Fans of Bruno Mars were left furious on Monday when a ticketing mishap led to them missing part of the US pop star’s show at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena.
More than 200 fans were denied entry to the gig because their tickets would not scan.
Organisers said the problem occurred because when e-tickets were originally sent out during the pre-sale, the PDF did not state whether standing tickets were ‘rear’ or ‘front’. After realising the error, organisers sent out new e-tickets with the added information.
However, many fans brought their original printed PDFs with them, and these voided tickets were deemed invalid by scanners.
Staff attempted to reissue almost 200 tickets from the main box office, but some fans only gained entry at 10pm – 50 minutes before the end of the show.
An NEC spokesman said: “The problem with tickets occurred for people who purchased e-tickets within the window of November 21 (when pre-sale started) to February 2. These people received an e-ticket, which did not clarify whether they had purchased a ‘rear’ or ‘front’ ticket but instead just referenced the price they had paid. It was therefore decided operationally that tickets needed to be reissued to clarify this.
“On February 3, an email communication went out to those affected clarifying whether they had a ‘rear’ or ‘front’ standing tickets and were subsequently issued with a new e-ticket.”
Lisa Kerry, a fan from Walsall in the West Midlands, said to the BBC that it was an “absolute joke” after being left outside the venue. She added that there had been “no explanation from management and we missed the support act and the first hour of the performance.”
Another fan, Leanne Hulse from Tamworth, told the BBC that £400 had been spent on bringing her two sons, aged five and eight, to what should have been their first concert. Hulse said to the BBC that she would never go to the venue again.
The venue has since apologised and sent out notices to fans attending last night’s second Bruno Mars concert at the Barclaycard Arena to remind them to bring their ‘reissued’ tickets.
For the second show, staff at the venue was increased and doors opened earlier than usual, as it was understood that more than 600 tickets could have potentially been affected.
Barclaycard Arena general manager Guy Dunstan said: “We acknowledge that the customer communications to support this update were not sufficient.
“We are communicating directly with customers ahead of tonight’s Bruno Mars concert (April 25) and have put plans in place to mitigate any potential issues.
“We apologise to all customers affected.”