Venue Cymru have justified their action by stating that the 2,500 concert goers had been “protected from criminal activity by this extra vigilance”.  This is pretty much the same as saying “I did a rain dance and it didn’t rain, therefore rain dances really work”!

Venue Cymru statement regarding Monday’s security cock-up

Venue-Cymru
Venue Cymru have issued the statement below following their refusal to allow valid ticket holders into the Vaccines Concert at Llandudno last Monday because they were unable to answer questions about the names of the band’s albums.

Okay, so they have apologised “unreservedly” to  Andy Bellis, and acknowledged he was a totally innocent victim of their over zealous methods of identifying pickpockets.  I hope they are looking a making an offer of compensation too!

Andy was the most vocal of the complainants and it was his story we took up here at The HairyPhotographer.co.uk.  The story was also run by the Link2Wales.co.uk music website and subsequently went viral via Facebook and Twitter before being picked up by the national and regional newspapers.

Would they, I wonder, have been as forthcoming with their apology, and would the bully-boy tactics have continued, had the publicity not been so widespread?

Now however, I am left wondering whether Venue Cymru ran their statement past their legal department – or whether they even have one at all – because they appear to have publicly stated that the other people refused entry that night were in fact pick pockets!

Some of those people may well have been up to no good, but did they have proof?  The police can stop and charge someone for “going equipped” for burglary.  But it would appear this security company’s definition of “going equipped” for pick pocketing is someone in possession of two hands and a bad memory for names and song titles!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m in no way condoning criminal activity but if I were one of the “others” refused entry I would seriously be considering defamation of character at this juncture.  What happened to “innocent until proved guilty”?

Venue Cymru have justified their action by stating that the 2,500 concert goers had been “protected from criminal activity by this extra vigilance”.  This is pretty much the same as saying “I did a rain dance and it didn’t rain, therefore rain dances really work”!

Here is the statement  posted on their web site today…

“To clarify the circumstances regarding the refusal of entry to this show of one fan the concert’s promoters and venue would like to apologise unreservedly. Mr Bellis was it now appears an innocent and unwitting victim of an operation aimed at stamping out organised criminal activity. We will obviously be contacting him privately regarding the matter.

In cooperation with the relevant authorities, Venue Cymru and SJM Concerts were working to prevent possible large scale and pre-meditated targeting of concert goers by mobile phone and wallet thieves. This is not a localised problem specific to Llandudno but a national issue affecting genuine honest concert goers who deserve to be able to enjoy their evening without fear of pickpockets or loss of personal possessions with the distress that causes.

Working alongside Showsec , our concert security provider, we were advised to be vigilant and, in specific cases, challenge at the point of entry individuals intentions where clarification was required before admittance. At no stage was refusal to any show ever based solely on a “music quiz” as suggested but this was a way of establishing quickly a definitely genuine fan from one with no knowledge of the act in question. In this instance a mistake was made in refusing entry however other ejections or refusals on the same show proved conclusive and indicated that the 2500 sold out crowd had been protected from criminal activity by this extra vigilance.

Our priority as event organisers and venue operators is always the safety and security of our audiences and will remain so. We will work continuously with the police and licencing to deliver that on a national basis.

The Vaccines as a band I would hope share the above sentiment. we would however like to make clear the band were not instrumental or involved in the security operation on the night here and we would apologise unreservedly for any negative association this has brought about “

Issued on behalf of SJM Concerts and Venue Cymru Llandudno