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Police in Riot Gear Help Shut Down Oversold Pride Festival in West Hollywood

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Thousands were turned away from the festival during Kehlani's set before the whole event was shuttered. 

Police helicopters circled above telling the crowd of nearly 100,000 to go home and officers in riot gear stood by while fire marshals were forced to shut down the oversold pride festival in West Hollywood during Kehlani's set on Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Blade.

By 10 p.m. the festival was over capacity and the West Hollywood Sheriff's department began telling those still standing in a line (many of them already ticketholders) that snaked for blocks down Santa Monica Blvd. to go home. Some festivalgoers reportedly began throwing rocks at officers, while others demanded a refund. No one was hurt, according to the LA Blade.

"The fire marshals kept saying, 'no matter how long you wait, you're not getting in, you're not getting in,' to the people that were waiting in line," said Jimmy Palmieri, the founder of the sober carnival section of the festival, according to LGBTQ Nation. "We packed early and we left because we knew this was going to happen, once we heard the choppers yelling. It was really crowded, but honestly, it didn't seem like trouble to me. I think the cops were not letting people in no matter what, even if they had tickets."

Organizers of the event have said that anyone who was turned away can use their ticket at Sunday's festival check out on Monday for refund information, according to the L.A. Blade.

Kehlani sent out a series of tweets apologizing to her fans who were turned away or and to those who came face-to-face with police in riot gear.

"What were they expecting, Stonewall?" said one festivalgoer, Jerwyn Morton, who flew in from New York for the festivities. "I have never seen so many cops in my life wearing riot gear at a gay event."

Jerwyn Morton, a pride-goer who flew in from New York, told the LA Blade. "I have never seen so many cops in my life wearing riot gear at a gay event."

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Tracy E. Gilchrist