To all of the supporters of Hot Topic and fans of TWILIGHT: Although no explanation will correct the situation that occurred in Chicago today at the Orland Square Mall, I wanted to attempt to explain what happened from our point of view. We do many signings all over the country with large crowds so we have processes and systems in place to ensure a smooth experience for our customers. The mall developer was a partner in the planning; however, as of two days ago, they told us they would not allow any fans to line up prior to 6AM. They required them to be off the premises. On Monday at 6AM at the San Francisco event, the fans became disorderly and stormed the mall entrance. Mall security, numerous police, fire officials and our team from HT stepped in to calm the crowd and create a safe environment for the fans. The event was revised and went forward with the exception of the planned Q&A. Monday’s event caused all of us to re-group and review the process. Allowing a “mob” to develop was dangerous and frankly, not an option. The mall developer (GGP) consented to allowing an orderly line to form prior to 6AM outside of the remainder of the malls on the tour. When our crew arrived yesterday at midnight, approximately 500 people were already lined up to purchase tickets. By 1AM, there were 700 people in line. It was about 30 degrees and raining. We had to make a call. We knew the first 500 would get wristbands and felt it was the right call to allow those waiting beyond 500 to go home and avoid the cold, wet weather for the remainder of the morning. Given the demand, anyone arriving after midnight would have been too late to obtain a wristband. We understand your frustration and anger, but from our standpoint, we had no choice but to change the rules after Monday’s event. We knew some would feel it unfair as they were told one thing and when arriving on the scene, something else was reality. But given the choice of risking a disorderly crowd, a dangerous situation and canceling of the event, we made a decision that we felt was the right thing to do. I support our team and the mall for making safety and, given the weather, health the priorities. ... We sincerely apologize and hope that the facts help you to better understand the situation. Betsy McLaughlin CEO, Hot TopicSo the fans that showed up on time did not get a chance to meet the sad faced boy Robert Pattinson because they had already given out all the bracelets, aw sadness. But seriously...there were 700 people waiting in line at 1 AM...in the rain...was he showing up naked? This has gone to a whole new level of insanity. But the Twilight fans have taken to the commenter boards to voice there anger, here is a sampling:
Taterbuggy Says: This would have been nice to know 2 days ago.
Jennylee Says: It didn’t satisfy me. They can apologize for it after the fact but there are a lot of girls that came and ended up jaded. If they really wanted to atone for it, then they would re-do the event. Tisk Tisk.
still mad Says: Well what about Dallas, a lot of girls that were there first were scr*wed over! People waiting for 5 hours didn’t get in vs. people that were there for 15 minutes did. Seriously, it shouldn’t be this hard, girls line up and first 500 get a wristband. It’s not like this is the first event people have waited for hours and hours for. Maybe HT should have taken pointer from the professionals and not winged these events. I have gotten sooo many things from HT but I’m seriously so jadded that I’m no longer going to shop there…EVER!!!!
ondiv Says: “the fans became disorderly and stormed the mall entrance.” “Allowing a “mob” to develop was dangerous” Wow, for the first time ever I can say I’m honestly embarrassed to be a Twilight fan. Way to go for confirming every Twilight fan stereotype. None of these signing events is coming anywhere near my city (Salt Lake City), but with things like this happening I wouldn’t even attempt to go if they did. I have been to countless fan conventions, store promotions for movies, and the like for actors and musicians WAY bigger than Robert Pattinson and nothing like this has ever happened. A MAJOR kudos to the mall security team, local police men and women and the local Hot Topic team for keeping things from becoming worse then they did.I'm really starting to enjoy following this crazy mob of vampire fans from city to city, hopefully the next appearance he'll throw the crowd a t-shirt to which will incite them to burn the city to the ground. Twilight 4 EVA. [via Twilight Lexicon Blog] Image via Jake Carter @ WaveCrestMedia.com