TikTok has become an important platform in 2020 for the music world. It’s helped push songs, such as Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts,” into mainstream popularity that were previously overlooked. Popular dances like the Renegade Dance to K Camp’s “Lottery” were also created and popularized on the app. Using their exponential growth and popularity to make an effect outside of music, TikTiok users apparently teamed up with K-Pop fans to ensure that Donald Trump set expectations for his rally in Tulsa far beyond what actually happened on Saturday night.
Prior to the rally, Trump promised a full house and overflowing crowd to Tulsa’s Bank of Oklahoma Center, however, the goal was missed by a longshot and it seems an online campaign was informally put together to bombard Trump’s campaign arm with ticket requests was at least partially to blame. Brad Parscale, chair of Trump’s re-election campaign, reported there were more than a million ticket requests, but reporters at the rally reported that attendance was far below the expected number. It turns out that when the Trump campaign posted a tweet asking supporters to register for the rally, TikTok and K-Pop fans reportedly shared the registration link with their followers with the intention of signing up and not attending the rally.
To say the least, the plan worked. The attendance goal for the Trump rally was missed by a large amount, to the point that the campaign was forced to cancel an outdoor rally they had planned for the overflow of attendees they anticipated. “Oh no, I signed up for a Trump rally, and I can’t go,” one woman said sarcastically in one of the many TikToks that graced that app promoting the fake-registration to the Trump rally. According to New York Times, thousands of users posted similar tweets and videos that, in total, racked up millions of views.
There were other factors in the low attendance numbers, including a curfew the city of Tulsa had put in place in an attempt to limit counter protesters outside the venue. There is also the threat of COVID-19, as the still-ongoing pandemic is highly contagious and could spread at events held inside like Trump’s rally. But with the event being compared by some to Fyre Festival, it’s clear Saturday night went far different than Trump and his campaign hoped.