Golden Globes: My Personal Shuttlegate Horror Story (Guest Column)

Shuttle Disaster - S 2016
Seth Abramovitch

New security measures turned what should have been a 15-minute inconvenience into a nearly three-hour transportation fiasco.

The 73rd Golden Globes happened on Sunday. It was Hollywood’s Party of the Year  at least during the actual ceremony. If you were just attending one of the many afterparties like the ones thrown by Netflix, Amazon, InStyle or HBO, then it was more like an episode of The Walking Dead.

New security measures — including metal detectors and a shuttle system to bring industry professionals and other invited guests to the revelry — turned what should have been a 15-minute inconvenience into a nearly three-hour fiasco.

The security/shuttle line that wound its way through two levels of the parking structure at 1999 Avenue of the Stars in Century City was organized by some well-meaning and distraught security personnel. Executives, actors, models and the like would trudge along at a snail’s pace, when moving at all.

Many waited more than two hours just to get to the metal detectors, with another half-hour required simply to even make it onto the shuttle that held 28 anxious riders. That’s not to mention the 1.5-mile ride through road construction and Globe traffic that tacked on an additional 30-40 minutes. By the time the poor suckers at the end of the line boarded the shuttle, they often had to wait for the people disembarking to head home.

And let’s not even bring up the beautiful high-heeled shoes being worn with the gorgeous gowns. If you could hear feet scream, it would have been deafening.

Fellow line waiter Adam Granduciel of the indie band The War on Drugs, came up with a plan to avoid similar catastrophe in the years ahead: Make the shuttle waiting area its own party. Have someone on a hover board roam the line like a ballpark vendor with items to purchase including water, phone chargers, foldable ballet shoes and e-cigarettes. Along with that, have available a WiFi hotspot that can be tapped into at a cost, like at the airport. It would make the experience less painful.

What would be better, however, is a transport system that makes sense in getting people to the parties in a much timelier manner. Because no one really likes to trudge around like a zombie in a parking structure when they can be tearing up the dance floor or snapping selfies with celebrities.

Here is one partygoer’s (mine) diary of simply trying to enter the HBO proceedings on Sunday:

8:20 p.m.: Arrive at 1999 Avenue of the Stars.

8:25: Squeeze car into the smallest compact space known to man. Lube would have helped.

8:28: Gasp in amazement at the winding, serpentine formation before me. It turns out to be the shuttle line.

8:40: Plow through the line to find the actual end. Wait.

9:00: Tapping high-heeled foot.

9:20: Moved about 10 feet. Considered giving two security guys blowjobs to move up another 10 feet. Ultimately thought better of it.

9:30: Moved up 20 feet. Heard one executive yell, “This is a fing disaster!” We all agree.

9:40: Watch people try to talk their way through the security line but it turns out “Don’t you know who I am?” doesn’t work in a parking structure filled with industry pros. If Patrick Warburton and Breaking Bad semi-regular Krysten Ritter have to wait, so do you.

9:50: Halfway to the metal detectors. A group of people in front of us decide they’ve waited long enough and head home, a net gain of four feet. Contemplate plopping myself on the concrete. Instead, I plod on.

10:00: Feet are screaming to be let out of three-inch stilettos. Decide to tough it out, otherwise the terrorists win. Notice that Ritter is wearing ballet flats while her boyfriend holds her heels. She is kind enough to inform me that they are available at CVS, are foldable and well worth the purchase. Noted.

10:10: Finally make it through the metal detectors without incident, getting herded through a small hallway to the outside.

10:12: Now standing outside of the parking structure. There is still a line, but the shuttles are in sight, fitting 28 at a time. I notice the shuttle is now dropping off nearly as many passengers heading home as it picks up. We’re cold. We’re hungry. Our feet ache. OK, so we’re not exactly the Syrian refugees. There still ought to be a law against this.

10:15: Finally on the shuttle. It’s plush, and nice, and hey look, they have water for us. At least now we’ll be hydrated before heading back home.

10:20: We’ve gone about a block. Traffic is insane, much like this whole shuttle service, but at least we are now sitting.

10:30: Mutiny! We can see the Beverly Hilton and force the driver to stop and let us off. We can walk there far faster than the inching along we’ve been doing. But we stay put.

10:33: We arrive at the Beverly Hilton and spontaneously hug each other, like survivors of a traumatic event. You’ve heard of The Hateful Eight? We’re “The Grateful 28.” Except…

10:45: Waiting in the HBO line to get into the event. At this point I’ve had it, the shoes are already off. No end in sight.

11:13: Make my way down the stairs, poolside, for the HBO party. It took nearly three hours, but we made it! Time to party like it’s 9:19! But…

12:30 a.m.: It’s over. We got to the party for 77 whole minutes. And people are still making their way in, but too late. They turn right around. Next year, I think I’ll watch it through binoculars from my house.

Nancy Barragan is an entertainment lawyer.