Woman Kicked Out Of P!nk Concert Over Her Wheelchair
Music journalist Marlena Katene, who has cerebral palsy, was one of the lucky fans to secure VIP tickets for the Pink Wild At Heart Tour at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena on Saturday. However, her heart dropped when she was denied entry because of her wheelchair.
"I waited at 2pm and was seventh person in line so I was guaranteed a great spot," Marlena told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
Despite Marlena and her carer Bert Hibbert having valid tickets that gave them access to the standing area directly at the front of the stage, they were abruptly told that wheelchairs were not allowed in the area, and they would be relegated to a wheelchair space in the bleachers.
@Pink are you aware tonight I had wild heart tickets for your show. As a wheelchair user I specifically came from qld for this. get to the venue @qudosbankarena and hey said your security said I couldn’t go in there . When my mate stood asked why police was called was removed pic.twitter.com/yfvjLxcvc9— marlena Katene (@aacjournalist) August 25, 2018
The pair were understandably upset with the arrangement, and the lack of warning about the alleged access issue, so they questioned the decision.
"Security came over 15 minutes later and told us it was their policy," she said.
This prompted Bert to ask for a full explanation, as they had no trouble accessing the VIP area at Pink's Melbourne show.
i am the world's 1st person with cp to base jump and skydive often. risks are everywhere in life. my chair actually i believe is no less or more safe in a standing area. it comes down to respect of ALL patrons 4 each other. this kid was getting smashed we moved him 2 safety TBC pic.twitter.com/2CyM9Kx9R8— marlena Katene (@aacjournalist) August 28, 2018
"We purchased tickets legally and nowhere was it stated that wheelchairs were not allowed," Marlena said.
After asking to provide a copy of the policy - which staff were unable to provide - the venue contacted the police.
In video footage, a security officer can be heard saying: "We have tried to accommodate you sir, regardless whether there is a policy or not, it is out of our hands."
The pair were then escorted out of the venue and were reportedly told to remain 50 metres away from the premises.
"They took the tickets off us and removed our wrist bands - they attempted to remove our videos as well," Marlena revealed. "I remained there, alone by myself without any one to to assist me to communicate, eat or drink."
"In my mosh-pit experience having a wheelchair creates an even greater level of respect on the floor," she said. "The social aspect is worth the VIP ticket price alone and something I would not experience in the wheelie section."
The music journalist is now seeking legal representation on the matter, and has also reached out to Pink.