The jeans company posted a warning on its website that concertgoers had to wear the brand’s pants to get in. Industry insiders are shocked that Levi’s put itself into a PR nightmare.
Danielle Haim and Dash Hutton of Haim rock the Levi’s-sponsored show Tuesday night at Brooklyn Bridge Park. It's unclear if they're wearing the company's jeans, like concertgoers who managed not to get turned away.
Be careful what you wear to your next concert.
It might determine whether you get in — even if you have a ticket.
Fans were upset on Tuesday to find that they were denied entry to a free Sleigh Bells and Haim show in Brooklyn Bridge Park because they weren’t wearing Levi’s jeans. The clothing company had sponsored the show and did stipulate on its website that fans needed to sport Levi’s. But observers told the News scores of ticketed fans showed up without the prescribed attire and were denied entry. They were surprised the corporation so strictly enforced the ban.
“One guard at the door said ‘I might as well be a CEO. I’m saying ‘you’re fired, you’re fired and you’re fired,’” says Dylan Kelly, 16 of Manhattan. “I saw couples being turned away because the guy wore Levis but the woman had a skirt. Or, if a group of guys had on Levis but one didn’t, they would turn them away.”
“Hope you’re not planning to go to the....concert in your other jeans,” @ABenzion tweeted, sarcastically, on the day of the show.
“F--k@LEVIS,” read a tweet from @infinityguitarz. “I’m going to buy lucky brand jeans.”
Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells performs at the Tuesday night show sponsored by Levi's, which also enforced a strict dress code.
Concert industry observers say they’ve never heard of a sponsoring brand denying entry to fans who don’t buy, or have never bought, their product.
“Exclusivity is common — say, an arena has exclusive pouring rights for Budweiser or Coke,” says Billboard’s concert expert, Ray Waddell. “If Levi's produced and sponsored the event, I guess they have that right, but it would seem to me it would cause more ill will toward the brand than positive, especially for those that couldn't get in.”
“Vitamin Water sponsors shows, but they don’t force you to drink it,” said one turned-away concertgoer who declined to be identified.
Levi’s did not immediately respond to the News’ emails for comment. Representatives for Haim and Sleigh Bells both declined to comment.
New York Daily 06-08-2014