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Comedy Fans At SF's Clusterfest Not Laughing At Long Waits, Crowded Venue

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- People attending the weekend comedy festival Clusterfest in San Francisco didn't find any humor in the issues they faced trying to see their favorite comedians.

Fans reported they were in line for hours and some even demanded refunds for their tickets.

Sunday was the final day of the three day event at the Civic Center Plaza and the lines were nothing like what people complained about on Saturday evening.

Fan said the issues started because of changes to the festival, leading Clusterfest to live up to its name.

"I have not seen a single act. I've been in line four and a half hours," said Matt Zampa on Saturday night.

Frustrated fans stood in line for hours trying to get into Bill Graham Auditorium to see headlining comedian John Mulaney.

"Very frustrating, very cold, we've been in line for two and a half hours," said Michelle Valdez.

People inside posted pictures on Twitter of an overflowing crowd, showing people sitting on the stairs and blocking the walkways. Many people called it a fire hazard and some even said said they were scared for their safety.

"I had to ask every time, 'How many people are you letting in? What's your capacity?'" said Zampa.

This is the third year the three day comedy festival has taken over Civic Center Plaza. There are multiple stages showcasing more than 75 acts that attracted thousands of fans.

This year, the main stage was inside Bill Graham Auditorium, which holds 8,500 people. That's significantly less than the capacity of the outdoor stage areas, so this year, organizers required attendees to sign-up to see the popular indoor acts.

"I thought it was going to be a little more organized. The booking was kind of messed up in the end for this show," said Estefan Granucci.

Many blame the new booking system for the chaos both outside and inside the auditorium, where a sign on the big screen asked people to leave so others could get in on Saturday night.

"I spent $150. I expected to get in everywhere. I thought I was buying a ticket to all of the events. I've had to wait in line the entire time," said Zampa.

KPIX 5 reached out to the organizers of Clusterfest and representatives from Bill Graham Auditorium to ask for comment about what happened Saturday night, but no one responded.

KPIX 5 did talk with Lt. Jonathan Baxter from the San Francisco Fire Department. He said there was a fire marshal on site Saturday night and confirmed the auditorium was at capacity, but never over.

Lt. Baxter said the department did receive at least one complaint about the blocked stairways and walkways. He said the fire marshals talked with auditorium security before the festival started on Sunday to ensure the walkways and stairs are kept clear.

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