This past Saturday, Genevieve Ardila arrived at Boca Raton’s Mizner Park Amphitheater at 3:30 a.m. for a concert including The Used and Pierce the Veil. She patiently waited for 15 hours at the front of the line till the show began, then another four hours as two opening bands and two headliners did their thing.
Then, at 10:07 p.m., she got her just reward. Pierce the Veil lead singer Vic Fuentes called her up on stage, serenaded her with the hit, “Hold on Till May” and awarded her a guitar signed by the band.
“My legs went numb,” said Ardila. “I really couldn’t process what was happening because it all happened so fast. Running up to the stage… then all of a sudden I was sitting on a stool and he was singing in front of me. It was incredible, a truly healing exchange of energy.”
Those 18 hours were dramatic not just for Ardila, but for many more of the 5000 plus people who attended. At one point a young woman with heat stroke was carted off by paramedics. Dozens of pizzas bought by Live Nation fed hungry fans who waited hours in the hot sun. And PTV drummer Lionel Robinson even greeted people at a nearby Starbucks.
With a peaking temperature of 86 degrees and not a drop of rain in sight, waiting in line all day was exhausting for most fans. However, lifelong friendships were formed in line. People bonded over their love for live music. Here is how it all came down.
3:30 a.m.: Genevieve Ardila arrives. There is no one else around. “I always like to come early because I’m really short,” she said. “I came early to not have to see over people’s heads and I slept in my car.”
6:24 a.m.: Valentine Terlizzese,19, from Pembroke Pines, sets up not far from Ardila. It is their first camping experience. “We wanted to try to get as front row as possible,” they said.
8:55 a.m.: There are 20 people in line, sitting and lying on the floor with their friends. Alai Urrutia and her college roommate, Claudia Allocca, arrive together. “I was 12 years old when I first heard of Pierce the Veil and I had no money to actually go to any concerts at the time,” Urrutia said. “Now I am 20 years old and I waited this long to finally live my middle-school dream.”
10 a.m.: More people start arriving. Cindy Padron and her mother sit under a beach umbrella and chairs they set up. “If I’m going to be here, I’m going to put my time into this to get into the front…” she said. “I think it’s very sweet that my mom came with me because she took her time to learn all the songs.”
10:15 a.m.: Marissa and Miranda Adame arrive equipped with a Mexican flag. (Most of the band members are Mexican American.) “We brought the Mexican flag because we’re about the culture and Pierce The Veil is about the culture too,” said Miranda. “To see a band that represents POC is very inspiring for people like my sister and I. As Mexicans, I love that we can be part of that together with them.
11:20 a.m.: A group of girls gather to make friendship bracelets inspired by lyrics, songs titles, and names of Pierce the Veil’s band members. Ki Delfino, 23, originally arrived by herself and made friends with the people in line around her. “The best friends that I’ve made have been through music,” she said. “We were trying to think of something really cute we could do during the wait, and we decided on friendship bracelets, so we split the cost. I was like, ‘Let’s go to Michael’s and let’s get Dunkin y’all.’’’
12 p.m: The hot sun is shining down on the people in line who hold beach umbrellas and towels over their heads. “It is hot as hell,” Terlizzese said. “It’s fun, but it’s so hot here. It gets tiring.”
1:41 p.m.: Fans start to hear the sound of instruments being played through the speakers from inside the venue.“Bulls in the Bronx’’ starts to play and fans ran to peek through the gates.“I’m so excited, like I want this to start already,” said Cindy Padron.
1:46 p.m.: While listening and watching the band soundcheck, a man wearing a Live Nation shirt carrying a large stack of pizza boxes starts passing boxes out to each group of fans in line. Bottles of water are also being offered for the fans to stay hydrated.
3:02 p.m.: As the line starts wrapping around the building, Tyler Centi, 18, is walking around holding a poster that says “We’re okay because of you,” and different colored markers for fans to sign their names. “I had a bunch of fans sign it, because it shows how much this band means to all of us,” he said, “and how we wouldn’t be here without them.”
5:30 p.m: As the gates open, fans rush in. “Once me and my friends secured our spot in the pit we took turns to leave the pit to buy merchandise,” said Alai Urrutia. “It is really hard to get merchandise after the show.” The pits grow quickly.
6:43 p.m.: As the sun sets, DeathByRomy takes the stage with her band as the first opening act. Decked out in Zana Bayne leather sets and black tights, the crowd is pumped to see her after waiting hours in the scorching Floridian sun all day.
8:05 p.m.: A young woman is on her hands and knees on the grass looking pale. The people around her provide comfort as they call out to security for help. Two security guards rush over to her with water and then she throws up on the grass. She says she feels like she’s going to faint. The security guards carry her over the barricade and escort her out of the pit to the paramedics.
9 p.m.: People in the general admission pit are heating up and feeling dehydrated from being suffocated around each other for so long. Large boxes filled with plastic cups and 5-gallon water jugs are set up against the barricade. People shout to security for cups of water.
10:07 p.m.: Pierce the Veil performs “Hold on Till May,” a fan-favorite song about staying strong through depression and not letting go.“This next song is the most special song that we share between you guys and us because you guys took this song to a level that we never knew it could go,” says Fuentes. Minutes later, Fuentes picks Genevieve Ardila from the crowd to go up on stage where he sings to her and gives her his guitar. “I want you to have my guitar,” he says. “This is yours now.”
10:30 p.m.: It wouldn’t be a Pierce The Veil concert without a mosh pit, and that’s exactly what ensues when the band starts playing their smash-hit “King For a Day” as the last song of the night. As the show comes to an end, fans collect confetti around them and take pictures to capture the memory.
The Creative Control Tour will continue until July 2nd and will have its final show in Phoenix, AZ.