MARTIN, Mich. — Garth Jordan was headed to jam at the B-93 Birthday Bash, but it wasn’t the kind of jam he anticipated.
The popular event caused a traffic jam on US 131. Minor accidents also occurred. “We’ve been in line for 2 and a half, 3 hours,” Jordan said while sitting in a vehicle.
The country music fan said, “I’d love to get in, but we’re probably not going to.”
He never made it into the US 131 Motorsports Park for the concert.
Event staff said the Michigan State Police and Allegan County Sheriff’s Department made the decision to shut down certain portions of the roads. That includes the ramps at mile marker 55, northbound and southbound.
While thousands of people jammed to their favorite country music stars in the speedway, others took to the station’s Facebook page to express their disappointment on how traffic was handled.
It is a free event, and tickets are received in advance. However, many people paid for a $30 parking pass. It’s money they said went to waste.
“The people with the parking passes that did not get in, those will be refunded for Saturday,” Doug Montgomery, the events operations managers said.
Montgomery said the number of people who actually showed up with their free entry ticket exceeded expectations.
“The redemption rate is through the roof. Normally the redemption rate is probably about 50%. This year we’re probably pushing 80 to 90% of the people who got tickets who showed up,” he explained.
Montgomery said the radio station had encouraged carpooling. He added, “But obviously when you have a high redemption of the tickets… it’s gonna cause a bigger crowd.”
Some seats inside the event are paid for. Those are the reserved seats directly in front of the stage. Some of the empty seats in the reserved section belonged to those turned away in traffic.
FOX 17 asked if people who paid for reserved seats for Saturday will be refunded. Montgomery replied, “With the reserved seats I think we’re still trying to track back, cause that’s done online. We’ve got better tracking with that. We’ll be working on connecting with those people.”
For those who plan to get a refund for Saturday’s parking pass, event staff said to do so by showing up to the speedway’s office near the entrance.