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LA Pride Festival Shut Down By Fire Marshall’s and LAPD Saturday Night

“By order of the fire marshal, this venue is now closed. You need to leave the area right now.”

The LA Pride Festival,in West Hollywood, got shut down early when the street party hit capacity at approximately 10 p.m.with thousands waiting in line to get in.

Chaos broke out over the sky as a police helicopter flew over the venue to inform the hordes of people waiting at the festival gates that they would not be getting inside.

“By order of the fire marshal, this venue is now closed. You need to leave the area right now.”

In response, angry attendees took to Twitter in droves blasting organizers and law enforcement.

“#LAPride was so horrible. Waited almost 2 hours in line only for the line to stop at the gate due to full capacity,” one person tweeted.

“#LAPride needs to learn how to run a safe and secure pride because this has got to be the most unstable pride yet,” another person wrote on Twitter.

It is unclear if the result of the lockdown was because tickets were oversold, or due to the smaller footprint of the West Hollywood park this year. The free party LA Pride normally throws on Friday was scrapped this year, which may have encouraged a larger attendance on Saturday.

During a live report on its 11 p.m. newscast, NBC Los Angeles described the response by sheriff’s deputies as “huge,” adding that the area was “an absolute mess.”

“People were trying to get into the event any way they could. They were trying to jump fences,” reported Gil Leyvas. “Two to three-hundred people that tried to push their way in assaulted one of the sheriff’s deputies, and that prompted even more response.”

Festival organizers said late Saturday that anyone turned away will be able to use their ticket for Sunday’s event/concert.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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