On Jan. 31, 2020, excited fans gathered at the Meridian Island venue in Miami to hear infamous artists such as Harry Styles, Lizzo and Mark Ronson perform. The concert was put on by Pepsi and had the special title of the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl party.
However, many fans were disappointed when authorities forced them to evacuate due to extreme weather conditions. Attendees were notified through the onstage screen that stated everyone must leave.
Security, performers and attendees were alerted by local weather services that wind gusts would be up to 70 mph and brief tornados, hail and thunderstorms would also be present.
People were shocked at the awful weather condition during the evacuation.
“When we left, there were barricades floating and the sky was completely white. Also, a bus exploded and caught fire.” senior Madison Schluter said.
Although Lizzo and Mark Ronson were able to perform before the evacuation, many concert-goers were upset about leaving before Harry Styles’ solo performance. He did make an appearance on stage before the evacuation to sing a duet with Lizzo to her song “Juice”, but fans wanted more.
“I was most excited to see Harry Styles,” senior Alex Rozenblat said. “I was super disappointed when I didn’t get the chance to see Harry perform [solo], he has impacted my life so much and I was really excited to have the chance to see him.”
Styles addressed disappointed fans via Twitter, stating “the fire department would not let us do the show under any circumstances. Please stay safe. I’m so disappointed, and I’m sorry. I love you all.”
Angry attendees have been flooding Twitter with the hashtag #SuePepsi for how they handled the situation. Although they could not have controlled the weather, many are upset with the Uber and transportation situation during the evacuation.
According to many attendees, people were being charged over $300 for Ubers. For people without their own car, Ubers, Lyfts and other transportation services were the only way to get off the island where the concert was held.
Pepsi heard the complaints and issued refunds for tickets and ride costs. Others believe that Pepsi does not deserve to receive all the backlash
“A #SuePepsi campaign is unnecessary because Pepsi refunded everyone and paid for rides home.” Rozenblat said.
People were also angry that before the concert, attendees had to throw out their portable chargers because they were considered weapons. Because of this, many people were left with dead phones in the midst of the evacuation.
The heart of the storm died down around 12:30 a.m. on Sat., Feb. 1, but by then fans were already at home filled with disappointment.