YOUNG fans of pop superstars One Direction face being turned away from their Murrayfield gig because they did not realise under-16s have to be accompanied by an adult in the standing section.
Stadium bosses have confirmed they will enforce the policy because there is a bar on site – but tickets only stipulate that no under-12s would be allowed on the pitch.
Parents have reacted with anger as fears grow that confusion could mean young 1D fans left stranded outside the 50,000 sell-out gig on Tuesday.
Fans aged 12-16 are allowed to attend the concert alone provided they have seated tickets. However if they are on the pitch, they must be accompanied.
Promoters said the terms were clearly stated when tickets were purchased and insisted that no refunds would be issued – however, one major ticketing website recommended by tour promoters, Ticketmaster, allowed buyers to progress to payment without requiring them to read about the age restrictions.
And a standing ticket seen by the Evening News carried no warning except that under 12s would not be allowed on the pitch.
Laura Barfoot, who is taking her six-year-old daughter to the concert, was among those who found the rules confusing.
She said “It wasn’t advertised well. I didn’t know that at all. I have heard of people having to sell standing tickets and buy seated ones at a ridiculous price, because they still want to go but can’t take their child because there’s a restriction.”
Local councillor Jeremy Balfour has demanded answers from venue operators the Scottish Rugby Union amid claims the restrictions weren’t properly advertised by ticketing websites or the concert promoter, and questioned why alcohol will be served at a concert where the majority of attendees will be teenagers.
Councillor Balfour, a member of the city’s licensing board, voted against allowing Murrayfield to host the concert at a meeting of the committee on Monday. “I have very serious concerns about the event and the safety of the young people involved, if they are left unaccompanied outside the concert for several hours,” said Cllr Balfour. “If anyone under the age of 16 is unable to enter the event, they should be given a full refund and an apology by the SRU.”
A spokeswoman for DF Concerts, the gig promoter, said no refunds would be issued, and added: “The age restriction has been communicated via our event website Gigs in Scotland, at point of sale and on the Ticketmaster website. We have also sent a direct e-shot to ticket buyers. Plus, a range of communications will be issued in advance of the event.”
A spokeswoman for the SRU said: “Anything related to ticket sales and conditions should be directed to the relevant ticket sales agent. At the point of sale on these official ticketing websites, all these conditions are prominently displayed.
“We are selling alcohol because there is a proportion of the audience who will be of the legal age to consume alcohol. We have assessed the risks and put the appropriate measures in place to ensure this is managed correctly.”
A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “Police are working with our partners at DF Concerts, Murrayfield Stadium and the city council to ensure a safe and secure event.”
Fans ready to take their chances
Faced with potentially being barred from Murrayfield for attending the One Direction gig without a parent, some teenage fans are ready to take their chances with the authorities.
Tranent superfan Caitlyn Vanbeck, whose image ricocheted across Twitter when she was pictured with One Direction member Zayn on his flying visit to Edinburgh on May 19, said some of her friends have been caught out by the confusing age restrictions, and warned that some young people may turn up unaccompanied knowing that they shouldn’t be admitted.
Some of her friends have been caught out by the confusing age restrictions, and warned that some young people may turn up unaccompanied knowing that they shouldn’t be admitted.