Westlife apologise after disabled fans told to ‘stand or go home’

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Westlife have landed in a bit of hot water to say the least, after fans with disabilities and elderly concert-goers were told to 'stand or go home' from their gig.

Despite paying up to €180 for a ticket, some fans were physically unable to stand for the sell-out show at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow last night but were forced to leave.

The boy-band were forced to apologise on stage after hundreds of their fans discovered their seating tickets were now invalid. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Westlife (@westlife) on

Frustrated crowds were informed less then an hour before the iconic band were due to begin the show that their tickets were no longer valid, though some fans splashed out on over €1,000 for VIP experiences at the 'Twenty Tour'.

Traffic delays had resulted in vital equipment for creating a stage level seating area failing to turn up at the venue. according to organisers.

The SSE Hydro posted a statement on its Facebook page just before the doors opened to the gig, saying that fans would be forced to stand or ask for a refund.

Image: Facebook

Some groups claimed they were offered alternative seating 'nowhere near' their original choice, while other devoted fans had to travel back to Aberdeen that same night.

One fan, Sophie Campbell, does not attend gigs on a regular basis due to her struggles with asthma, but made an exception to see Westlife with her disabled mother Margo.

Sophie paid for front row tickets was told on arrival to stand. Understandably furious, she claimed to the Irish Mirror that staff refused to give her disabled mother a wheelchair to sit in.

"I don't go to concerts to stand because my asthma is too bad, small enclosed spaces don't work for me. I was told when I got here I could stand or get a full refund. That's all."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Westlife (@westlife) on

She continued;

"I asked for a wheelchair for my disabled mother and was told she can either deal with it and stand or go home and come back to the Hydro tomorrow for a refund, so I've got to drive all way back to Glasgow for a refund."

Another fan, Niki Kane, explained to staff that three of her group of six people suffered from arthritis , sciatica and fibromyalgia, and so needed seating. 

"We were told to either stand or leave and try for a refund but it would not be guaranteed. There didn't seem to be any organisation or concern for the interest for ticket holders."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Westlife (@westlife) on

The band were later forced to apologise to the crowds on behalf of the organisers and crew, and emphasised that transporting production equipment from Belfast to Scotland was the reason for the delays.

Nicky Byrne said: "The options were, at seven o'clock tonight, no show or give them the best show that we could give them, which would mean standing on the floor for you guys.

"Rather than send you all home and postpone for another night we thought we'd just go out and give them a great show. We hope you don't mind. So thank you for being so understanding – we really appreciate that."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Westlife (@westlife) on

A spokesperson for the SSE Hydro said:

"The seating layout for tonight's Westlife show was changed due to unexpected transport delays. For ticketholders who did not wish to or were unable to stand, full refunds are available from the original point of purchase.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused."

Hopefully these fans get their money back in full, it sounded like a distressing experience.

Feature image: Instagram/@shnickyloverwlfanpage

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