I couldn’t access Captain America: Civil premiere cos of silly wristbands

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I previously attended both the Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron premieres at London’s Westfield shopping centre and I had no problem entering the fans pens even though I arrived after work between 3-4pm the day of. I had hoped this would be the same for Captain America: Civil War premiere – but I was wrong, you had to have wristbands, and this is so disappointing.

Anyone who goes to a premiere will know that it’s an exciting prospect, especially when you know that the previous ones have been so much fun – the Avengers ones were no average premieres. They felt like more of a party than the usual outside Leicester Square ones and they were such enjoyable events. I had applied to attend this as press and I didn’t get it (to be expected, happened last year) but I still thought I would get a fan spot – yet I hadn’t been informed about the wristband thing.

Apparently a desk was open in Westfield on Sunday and Monday for people to collect wristbands until the allocation ran out. I didn’t know this until I arrived today, naively thinking I could just swan in like I did in previous years. I understand wristbands are good for keen beans who don’t have work and want to wait for hours (overnight camping was banned) but some people have work and can’t do this. They should have some spaces left for on-the-day arrivals. The Westfield website said some could enter pens after 4pm if there was space from no-shows but the security guards said they were full.

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It makes me sad because they were not remotely full. The balcony pens were only two people deep. It makes me even sadder when I compare this to how I just walked up and stood against the balcony for Avengers (summary here) without a designated pen, queueing, wristbands or much security presence (there have always been wristbands for the ground floor sections). But every year it has stepped up – for Age of Ultron (premiere gallery here) there were pens for the first time and I had to queue for half hour to get in, and this time I simply wasn’t allowed and they used drapes to cordon off the event, whereas passing shoppers used to be able to see stuff. Also the amount of security guards has probably tripled. I get that it is a major event and there are a lot of people but it is excessive and it sucks the joy out of it.

As you can tell, I am bummed so I needed to vent. I love the Marvel movies and I love attending their premieres so it is so disappointing, especially when Westfield is nowhere near my home. I won’t be seeing Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Sebastian Stan, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Emily Van Camp, Anthony and Joe Russo, Jeremy Renner or Anthony Mackie tonight – but I feel like I can’t complain too much as I was lucky enough to attend the press conference yesterday (read about that here). I have also seen the movie, and you can read my review here.

Anyway, I took some pics from the premiere before it got going so you can see the epic set-up and the huge crowd.

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