Large crowds at Santa Monica concert series prompt safety concerns

- To get a spot on the Santa Monica Pier last Thursday close enough to record the Khalid concert was a special feat.

Most concert goers braved record breaking crowds taking to social media to post videos about their experience.

“Everyone kept crowding in on us, we didn’t have any room,” one concert goer said. “Everyone was really squished together and we couldn’t even see the back of the crowd it was wild.”

The first of the Twilight Concert Series on the pier, plus the popularity of the artist drew a crowd that fanned out on the beach. 

“It went all the way down there super far people were waiting in line until Venice it was crazy,” another girl described.

Santa Monica officials who saw what happened said the concert quickly became a big public safety concern.

So for the second concert, officials planned to make changes. 

Security was tight with a large police presence on the pier and on the beach.

“I noticed the tower back behind us and I was like that’s interesting that they have a whole police tower just at a beach I’ve never seen that before,” one concert goer said. 

Officials said they also opened up more entry points to streamline the movement of concert goers on and off the pier.

“I was glad there was at least a bag check while walking in,” concert goer, Chanel Buccola, said.

Controversy over how many people attended the Khalid concert had the city seeking professional estimates.

Andrew Rice, a spokesperson with the Pier Corp., said 25-thousand people came last weekend that's double what is typical for these concerts.

But the artist Khalid tweeted 60,000 came to watch him perform.

“Things get momentum just based on someone saying something and everyone runs with it,” Rice said. “It was a large crowd and obviously we’re not used to seeing 25 thousand people here either.”

A spokesperson with the city of Santa Monica said the city is always evaluating whether its resources can maintain the safety of concert goers.

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