Deciding to move headliner comics to the interior of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium this year has proved extremely unpopular with many Clusterfest attendees, as not everyone was able to board when they were seated wanted.  To accommodate the many fans of headliner John Mulaney on Saturday, the festival organizers planned for two shows, one at 8:15 am and another at 10:15 am, featuring performances by Julio Torres and Sheng Wang. When I went to the party on Saturday, I noticed that twice as many people had put the former show on the Clusterfest app on their schedule, and in the evening it turned out that everyone really wanted to get into the early show. (I participated in the late show and the seats on the balcony were only 2/3 occupied and most of the floor space on the ground floor was empty and Mulaney killed him.)
The disorganization that was involved However, the participants were sitting outside of Bill Graham, who may not have a seat or standing room, was frustrated and this had not been a problem at the two previous Cluster festivals as the most well-known acts all performed on the main outdoor stage.
KPIX spoke to a participant who claimed to be in line for four and a half hours (this does not seem plausible), and SF Weekly points to several tweets with hours of queuing ̵
The other problem, and this has happened in the past few years: because it's a festival, people simply camp out in places in Bil l Graham for several shows and save places for friends. The security staff should have tried to prohibit the saving of seats on Saturday evening, since already so many seats were occupied by people who had never left the previously led by Chelsea Peretti set.
Much of the misery tweeted about the situation inside and outside of Bill Graham on Saturday could have been avoided if some of these people had simply decided to join the later Mulaney set. The festival also tweeted to the people that they should think about the later show, which would be exactly the same, but no one apparently listened. And the comparisons to the Fyre Festival are a little over the top.
As SF Weekly's Zack Ruskin puts it, "This is really going to be the case that most people waste two hours." However, there was a major overcapacity problem for the early show, as the organizers clearly lost control of the audience and reportedly blocked many aisles.
I can not believe the Parkour I had to do to get him back to my place for the early John Mulaney show last night. These corridors screamed fire danger. They were definitely not ready for so many crowds and it feels like they are oversold. #Clusterfest
– Kyle Buis (@kylebuis) June 23, 2019
For those who are interested in #Clusterfest : They have not missed anything. Terrible planning, uninformed and aggressive (and racist) security and lines around the block. Literally the worst event I ever attended. #NeverAgain #fyrefestival # @ clusterfest @Superfly
– Vikash Parekh (@VikashIsCool) June 23, 2019
If you ask yourself, this is massive @mulaney Line at @clusterfest – remember that many (with tickets) have been waiting several hours before being told they are full / busy. His second show was eerily empty. There is something wrong. #clusterfest @clusterfyre pic.twitter.com/JYAV24XcuD
– Deaf Mute (@contron) June 23, 2019
We hear you. We tried some new things this year and still have a lot to do. Thank you for your feedback and patience. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow. #Clusterfest https://t.co/itR9uKQvq0[19459003)-Clusterfest(@clusterfest) June 23, 2019
Photo: @daniel by courtesy of @Clusterfest