Gaining entry into the show itself already proved problematic as information sent in an email from Armstrong said “Bags were allowed, though highly discouraged” then when I went to go inside I was told that bags were absolutely not permitted. I was also nearly turned away for having my camera with me without a press pass. After much cajoling, I was allowed admittance only after refraining that I was there on assignment and might not have been otherwise.
Amid all the hoops required to jump though, roughly a tenth of the student body of 6,377 students as of 2014 were in attendance. With the box office’s unrealistic ticket hours, (12-3 on weekdays) it doesn’t make sense when the majority of Armstrong are commuter students and are usually working or in classes at that time.
Maybe if tickets had been available online, or hours had been extended this could have been avoided. I understand that the security concerns probably contributed to the increased stipulations regarding tickets, limited guests allowed, and Pirate IDs.
Interestingly enough, security neglected to check for the tickets of the guests behind me nor did they ask for student IDs. I spoke briefly with an Armstrong alumni who attended, Chelsea Michael, (Liberal Studies major, 2011) who said it seemed like “there were more cops than people. It wasn’t necessary and beyond excessive.”
That illustrated Armstrong’s values for student safety combined with the reputation of the group.
As I stood near the stage to the right of the platform taking photos, I watched as an unassuming african-american student was dragged over the railing and police officers vaulted over the barricade in an unidentified altercation. I’m still not sure what happened but it was innocuous enough that he was let go and continued enjoying the music. The show itself was highly entertaining with Migos killing it for many songs, playing the notable “Versace” song amongst others.
One student, Ebonee Lawrence, a second year senior health sciences major came for Migos specifically, “I’ve been here since seven when the doors opened, a bit mad that they were late. I wish Armstrong had had refreshments and a better timeline as far as showtime.” The timeline was probably more of Migos responsibility than Armstrong’s. A lot of the attendees had an amazing time without incident but the amount of tension cast a pallor on the entire evening.
The show ended when an incapacitated woman was hauled off in an ambulance and subsequent attendees flooded the parking lot. On an unrelated note, the next evening their show at Georgia Southern’s “Spring Bling” was cut short as the DJ shut off the music and cops arrested three of the members for felony drug possession of the schedule 2 type, and were also arrested for having a loaded gun on school property (according to TMZ).