Westlife apologise after disabled fans told to 'stand or go home' at Glasgow gig
News

Westlife apologise after disabled fans told to 'stand or go home' at Glasgow gig

IRISH boyband Westlife have been forced to apologise after elderly and disabled fans were told to "stand or go home" at a concert in Glasgow.

Several attendees at the SSE Hydro on Tuesday night were told less than an hour before the band were due on stage that their seated tickets were no longer valid.

Organisers claimed transport issues on the night meant vital equipment needed to construct a stage-level seating area had failed to arrive at the venue.

Westlife said they were left with the choice of either going ahead with the gig or postponing it.

The Dublin quartet chose to play on, meaning a number of fans - including some with disabilities - were sent home after spending up to £200 on tickets.

Advertisement

In a statement on social media prior to the start of the gig, SSE Hydro said: "Due to transport delays, the seating layout for the Westlife show this evening has been changed. The event was originally fully seated and is now a seated and standing show.

"If you are unable to stand or prefer not to, you will be entitled to a full refund from your original point of purchase.

"Westlife are delighted to be back in Glasgow and are very much looking forward to what will be a great night.

"On behalf of the promoter of the event we apologise for any frustration or disappointment this may cause and appreciate your understanding."

Westlife's promoter Live Nation said: "On Tues 28 May Westlife’s Twenty Tour at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro suffered seating configuration adjustments due to the delay of production elements of the Twenty Tour arriving at the arena. This is a rare and isolated incident.

Advertisement

"The remainder of the Twenty Tour at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro and across the U.K. will not be subject to any further seating issues. Westlife are committed to delivering an unmissable show for their dedicated fans."

'We were told to stand or leave'

One furious fan had travelled all the way from Aberdeen with her disabled mother especially for the gig.

She told the Mirror: "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.

Advertisement

"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 gig-goer said she was having her tickets scanned at the door when she was told that her seven-strong group would have to stand.

She explained to staff that three of her friends suffered from arthritis, sciatica and fibromyalgia, and so could not be on their feet for a prolonged period of time.

"We were told to either stand or leave and try for a refund but it would not be guaranteed," the woman said.

"There didn't seem to be any organisation or concern for the interest for ticket holders."

Apology

Westlife apologised on stage to all of their fans during their concert.

Advertisement

Addressing the crowd, the band's Nicky Byrne said: "We've had some local crew come in through the night, through the day from Scotland to help rig this, to get it up for you guys here tonight, to make sure that we could do a show for you guys.

The options were literally at 7pm tonight no show, or go out and 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 it for another night we thought genuinely let's get out.

"I hope you don't mind and let's give it a great show, so thank you Glasgow. We wanted this show to be the first show on the UK mainland, we didn't want to change that, so thank you for that."