POSTED: 7:19 a.m. HST, Aug 31, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 2:32 p.m. HST, Aug 31, 2012
Hundreds of fans who had purchased tickets to see Third Eye Blind in concert Thursday night were turned away after a fire marshal limited access, according to organizers.
The concert was part of The Republik's extended grand opening celebration, which kicked off with a sold-out performance by Death Cab for Cutie on Aug. 22. While there were no problems accommodating a crowd estimated at around 1,000 people that evening, a press release issued early this morning acknowledged there were problems getting everyone with a ticket into the venue for Third Eye Blind.
"We were given documentation that led us to believe that we were operating legitimately within the ... law, which allowed us the amount of tickets that were sold for Thursday nights Third Eye Blind performance," said the release from the nightclub owners who also organized the concert. "In fact, we had sold under the maximum occupancy load that was given to us in our paperwork.
"While we respect the Fire Marshal's duty in keeping public safety, it was disheartening to learn late Thursday evening that we were being held to a capacity that was 70 percent less than what our paperwork stated. ... We are working to find an immediate resolution. We sincerely apologize, we are all disappointed about the situation and hope to rectify it immediately."
Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Terry Seelig issued a statement this afternoon saying that HFD stands by its inspectors and disputing the owners' version of events. He said inspectors notified the nightclub's owners of numerous violations earlier in the month. The owners were told that capacity of the club would be limited to 299 people until the violations were addressed.
When inspectors returned last night, they found that the nightclub had admitted about 400 people, Seelig said. "This exceeded the 299 persons capacity that HFD fire inspectors had told the nightclub's management on Aug. 17, Aug. 20, and Aug. 24 was the maximum that they could have in their establishment," he said.
Anyone who purchased tickets but were not able to enter The Republik is eligible for a full refund of the ticket price, less service fees, at the original point of purchase. Tickets bought online at www.groovetickets.com will be automatically refunded within three to five business days, less service fees.
In addition, Third Eye Blind's official Twitter account posted an update apologizing for the fiasco and promising a free public concert sometime today. Follow the band for more details about the time and location of the performance.
This is the second concert in a week that has given The Republik problems; an Aug. 24 show by Gym Class Heroes had to be canceled when band member Travis McCoy was hospitalized shortly after arriving on Oahu. A Flock of Seagulls is scheduled to headline "Totally 80′s Live" at the venue tonight.