CONWAY, AR – A huge crowd swarmed to the Conway Expo Center Saturday to see a reality TV star.
But some left frustrated and say they feel misled after not meeting Uncle Si from the show Duck Dynasty.
Event organizers say they were expecting about 10,000-12,000 people. Problem is, about twice that actually came.
Among the pictures of smiling fans posted on Facebook there are clear signs of frustration.
“It was a total disappointment, a very poorly organized event and very misleading,” said Courtney King.
“We drove over two hours to meet Si and parked forever away. The tickets were sold out,” said Johnny Malone.
Many posts focused on wording on the Expo’s website.
“The meet and greet is open to the public with general admission ticket purchase to the Expo,” it reads.
Event promoter Matt Livingston says that’s true, but the next line on the website is important.
“To increase your chances of getting your autograph with Uncle Si, please come early,” Livingston emphasized.
Livingston says people began showing up at 4:00 a.m. The 20,000 fans that came made it difficult to keep everyone happy.
“It was a bigger crowd than what we expected,” he said.
Livingston says the ticket system that split fans into groups prevented folks from having to wait in a giant line, in the hot sun, all at once.
“As far as the way we handled the line, I think that was the best way that we could have handled that large of a crowd,” he said.
Livingston says they stopped giving away line tickets once it became clear there were too many people.
In the end, he says the response they’ve received has been largely positive.
To those who may have had a bad experience:
“If they drove especially over an hour and they didn’t get to meet Si, I apologize,” he said.
Event promoters say Uncle Si ended up staying an extra 45-minutes because so many people showed up. He signed over 2,000 autographs, they say.
Still, promoters are looking at next year’s plans to see if there are any improvements they can make.