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Vaccines fan claims he was turned away from gig for not knowing band's album titles

Venue Cymru accused of 'profiling' gig goers prior to sell out show

Andy Willsher/NME
Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
A fan of The Vaccines has claimed that he was turned away from one of the band's gigs after being unable to name the titles of their two albums.

Andy Bellis, a Music Technology student from Wrexham, and a friend had tickets to see The Vaccines perform at Venue Cymru on Monday (May 6), but the pair were turned away at the door. "I got to the door with my tickets and we were pulled aside by security who asked us 'Do you know the name of the band you're seeing tonight?'," he told NME. "We said 'The Vaccines' and he asked us if we could name their lead singer. I couldn't think of his name off the top of my head and then he asked us to name their albums and didn't know them either - I felt a bit intimidated and under pressure. That's when he said 'You're not allowed in then'."

Explaining that the security told him they were "profiling" people as there were pickpockets operating in the area, Bellis then had his tickets taken off him and was asked to leave the premises. "We spoke to someone from the venue and he just said 'Sorry, there's nothing we can do.' I don't know what a pickpocket looks like but I don't think I look like one," he says. Bellis, who is a member of local band The Uninvited, was attending the gig with his sister and friends, all of whom got into the gig without a problem having paid £18 for their tickets weeks ago.

A spokesperson for Venue Cymru said: "We received information that there would be pickpockets at the gig. So we worked in conjunction with our security firm, which is ShowSec, and the police who ensured that our customers were safe inside the venue. Some customers were asked to name the band they were coming to see that evening but nobody was turned away for not knowing the answer or any other knowledge of the band. 2,500 people attended the concert and of those people six were turned away at the door. It does appear that of those six there was a mistake made and that two genuine fans were turned away. Those fans will receive an apology and will be refunded."

The spokesperson confirmed that Venue Cymru would continue to work with ShowSec on future gigs and concerts.

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