The doors to Squires Student Center opened yesterday to a slew of fans hoping to land the best possible seats to this year’s homecoming concert, featuring hip-hop artists J. Cole and Wale.
But with the disparity between the doors opening at 7 a.m. and the tickets going on sale at 11 a.m., a line formed that stretched around the outdoor patio area of Squires and all the way to the campus-side entrance of the building.
But for some, the wait for tickets stretched much longer than the line.
“I got here around 5 a.m.,” said Steven Brown, a junior sustainable biomaterials major, just before he got his tickets at 11:09 a.m. “But (some) people got here at 3 a.m.”
“There were people that were here last night at like 10 p.m. waiting outside until the doors opened,” said Seth Wymer, a junior political science major who arrived at Squires at 6:45 a.m. “ People camped out all night.”
Indeed, a bivouac of students eager to earn the best seats formed as early as 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday night according to Lauren Heming, a student worker at the Division of Student Affairs ticket office. Some even attempted to set up tents, though building maintenance asked them to take them down, as a permit is required for tents to be erected on campus, according to Virginia Tech policy.
The line grew through the night, and when doors opened, the crowd surged to the ticket office.
The crowd expanded inside until a cutoff point was enacted, as the fire code could no longer support the amount of students inside. Students were directed through the front entrance of Squires, where it began to elongate around the Squires patio.
Sales progressed through the day, with many students swapping out with friends and roommates to ensure their place in line as they waited for more than two hours to reach the ticket desk.
“(I got here) a little bit before 11 a.m. — got out of class and came right over,” said Austin Anthony, a sophomore finance major. “(We) really wanted the tickets, and me and my roommates are switching off, so we’ve got a little system going on. I feel like if we all work together we can fully accomplish this goal of getting these tickets.”
According to Heming, the crowd persisted through 2 p.m. when tickets began selling online.