’s hellish rain evacuation fiasco. Concert turned to clusterfuck when, at 9:30 p.m. local time, festival officials announced the evacuation and cancellation of Sunday’s remaining acts.
“Due to approaching severe weather, all persons should move quickly and calmly to the nearest exit,” read a warning on festival video screens.
The Governors Ball posted a similar warning on Twitter at 9:35 p.m. Sunday:
The announcement capped a frustrating day full of rain and seven-hour delays for concertgoers who’d already forked over hundreds of dollars for tickets.
SZA, Charli XCX and The Strokes were scheduled to hit the stage, but none were able to. The evacuation was announced just before The Strokes were set to play, the last straw for many attendees who chanted, “Refund!” “Fuck you!” and “We want The Strokes!” while waiting for ferries.
But the evacuation wasn’t as simple as opening the gates. Randall’s Island, the site of the festival, is a literal island, and one that can be a complete pain to leave, rain or shine.
According to Twitter, plenty of rain-soaked festival-goers found themselves stranded in the thunder and downpour, and unable to catch a ferry off the island as angry hordes rushed to the exits.
The storm also included lightning, pea-sized hail and 60-mph winds.
Concertgoers have reported rioting, shoving, destroying an art installation, TP-ing trees and even knocking down a giant fence so that crowds could move forward.
It isn’t the first time the New York festival has had trouble with the weather—most longtime attendees know to pack a rain jacket. Three years ago, the festival canceled its final day because of severe weather.
Pandemonium like this, however, may be business as usual for the Fyre Festival but has never been seen in Governors Ball history.
In response to the cancellations, The Strokes released a statement, thanking fans for trying to stick with them through the delays and expressing their disappointment.
“Sometimes Mother Nature has a mind of its own and unfortunately that didn’t allow for us to meet you on the stage tonight,” the statement explains.
Charli XCX took to Twitter to announce a last-minute show in Manhattan on Sunday night because of the cancellation.
In addition to The Strokes, SZA and Charli XCX, performances by Kaytranada, Aaron Aye, Beast Coast, Soccer Mommy, Flatbush Zombies, Parcels and many others were canceled. Acts including Noname, Lily Allen, Chelsea Cutler, Shaed, Bob Moses and Louis the Child were still able to perform Sunday, despite delays.
The first two days of the festival also went off without a hitch, with headliners Tyler, The Creator, Lil Wayne, Brockhampton, Florence + The Machine, The 1975, Kacey Musgraves and Playboi Carti performing unimpeded.
The Governors Ball released its own statement, explaining the decision to evacuate after consulting New York City officials and law enforcement.
“The safety of everyone always comes first,” the statement explained.
Thankfully, concertgoers who bought Sunday tickets or paid for transportation will receive a refund. Concert officials expect refunds to be processed within 21 days.
Find out more here.