Hundreds of families turned away at Rock the Troops benefit concert

Hundreds of families turned away at Rock the Troops benefit concert
Published: Oct. 23, 2016 at 9:22 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 23, 2016 at 9:55 PM HST
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Alexandria Bravo (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Alexandria Bravo (Image: Hawaii News Now)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds of families left disappointed after a benefit concert hosted by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson reached maximum capacity.

The "Rock the Troops" event was held on Saturday at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Event organizers expected 25,000 guests, but more than 45,000 showed up.

"It was just mad chaos of people," said Aiea resident, Malia. "We didn't know who to follow or where to go. It was just terrible."

Malia says she left the house with her family around 2 p.m. Saturday, only to sit in traffic and stand in line for more than 4 hours.

"Then ten people right before us, they shut it down saying they were at their maximum capacity," she said.

At about 6:45 p.m., Malia says no more guests were being allowed in.

"Had we known we were going to waste four hours of our day just to not get in there, we wouldn't have wasted our time," said Malia.

Meanwhile, those who were able to get into the concert say the chaos was just as bad.

Alexandria Bravo says the crowd at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam was unruly and that her two kids nearly got trampled on.

"If someone were to bump into my kid one more time or step over him like he wasn't there, it was not good so we had to leave, I couldn't take it anymore," Bravo said.

Bravo says she waited in line for four hours, but only stayed at the concert for 30 minutes.

Her friend, Jennifer Mcclinton and her three kids followed suit.

"As soon as we got in there, there were so many people trying to push past my children and didn't care if they were hitting children to get to the stage," Mcclinton said.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson hosted the free concert for military and Department of Defense I.D. cardholders.

Each member was allowed to sponsor up to 10 guests.

The all-star line up included celebrities like Nick Jonas, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and surfer Laird Hamilton.

Event organizers say it was on a first come first-served basis and weren't prepared to handle such a large crowd.

"I think in any situation when you have that many people its hard for 45,000 people to have the exact same experience," said Casey Patterson, executive producer of Rock the Troops. "What ended up happening is that the demand for the event was more than anyone anticipated."

Bravo believes problems could have been prevented if the organizers kept the event strictly for active duty military.

"Hopefully if there's another event like this, it's geared toward the people it's meant to be for and not for everyone else," said Bravo.

For anyone who missed the concert, Spike TV says it will be airing a Christmastime special on December 13th.

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