At Nissan, The Rain Hits the Fan

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

On Sunday, the already arduous ritual of getting to a show at Nissan Pavilion became a concertgoers' nightmare of idling cars stretching from horizon to horizon with no end in sight. Flooded roads forced police to reroute traffic before the Radiohead show, and the main route into the venue was so jammed that some fans didn't arrive in time to see the band.

"I wasted almost eight hours of my life trying to get to Nissan Pavilion and driving back home," said Clarksville, Md., resident Tim Shaw, who didn't reach the venue until 10:30, when the concert was nearly over, only to turn around at the gate. "I've been to a lot of shows and a lot of festivals, including the second Woodstock, and I've never seen anything as insane."

Other fans expressed similar frustrations: "It took us four hours to go 35 miles before we gave up at 10 o'clock," said Aaron Fate of Silver Spring, who noted that he was able to listen to all of Radiohead's "OK Computer" in the time it took to travel one mile in the traffic jam. "Refund please?"

Live Nation, the concert promoter and venue owner, yesterday issued a statement that did not address whether refunds might ensue. "While we have no control over Mother Nature, we certainly are disappointed that some fans did not make it to the venue," it said. Live Nation asked fans seeking more info to contact

A statement on the Radiohead Web site noted the band's run of bad luck with the elements here: "We've had floods [at Bull Run Park], lightning at the RFK stadium, so there must be some kind of Biblical fix between us and DC. Frogs next time?"

-- Michael Cotterman

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