Issues raised after overnight queueing

after purchasing tickets for Olly Murs and JLS I feel that a number of issues need to be raised.

Firstly, my wife and daughter got to the queue for Olly Murs (my wife’s birthday present) at about 6.30am, and were roughly seventh in the queue. I was surprised to hear from them as early as 9.30am (opening was supposed to be 10am) that they were about to buy the tickets and could I go and pick them up. As reported, demand was very high and so it proved opening early was a good decision. My wife was disappointed to see queue jumping going on further down the line and these people should be ashamed of themselves. Within moments of picking them up my wife stated that to be sure of JLS tickets (for my daughter’s 13th birthday) she would have to start queuing that very same day and do an all-nighter.

Both my w ife and daughter got outside the Sands office first at 3.30pm on Saturday. Just before going down to the Sands myself at 6.30pm with seating, coats and food and to take my daughter home, I then went to stay overnight with my wife, I saw that they were not first in the queue but second which was disappointing to see but yet we said nothing as the tickets were guaranteed, which is what we set out to achieve.

It was an interesting night and we even became friendly with the woman who got there at 6pm but was first in the queue and she also offered an extra blanket and hot water bottle to my wife as she was starting to get really cold.

The decision to put the barriers up and for night marshals to patrol the area from 4am was very well thought out. During the night we both heard various people talking about getting tickets solely to either sell on eBay for profit or to swap for tickets for other shows of which is disappointing as it could put a question mark over these sales happening in the future.

In the morning about an hour before the office opened I noticed someone else in the queue with a blue parking badge and asked if they knew of a concession price for disabled people of which they were told yes, you can get an assistant ticket free with production of proof of disability. This got us thinking, we could get a couple more tickets (we were wanting four) as we are both registered disabled and could possibly get our full quota of eight tickets between us.

Just before 10am staff from the Sands came outside in preparation to opening the door and one of them recognised my wife from queuing up the day before and said to her, “you deserve to go through the door first” but others around us seemed not to hear this. Also the Scarborough Evening News reporter and photographer arrived and started to take details of the woman who arrived at 6pm yet was first in the queue, and a couple of girls that were third who arrived at 10pm. No details of my wife’s determination was mentioned but she got her photo taken.

When going inside we enquired about disabled tickets and were told that the disabled do get an assistant who goes free of charge which is great until we asked will the tickets be seated together.

We were told that the disabled tickets are posted out to you and consist of a wheelchair bay and a seat for your assistant and we were told because we both are ambulant disabled (able to walk) and not needing someone to push us in a wheelchair we are not classified as disabled or needing an assistant, which we thought was wrong as at times may need help with refreshments or toilet duties.

I feel sorry for anyone who is blind that applies for this type of ticket, as they would have to stand through the performance. The office also should have a notice of terms and conditions of sale on display explaining the selling procedure, but we did not see one.

So we went away buying our four tickets pleased yet disappointed as my daughter’s birthday will be her best yet.

Please can the planners of events make sure these points raised never happen again.

M Cunningham

Prospect Mount Road