Eclipse LA premiere camping pros & cons

As a veteran of 3 Twilight Saga premieres, I have formed a few opinions on location and overall running of the show. Below is a list of some items to recap last week's experience at the Twilight Sage Eclipse premiere at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles. Note there are frequent comparisons to the previous premieres which were both held in Westwood, CA.

Eclipse/LA Live Pros:
1. Getting numbered wristbands EARLY in the game rather than day of the premiere secured your place in line and made cutting almost impossible. Also having people register discouraged this even further. While it was a challenge for me and make me change my travel plans, I did what needed to be done to get myself there as early as possible.
2. Having us return later (2:00 pm) day of the premiere made for a more pleasant experience. We were able to get a decent meal, clean up and look our best for the red carpet.
3. Focus on the fans - I liked that Summit was trying to entertain the campers with the concert broadcast, movie screening, cast visits, etc. I still prefer the spontaneous cast visits of years past to the Summit sponsored ones this year, but I give credit for the effort.
4. Thank you Vitamin Water. While the Burger King stuff with the King and throwing burgers at us like animals in a cage was well intentioned, it was the steady supply of Vitamin Water in the heat that was most appreciated from the sponsors.
5. Top security - Thanks to Summit for again hiring SEM, the best in the business. After being at other carpets and seeing what inferior security is like, it made me appreciate the SEM team more than ever.
6. Communication efforts - The fliers that were made and distributed where a good effort to communicate information with everyone. Hopefully next time they will stand by all the information the convey, especially about the line and start time. While ultimately it wasn't fully effective, I applaud the effort.
7. Golden ticket - the larger venue allowed for more lucky fans to attend the actual screening. This was nice and I'm sure many fans were grateful for the experience. Even cooler was Kristen personally handing out a few of the tickets to excited fans.
8. Bleachers - The larger space allowed for the addition of bleacher seats. While I was along the black carpet not in the bleachers, everyone I have spoken to that was in the bleacher section thought it was a good experience.

Eclipse/LA Live Cons:
1. Tent city looked great for the media but at times felt like we were caged animals. It wasn't clearly defined with rows so it made navigation difficult. Much more challenging to be social. This includes finding old friends and making new ones.
2. Lakers parade - In my opinion, it would have been better to postpone the line up until Monday night or even Tuesday morning to avoid this conflict. While there wasn't anything catastrophic, it was an overall headache and hassle for all.
3. Light, Camera, Action - LA Live was too bright & noisy for a good camping experience. With large screens and speakers going from 5:00 AM - 2:00 AM (21 hours a day), it made getting more than 3 hours proper sleep difficult. And that was only if you feel asleep right away once they stopped.
4. Check please! - The dining options at LA Live are lovely, but they are distinctly more upscale than Westwood. When there for days on end, dining at these establishments is cost prohibitive. I continually preached the gospel of Happy Hour to all who would listen and that was the only way to enjoy the area restaurants without going completely broke. While there were other options within 3 blocks such as Dennys, ihop, Ralph's, etc, it lack the wide range of convenient, affordable options we had in Westwood. Shout out to our friends at Jose Bernstein and Diddy Riese. We missed you!
5. Access - In Westwood we camped on the sidewalks so you could pull your car right up for loading and unloading. This is not the case at LA Live. While we made the best of it and got as close as possible, everything had to be carried much further.
6. LA Live security - I'm sure they are great at what they do - for other events. They simply weren't educated/informed/prepared for the Twilight crowd on Sunday night. They were ok until about 1:00 am when they allowed the line to form and then they broke down. Red coated, uniformed security should not be abdicating responsibility to a dad to bully others into running the show.
7. Neighborhood - Overall Westwood is a more laid back atmosphere. It is a college area filled with students and a peaceful residential community. This is a stark contrast to the entertainment and tourist destination that is LA Live. Westwood is simply a more friendly atmosphere for campers. It is safe, relatively quite, great access to everything you need from a 24-hour CVS, restaurants, shops, grocery stores, banks, etc. It was all right there. It is a lot to live up to and LA Live could not do it.
8. I really missed being in a line vs. a mass. It was so much easier to meet and greet people, have outside visitors drop by to say hi or drop off supplies. I also really missed getting to know our friend security guards. I liked knowing who was on duty and who to turn to if there was a problem. I never felt unsafe in either location, but there was an extra sense of security knowing the people watching out for you.
9. Moving - While I completely understand why we had to move after the first two days so they could assemble the black carpet, it was a frustrating experience. Getting up and being completely packed by 6:00 am two days in a row is a bit much even for this hopeless morning person.
10. Transient - This whole camp out had a more transient feel. It felt short, rushed, and disjointed. I didn't feel as settled in either of our locations. It also seems much hard for our camping group to do things together. Space was tighter and the afternoon conditions were ghastly hot for most so we were split up for large portions of the time. If it wasn't for the already mentioned Happy Hour and concerted efforts to gather for that, we wouldn't have had much opportunity to bond as a group. And for me, the is a huge part of what these camp out are about. I love Twilight of course, or I would do this. But it is has also become a great social event for me. I love hanging out with my girls that I don't get to see except when we gather to do Twilight things. That is why I want the best experience possible and want to make the most of the time together.

Written by Dawn.and agreed and discussed by Alison, and Kim.

Written by Yolee.

*Our awesome security team and their constant surveillance to make sure we were safe and sound.
*Meeting new twihards. I know it's kinda corny but I like to make new friends especially when they so much in common with you.
*Getting some of the cast to visit the camp. I think for morale it's awesome to have them come to show support for us camping out.
*Although I have my reservations about it, it was cool for Summit to screen New Moon on the Jumbo tron in LA Live for the fans. I know we missed it but it was nice all the same.
*The media attention is always cool. I'm not gonna lie. It gives you something to do to pass the time and you never know who's watching. Plus it seems I like to make a fool of myself at these premieres so why stop now?
*Free stuff. The ones that stick out the most were Vitamin Water and the Make-up we received. That was cool. I'll be honest when PFach came by and asked who wants a burger I was the one who said "I'm good thanks." LOL!!!

*The time and date thing! That just was asking for a disaster which I hope never repeats iteself - EVER! I've said it once and I'll say it again a premiere line should be started organically with people filtering in as time goes on. I like the wristbands because it gave you a spot but at the same time it wasn't fair for people who spent no time whatsoever in that camp until the premiere.
*That it was in June. I guess that can't really be helped as we have no control over that but damn it was hot. BD should be good as it's in November. We'll just have to bundle up again like last year.
*The location. After everything was said and done I think we all had a good time but being a part of LA Live for those days was annoying. Let's face it tent city looked way cooler than it was. I mean in Westwood we had the occasional idiot but at Nokia we were bombarded by stupidity. We need to be back in Westwood or anywhere else for that matter but never again in LA Live. No likey!
*Dining was an issue for me as well. Although we were able to take advantage of quite a few happy hour specials it still wasn't good enough in the sense that if you missed it, you missed it! When you think of camping you think more along the lines of affordable. Unfortunately, bottom line LA Live didn't offer much other than happy hour deals... Which wasn't always convenient.

Views: 309

Comment by tinkrbe1l3 on June 28, 2010 at 4:27pm
i got writing a post. i think i only have two pros. ;)
Comment by Kim on June 28, 2010 at 4:34pm
LOL Tink! Dawn was very diplomatic when she was writing this.
Comment by Alison Genet on June 28, 2010 at 4:39pm
Yes this post is very watered down and non-emotional. If we brought emotions into this post it would be a lot more verbally harsh. General consensus is Eclipse was not as great of a fan experience starting with the line drama, moving 2 mornings in a row at 6 am, and people told they had to camp when they really weren't required to do so.
Comment by Kaysee Layne on June 28, 2010 at 4:51pm
Oh my god! there's a picture of two of you on a Yahoo! news headline!
Comment by Erin on June 28, 2010 at 5:30pm
Twidads who start unofficial lines need to be banned. In that case, why the hell WAS there an unofficial line? Does that mean we just just randomly next year ignore the rules of Nokia AND Summit and start a random one somewhere? There would be 100 different ones in that case. Westwood was better because it was actually by when you got there, with Nokia you just have to be at the right place at the right time. Not fair at all.
Comment by EML on June 28, 2010 at 5:53pm
...the twidad didn't start the unofficial line...he wasn't even in the top 100 people in line! the unofficial line was because people wore down the guy in charge of LA Live//Nokia saying he didn't want there to be a stampede of girls at 6am. because waiting till 6am would have been a disaster!!
Comment by Tammy on June 28, 2010 at 6:22pm
This is great! Thanks for sharing this! :)
Comment by jbhoneebee on June 28, 2010 at 6:52pm
the guy with the soccer jersey (sweden)made our eclipse experience HORRIBLE, who the hell was he? and i KNOW for a fact people left and didnt come back until the day of premiere, we didnt even get in b/c of the way the tix were handed out, according to my wristband # we were in the 400-500 group, but people across the street who didnt camp out and didnt have wristbands got in b/c they had kids or whatever reason. The sweden jersey guy looked us staright in the eyes and asked how many tix we needed (which was 2)then said, that''s too bad! i knew going in we weren't promised tix but seeing non campers going in made it sad, i saw girls crying on the sidewalk. i have also been to all three premieres and this was the worst of them, westwood WAS better b/c fans did a better job that whoever ran this
Comment by Kim on June 28, 2010 at 7:17pm
Another thing I would add is next year I hope Summit lets the line go back to starting when the fans want it to start not a time appointed by them. It's so much nicer & way more orderly when the fans organically start the line then having it started by corporate.
Comment by Kim on June 28, 2010 at 7:21pm
Yeah there were a lot of people who never camped. They got their wrist bands & left the first day. While the rest of us camped every day. Hopefully we never get in a situation like this again & they just do like they did for the other premieres.


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