WUStock at The Pageant leaves out many, wows attendees
Saying he had come to St. Louis with nothing more than tank tops like the one he wore on stage, Macklemore asked the crowd of screaming students if he could borrow someone’s jacket. Donning two brown faux mink coats from the audience, artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed their number one hit, “Thrift Shop,” as their third number.
More than 2,000 students and guests packed into The Pageant Sunday, most of them arriving less than an hour before Macklemore and Ryan Lewis took to the stage for the first ever indoor WUStock, widely criticized for its large number of logistical mishaps.
Opening acts finished around 3:30 p.m., and the headliners, set to perform at 4 p.m., waited half an hour backstage for more students to arrive.
“Students waited until really long to come. And so Macklemore was here and he waited 30 minutes to go on. They were ready to go on at four, so they waited for most of the students to get into the door,” Valronica Scales, assistant director of CS40, said.
Though Scales noted that a few students were turned away at the door for being drunk or trying to bring in flasks, organizers said they were generally pleased with the execution of the event itself.
“I think it went well given the circumstances. I wish [WUStock] had been able to host everyone, but I think given the circumstances, it went all right,” sophomore Yuwen Memon, chair of CS40’s Swamp Committee, said.
A rough move indoors
Macklemore’s performance followed days of student frustration over moving WUStock off the Swamp in anticipation of the snowstorm that dumped at least 4.5 inches on the city this weekend.
CS40 announced on Friday that they would be giving out 2,000 total student tickets starting at 5:30 that afternoon—giving students about three hours of notice.
Students began lining up well before 4 p.m., and before 6:30 p.m., all available tickets had been given out. Because many students cut in the line or brought multiple IDs to the Residential Life office, other students who entered the queue at 4:30 p.m. did not receive tickets on Friday. Meanwhile, police officers standing by the Residential Life doors did nothing while students used the same IDs to pick up multiple tickets, and the end of the line extended to wrap around Koenig House.
When CS40 announced to a crowd of several hundred students that all the early tickets had been given out, many students voiced frustration with the process.
“This is legitimately the biggest letdown of my college career,” said junior Josh Smith, who was waiting in the line since 4:30 and just outside the door when they ran out.
“It’s bulls—,” junior Marty Schoen, who was standing in line with Smith, said. “Moving it [from the Swamp] was unfair. The most unfair thing was that they let people use an ID to get in even if they weren’t waiting in line.”
The only students notified about the distribution were those living in ResLife housing or members of the WUStock Facebook group.
“It’s a disappointment. I didn’t go see Macklemore at South by Southwest last week because I was so certain that I wanted to see it all out,” senior Tori Wesevich said. “And since I live off campus I did not get the email so I did not find out until right before.”
On Friday, students were able to pick up tickets for themselves and one friend, if they had their friend’s ID. But due to a communication issue, some students were able to walk away with three tickets each instead of two.
“The main thing where things kind of went wrong is there was a miscommunication [with] the whole line fiasco. There was just a miscommunication between us and some of our staff,” Memon said.
Extreme measures for final tickets
After Friday’s fallout, some students went to great lengths to make sure they were in line early enough for one of the 250 tickets CS40 reserved for distribution on Sunday.
Senior Jason Dorn and fifth-year student Nicolas Carroll pitched a tent outside the ResLife office at midnight and slept in below-freezing weather to get the first of the remaining tickets.
Carroll said he and Dorn were about 20 people away from getting tickets on Friday, and had committed early on to attending Macklemore’s performance. Dorn, who enjoys camping, brought the tent, and they also brought an air mattress, sleeping bags, a grill and a speaker.
They said the Washington University Police Department and ResLife were tolerant of everything except the grill.
“We figured yesterday, well if we’re going to do this, we’re going to go all out—we’ll make sure we’re number one in line,” Carroll said.
Despite the fact that it was snowing outside, Carroll said the wait wasn’t particularly difficult.
“I’m wearing probably five layers right now. We were pretty comfortable,” he said.
Carroll said their decision to camp out for WUStock tickets was not just to make sure they got to see Macklemore, but also to show their support for WUStock as a campus staple.
“WUStock is something that students look forward to every year now, some people more than W.I.L.D., just because of the acts they’re able to bring in,” Carroll said. “We wanted to show that students really do care about the acts that they bring to campus and we were more than willing to do this and have a lot of fun doing it. We hope that in the future these events stay open to the entire student population.”
“We’re not just bandwagon fans that just hopped on when he released ‘Thrift Shop,’” Dorn said. “We’ve been listening to him for years.”
While other students did not arrive until Sunday morning, some were significantly more fazed by the wintry weather.
“We got here at 8. We’ve been really, really, really cold. But it’s still worth it,” freshman Ally Zabell said. “I guess it’s the most efficient way they could do it but it still kind of sucks.”
Not all students who got their tickets on Sunday braced hours of the year’s most severe snowstorm.
Unlike Friday’s disarray, students looking to get Macklemore tickets on Sunday were given a ticket marking their place in line to ensure the first 250 people outside the ResLife office received tickets to Macklemore.
The last tickets were given out just before 1 p.m., after most of the line had died down.
“F—ing Awesome,” despite snafus
By the time the final ticket was handed out, shuttles were already transporting students to the venue, where three student bands opened for the “Thrift Shop” rapper.
While the rescheduled concert no longer included a mechanical bull, inflatable boxing ring or free Chill frozen yogurt, Seoul Taco provided free tacos in The Pageant’s parking lot Sunday.
Those students who were able to attend the concert said they enjoyed the show immensely.
“I thought that was the best WUStock I’ve ever been to in my four years of college,” David Zhang, a senior who lives a short walk from The Pageant, said. “The energy was just crazy.”
Freshman Liza Butts waited a while in the snow for the shuttle to pick her up from the South 40.
“I was a little bit annoyed, but it wasn’t too bad of an issue,” Butts said. “It was worth it, very worth it.”
Junior Rose McCarty, who got her ticket on Sunday morning, said she ended up enjoying the show despite her frustration with the process.
“CS40 really screwed the pooch. Just the whole way that the whole ticket process went was f—ed up. They had us line up in order of ticket, which was just logistically stupid and it was, like, freezing outside. I was just like, this is rude. Also, all of us are here with our ticket. So, I don’t know, the whole thing got kind of whack,” McCarty said. “But, like, really great show.”