Remember how Garth Brooks was supposed to play at the newly expanded Thunder Ridge Nature Arena at Bass Pro Shop’s Big Cedar Lodge?
Well, he did… but apparently it was a damn nightmare for many of the fans.
According to KY3, the fans who got there very early had no problems getting in.
However, there were a ton of fans that never made it inside, or were only able to catch the back end of the concert due to parking, traffic and shuttle problems. There were also complaints from people who have disabilities left with no choice but to try and walk for miles to the venue.
And for folks who lived nearby, who weren’t even going to the concert, they had to sit in hours of traffic just to get home.
Traffic Jams, People walking on highways and Dirt Road.
Thunder Ridge Arena down old dirt road outside Branson, MO could not hold the crowd of 80,000 people who came Friday Night 9/30/22.
GARTH BROOKS. Arena tickets 400.00 a piece. Others did not get to see concert. pic.twitter.com/3e5nw52AiR
— *GMC JIMMY*🇺🇸 (@GMCJIMMY21) October 5, 2022
Bass Pro leaders spoke out about the issues to the outlet, and made their best effort to make amends with the upset fans.
Jeff Wilhoit, who has worked for Bass Pro for over 25 years, said:
“Overall, it was an incredible event to open a brand new arena, to have 80,000 fans see one of the most incredible iconic artists like Garth Brooks.”
He also discussed the company they hired to work the event:
“We hired a company called ASM Global. They do large events all over the country.”
Wilhoit also noted that ASM works with FEMA, and FEMA had taken a lot of the shuttles to help out with the Hurricane Ian effort in Florida.
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“We had to scramble just to find some on Friday night. We would never encourage anyone to walk down Highway 86.
It’s heartbreaking, honestly. It’s hard to know what to say to those folks. There were people that absolutely, it was a challenge on Friday night. It’s heartbreaking to watch those folks.
Especially the ADA folks who had a hard time getting in. Again, for the vast majority of people, it was not only an amazing concert, it was the concert of a lifetime.
Anytime you open something brand new, especially an arena of this size, you are going to have challenges.”
When the interviewer asked him what he had to say to those families who spent a ton of money for the concert, just to never get in, he responded:
“I want to apologize. We are extremely sorry that they didn’t. For the vast majority, lots of people had an incredible time. You can tell by that aerial picture there were 20,000 people that had an incredible time.
But for those folks that were not able to make it in, especially on Friday night when we had challenges, we are definitely sorry about that.”
And when she asked him what Bass Pro was doing to make it right, he responded:
“We will make it right with folks. If they were not able to get in or got in the last song or something, we want to make it right with people.
Johnny Morris is not in the business to scam people out of money. Thunder Ridge is in a not-for profit. (The) Johnny Morris Foundation and all the money raised from that concert goes back to conservation.”
Refunds are available for fans who did not get to see the concert.
Some fans took Facebook to share photos of the traffic, or their hike to the venue:
Needless to say, there were a lot of pissed off folks who attended, or tried to attend, the event:
Johnny and Garth, do the right thing and reimburse those of us who bought tickets and unable to get to venue. We were made to pay 48.00 to park at the Fruit Farm, miles from the venue and shuttles were stuck in the traffic mess. 1000’s of people were stranded, some walked miles.
— Jennifer (@jennannwill) October 4, 2022
We love Garth too and was extremely upset that we never made it to the venue after sitting in traffic for over 2 hours! Even paid for parking and didn’t get to use it either. Was a total cluster! We even came from out of state to see him. Disappointing.
— Shelle Herring (@artemis0368) October 3, 2022
Leaving parking is nightmare. They have hundreds of people working here and not one can assist in getting the flow of traffic moving. 2 hours just sitting in lot. I expected waiting but this is horrible. No planning. Terrible planning, but thanks for your money.
— Hanleyfalls63 (@hanleyfalls63) October 2, 2022
@NaturesArenaMO @Ticketmaster @garthbrooks what is going to be done to compensate all of the fans who did not get an opportunity to attend the Garth Brooks shows the weekend of 9/30- 10/2 because there were not enough shuttles and too much traffic. How do I get my money back?
— Stacy Steinhauer (@StacySteinhaue1) October 2, 2022