Saturday night gridlock at Summerfest, some get in for free

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Some on the Summerfest grounds Saturday night, June 29th said the grounds were packed with people -- and Summerfest officials said some were let in for free in an effort to relieve some of the congestion.

Summerfest organizers said there were so many people trying to get into the festival on Saturday night, a gate had to be opened up in an effort to reduce some of the gridlock and long lines.

There is no word on how many were able to get into Summerfest for free on Saturday night.

Summerfest officials say they were caught off guard by the number of people that showed up at three of the ticket gates.

Officials could not keep up with the demand, lines formed and congestion and impatience began to build.

Police and Summerfest security officials made the decision to open the gates for 15 minutes, let people in for free, and then return to normal ticketing activity.

As for whether Summerfest plans to make any changes after Saturday night's gridlock:

"Our current plans work well. (Saturday) night was an extraordinary situation with different volumes of people. We don't anticipate that happening again," Summerfest Chief Marketing Officer John Boler said.

Police and Summerfest security personnel did not report any arrests or injuries as a result of the overcrowding.

Summerfest officials advise fest-goers to purchase a Summerfest ticket online, and print that ticket to take with them to the fest, as a means of avoiding the lines.

Summerfest runs through July 7th.