To all of the supporters of Hot Topic and fans of TWILIGHT:
Although no explanation will correct the situation that occurred in Chicago today at the Orland Square Mall, I wanted to attempt to explain what happened from our point of view.
We do many signings all over the country with large crowds so we have processes and systems in place to ensure a smooth experience for our customers. The mall developer was a partner in the planning; however, as of two days ago, they told us they would not allow any fans to line up prior to 6AM. They required them to be off the premises.
On Monday at 6AM at the San Francisco event, the fans became disorderly and stormed the mall entrance. Mall security, numerous police, fire officials and our team from HT stepped in to calm the crowd and create a safe environment for the fans. The event was revised and went forward with the exception of the planned Q&A.
Monday’s event caused all of us to re-group and review the process. Allowing a “mob” to develop was dangerous and frankly, not an option. The mall developer (GGP) consented to allowing an orderly line to form prior to 6AM outside of the remainder of the malls on the tour. When our crew arrived yesterday at midnight, approximately 500 people were already lined up to purchase tickets. By 1AM, there were 700 people in line. It was about 30 degrees and raining. We had to make a call. We knew the first 500 would get wristbands and felt it was the right call to allow those waiting beyond 500 to go home and avoid the cold, wet weather for the remainder of the morning. Given the demand, anyone arriving after midnight would have been too late to obtain a wristband.
We understand your frustration and anger, but from our standpoint, we had no choice but to change the rules after Monday’s event. We knew some would feel it unfair as they were told one thing and when arriving on the scene, something else was reality. But given the choice of risking a disorderly crowd, a dangerous situation and canceling of the event, we made a decision that we felt was the right thing to do. I support our team and the mall for making safety and, given the weather, health the priorities.
There are two remaining locations for “Edward” appearances, King of Prussia in Philadelphia and Square One in Saugus, MA. Both malls have consented to allowing an orderly line form early, first come, first serve. Exact line-up locations are posted on the hottopic.com website.
We sincerely apologize and hope that the facts help you to better understand the situation.
CEO, Hot Topic