El Paso Preps For RBD

After causing sensations – good and bad – during its January visit to Texas, Mexican pop group RBD will return to the El Paso County Coliseum April 7th during its first North American arena tour.

The three-man, three-woman act that stars in the popular Mexican soap opera “Rebelde” took the city by storm when a January 12th autograph signing at Wal-Mart turned into a near riot. Nearly 10,000 fans showed up when only 3,000 were expected.

Later that night, 3,000 concertgoers were turned away from a free concert at the County Coliseum because the city’s fire marshal was concerned about crowd safety, according to GM Brian Kennedy. After the incident, Kennedy told Pollstar, “I’ve run this building for seven years now – and I used to be a promoter – I’ve only seen a reaction like this for a few people. … These guys are hot.”

This time around, Kennedy isn’t worried that crowd safety will be an issue. The GM said he’s taking all the normal precautions, adding there will be reserved seating so the Coliseum’s staff can keep an accurate count of who is in the building, according to the El Paso Times.

During RBD’s last visit to the venue, Kennedy said the 7,800-capacity arena wasn’t full when the fire marshal asked him to stop ingress.

A police officer close to the event reportedly said the concert was capped on account of safety concerns because promoters, who gave away free tickets, didn’t have an attendance count. But Kennedy suspected the Wal-Mart incident factored into the decision.

In a separate incident February 4th, RBD’s visit to Sao Paulo, Brazil, turned tragic after an autograph signing left three fans dead and 38 injured when between 10,000 and 15,000 people gathered at a city shopping center. Authorities said fans were trampled after the signing when a security fence collapsed as the band began to prepare for a brief performance.

Lt. Mario Hernandez, spokesman for the El Paso Fire Department, said he doesn’t want a similar tragedy to occur during the sextet’s April 7th show. He said fire officials will be on hand to make sure the arena doesn’t get overcrowded, the El Paso Times reported.