Tommy Garcia/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty The cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 12
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills caused a stir on Friday at the second annual BravoCon convention — before they ever hit the stage.
Approximately 20 minutes before Garcelle Beauvais, Erika Girardi, Dorit Kemsley, Crystal Kung Minkoff, Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna and Sutton Stracke hit the stage for their planned Thrills in Beverly Hills panel, presented by Tresemmé, eager fans abandoned their places in line, pushed past security and bum-rushed the stage, knocking over patiently waiting patrons in the process.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Bravo said of the incident: “There was an issue where we failed to clear the room after one panel ended while the audience for the RHOBH panel entered, causing an overcapacity issue. Security acted immediately to ensure safety for all present. We want to ensure that everyone has the weekend and great experience they came for.”
PEOPLE was there when the chaos first unfolded at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.
In previous panels, security had been allowing attendees into the room in an orderly fashion, asking them to line up by the tier of pass they purchased (SVIP, VIP, and General Admission). But when the curtained-off walls were pulled back so that those on the other side could see, many appeared to take that as an invitation to enter the room.
Soon, the aisles were flooded and the stage was circled with onlookers. Seated patrons also began yelling and asking for others to sit down to improve visibility.
“[It was] so scary,” one attendee wrote on Twitter. “I got shoved and like then I was reacting to my friend and some girl got in my face.”
“We waited for an hour only to leave because of all the behavior,” wrote another. “I’m not going throw people down for RHOBH. Bad behavior + lax event staff=super mess. Such a disappointment.”
Video of the action was also shared by users on social media.
“Shame on @BravoTV. #BravoCon is the new Fyre Festival,” Morning Consult’s Olivia Petersen wrote on Twitter, alongside a video of fans ducking under ropes to abandon the organized line. “Waiting hours in lines for panels only for there to be stampedes in, no chairs, people camping out all day to not let others in, no use of the RFID bands. It’s a s— show.”
That same user later tweeted: “I want to be clear: calling #Bravocon ‘Fyre Festival’ was reactive & exaggerative based on that video and our experience with that specific panel. Yes, there’s been some disorganization but @BravoTV has made clear it’s committed to making this right the rest of the weekend.”
After a few minutes, an event organizer made an announcement that safety was a priority, relocating anyone standing or sitting on the floor to the other side of the curtain — only to have more come a few minutes later.
Some in the room then started chanting, “Move GA! Move GA”, requesting organizers remove general admission attendees outside of the room.
It was then revealed by the organizer that the panel would have to be canceled if the situation couldn’t be resolved.
Cindy Ord/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty
Though every other panel has run smoothly without chaos, similar behavior was seen by some fans hoping to get a closer glimpse at Andy Cohen as he walked by in another part of the convention.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills panel chaos wasn’t the only surprise during Friday’s convention. Rinna — who previously said she wouldn’t attend BravoCon due to a scheduling conflict — made a surprise appearance at the event.
When Rinna entered the convention to take part in the RHOBH panel, she was booed by many onlookers. During the panel, Rinna addressed some of her long-criticized behavior from the show’s 12th season.
She noted one regret to moderator Brad Goreski: “How about when I screamed at Sutton? I mean, that was really intense. The two times I screamed at Sutton, how about that? … To see it back, I was quite horrified.”
BravoCon 2022 will continue through Sunday at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.