Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sheffield Arena patronises older people

I can't be sure, but judging by Sheffield Arena's attitude to Cliff Richard fans, I'd imagine they did that over-emphasised, over-loud way of talking when they issued the ban on queuing for tickets: "It's not safe, dear... NOT SAFE to be out all night AT YOUR AGE..."

No other band - or rather, their demographic - has been told they can't queue. Sheffield Arena try to explain their reasoning:

Simon Bailey, the marketing manager at the Sheffield Arena, said staff had a “duty of care” which they would not be able to provide if customers were camping outside the arena for days at a time.

He added: “We are unable to staff the queue to ensure customer safety and the area isn’t suitable for people to be camping out exposed to the elements.

“We also often have events on in the arena that require a clear entrance and exit through the area where the queues form. We have no services available such as toilet and wash facilities.”

Hold on, Simon: this are only Cliff Richard tickets, it's not like they're going to be setting up a permanent Greenham style camp outside your unlovely venue. If you're that bloody concerned, why don't you just say you'll let anyone queuing use the toilets inside the arena? Presumably you have some inside - or are you expected to piss in a bottle and take it home with you when you see a band there? Could you not even come up with some sort of virtual queue? And how come you patronisingly think that Cliff fans need nannying just because they're not as young as you are? Do you think once you're past forty you lose the ability to decide if you're capable of making it through a night in a sleeping bag?

Most places would be thrilled that they had something on offer that people would spend the night queuing for - it'd be calls to the local media to come down and meet the superfans and rustling up some mulled wine for the dedicated.

If Cliff has any integrity, he'd be telling Sheffield that if they don't think they can take care of his biggest fans when they're taking money off him, he can't imagine they can take care of them on the night of the gig, and look for another venue.