A sold-out Aloha Stadium went wild as Bruno Mars performed the first of three Oahu shows Thursday night.
The show started late. Opening act Charlie Wilson began playing at 7:30 p.m., not 7 p.m. as originally scheduled.
The Hawaii native took the stage at 9:15 p.m. to a packed house of screaming fans.
Earlier in the afternoon, a sea of people slowly made their way into the stadium, and it will be just as crowded or worse once the concert ends and roughly 36,000 people try to leave.
Surprisingly, the stadium parking lot, which holds 6,000 vehicles, was not filled.
Many concert-goers chose to take the shuttle, park at alternate parking sites, or hop in a taxi, Uber, or Lyft.
“We ended up parking at Leeward Community College, and they offered buses for people that don’t want to get trapped in the parking situation, so we just ended up parking there, jumping on the bus from Mililani and yeah, we came. It was nice and smooth, everybody, just a flowing line so it was perfect,” said Richard Souza.
The longest lines, it seemed, was getting into the stadium. Lines snaked into the parking lot, and it took hours for everyone to finally get past the turnstile.
But concert-goers say it’s all worth it.
“I’m pretty excited. I’m going to come here three times,” said KJ Prito. “So I’m in the nose bleeds, then I’m going to go to the middle level, and then I’m going to be on the field on the last day. This is my last time in Hawaii. I’m going to move to Vegas with my wife, and I want to see Bruno over here.”
Arguably, no one has a better story than Barbara Budden. The Kailua resident claims she spotted Mars at Whole Foods Market in Kailua Tuesday night.
“Long story short, I called him out. I said, ‘Bruno!’ and he goes, ‘Shhhhh.’ Hahaha, he’s so cute,” she said. “He said, ‘Well, are you going to come see the show?’ and I said, ‘I don’t have any tickets.’ He says, ‘Well you do now.'”
Concert-goers we spoke with said when got into the stadium, it took another hour to get past security to get to their seats.
Aloha Stadium representatives are asking for the public’s help to make the lines go faster.
That means following the rules like the stadium’s bag policy. If your bag is too big, you won’t be allowed in. They may search your bags or use a metal detector.
You can’t bring an umbrella, but you can bring a poncho or jacket. You can also bring a sign, as long as you can roll it up.
Many of the vendors at the stadium only accept cash.