I've been going to the PNE for 7 years, but now it's too crowded, too expensive, and not worth it.
We went to the PNE on a weekday at about 6pm to go to the free concert that started at 8pm (gates open at 6:30pm). There are reserved seats for the concerts which cost $, so we were ok to stand for free. I went inside at 6:30pm while my husband got us dinner. At about 6:45pm they said that they weren't letting anyone else into the concert at all--even if they had family members or children inside saving them a seat.
I talked to 3 security guards,and was told the venue was at capacity (even though there was plenty of standing room).They said nobody was being let in without a re-entry stamp--but again there was LOTS of room still.
I understand that they have to follow firecode, but there were no signs posted at the PNE entrance or concert gate that warned guests that their families might be seperated without notice or that they needed re-entry stamps. The staff didn't seem to care at all that they were seperating families that couldn't find each other in a huge crowd.
I entered the gates 1.5 hours before the "free" concert and ended up leaving 15 minutes before it started because they wouldn't let my husband inside even though there was room. I saw lots of families leaving the concert simply because half of the family was inside and half was outside and couldn't get into the concert.
Furthermore, cell phone reception inside the concert and the PNE was horrible--families should set up a meeting spot ahead of time becaues texts and calls didn't go through.
I understand that the concerts are "free" with admission, but PNE organizers need to do a better job of crowd management in informing people that in order to get into the free concert you have to be there at at least 5pm for a 8pm concert! Again, I've never seen the PNE this crowded and unorganized in the past 7 years.
Also, the game of thrones exhibit was fulll and you needed a ticket to get into it (NOT advertised at all).
It wasn't fun to be herded like cattle and treated poorly by the staff. I don't think I will be going back again.
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