Shihad concert dispute angers fans

Tempers flared outside Thursday night's Shihad concert in Dunedin when ticket collectors turned away people under 18, despite them having valid tickets.

The concert was advertised on Ticketek as being an "all ages" event, but when dozens of young Shihad fans turned up to the University of Otago Union Hall with tickets in hand, they were told it was an R18 event and were not allowed entry.

Tickets cost up to $65 each and those turned away were from as far away as Balclutha.

Balclutha resident Simon Edwards (17) said he had travelled to Dunedin to see the band with five friends (all 17 years old) and was livid to find their tickets would not be honoured.

"We've been wanting to see the band for ages. It's rare for bands like this to come to Dunedin. As soon as the tickets came on sale, we bought them.

"I was not impressed when they wouldn't let us in. It's false advertising. And with fuel costs the way they are, that's also put us out of pocket."

Dunedin resident Rebecca Grattan (17) said she too was disappointed because the concert was going to be the highlight of her school holiday.

A spokesman from Ticketek declined to comment on how the situation arose.

However, in a statement Ticketek said it would issue full refunds to those who were not permitted entry to the Shihad concert.

Refunds could be collected by returning the tickets to the point of purchase or calling 0800 TICKETEK.

The refund was little solace for Miss Grattan and Mr Edwards.

They said they would rather have seen the concert.

"It's not about the money. We wanted to see Shihad," Mr Edwards said.

He believed a more valid solution would be for Ticketek, or the concert promoter, to pay for him and his fellow ticket holders to go to another "all ages" Shihad concert later this month in Wellington or Christchurch.

Shihad concert promoter Peter Campbell, of Brent Eccles Entertainment Ltd, was not available for comment last night.

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