Fans brave storms, snarled traffic in effort to see Beyonce
Posted May 4
Raleigh, N.C. — Thousands of fans braved severe weather and snarled traffic to see Beyonce perform at North Carolina State University's Carter-Finley Stadium Tuesday night.
While Carter-Finley Stadium, the outdoor venue for Beyonce's Formation World Tour, has been home to some big concerts, Tuesday was not the first time traffic had been an issue.
In 2009, when fans packed Raleigh for a U2 show, the same thing happened. Many drivers were tied up in traffic for hours and missed the show.
Tuesday night, some drivers sat in traffic for more than two hours, missing part or all of the show. Officials said weather played a role in the chaos.
"The severe weather that hit the Raleigh area at the peak of rush hour, along with pre-event traffic, resulted in significant congestion before the concert," the N.C. State Athletics Department said. "We regret any inconvenience experienced by fans."
Many abandoned their cars along Interstate 40 and walked to the stadium, but authorities said vehicles would not be towed as long as they were not blocking the roadway.
Jenny Siferd said she and her husband live only three miles away, but after a few hours of gridlock, they gave up.
"We never got to the concert. We didn't see it at all," she said. "We spent a good bit of money on tickets and we were really excited to have a date night away from the toddler, so that was pretty disappointing."
Kathryn Inscoe agreed. She said she was a little more than a mile from the stadium when she let her daughter and a friend get out and walk.
"I heard about five songs total, and some of that was in the gravel parking lot when I was trying to find my way through," Inscoe said.
Going forward, officials said they plan to meet with local stakeholders, city leaders and local law enforcement to once again come up with a better plan to manage traffic.
Siferd said next time she plans to go elsewhere.
"Honestly, I would look and see where else they are going. I would fly to New York before doing that again," she said.
According to the Highway Patrol, 40 troopers were assisting with traffic.
The show started on time, but was temporarily suspended just after 10 p.m. because of lightning. The PNC Arena and N.C. State indoor practice facility were opened to give fans a dry place to wait out the storm.
The show started again at about 11:30 p.m.