Donald Trump’s return to the campaign trail amid the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t go off the way his campaign hoped on Saturday. CNN reported that the campaign expected a sold out BOK Center and around 40,000 people outside at an overflow rally. But Saturday night brought images of plenty of empty seats in Tulsa and an overflow rally that was abruptly canceled because no one was outside.
The Trump campaign quickly blamed counter-protesters for not allowing people to enter the arena, but reports on the scene from accredited media said that was not the case. Whether it was a rumored campaign by K Pop fans or TikTok teens to flood the campaign with huge requests for tickets or simple hubris, the crowd that showed up on Saturday was much smaller than anyone organizing the rally anticipated.
— Stephen Rodrick (@stephenrodrick) June 20, 2020
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) June 21, 2020
Both Trump and vice president Mike Pence were scheduled to speak to the crowd outside the venue, but as the rally grew closer it was clear that the “overflow” area didn’t have any actually in it. The campaign soon canceled the planned speeches and started to take down parts of the stage before the rally inside began.
Secret Service has moved crowd back from the overflow stage so it can be broken down. pic.twitter.com/iIxXfnpOPn
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) June 20, 2020
Many people on Twitter made a comparison to Fyre Fest, the viral concert failure that spawned a pair of movies and a million tweets.
This is President Trump’s Fyre Fest. pic.twitter.com/USYQ6e94gM
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) June 20, 2020
Trump's rally looking like Fyre Fest pic.twitter.com/ioUkNCPYLQ
— The Libyan (@NoDaysOff85) June 21, 2020
This reminds me of the Fyre Fest pic.twitter.com/mDSpnKGcC1
— Jay Scott Smith (@JayScottSmith) June 21, 2020
It’s the Trump version of the Fyre Festival. https://t.co/TTGROpgV7z
— Katie Phang (@KatiePhang) June 20, 2020
A number of people tweeted out the infamous picture of the Fyre Fest luxury meals when comparing it to the rally.
— Dana Alyss (@DanaAlyss) June 21, 2020
look. They got some good gourmet food at the rally at least pic.twitter.com/DxchubiUxG
— Sam Stein (@samstein) June 20, 2020
— Eric Haywood (@EricHaywood) June 20, 2020
Even Cardi B had a laugh at Trump’s expense.
Later during CNN’s coverage of the rally, a commentator on the network actually compared it to Fyre Festival. Trump’s Tulsa rally probably won’t end up with quite the disaster fallout that Fyre Fest had, but it’s clear the night did not go down like the president hoped.