A mother had bought tickets to see Ed Sheeran at Lang Park in Brisbane, Australia, but is appalled to hear that she can’t enter the venue with her four month old breast-feeding son unless he has a ticket as well.
Kirsty McDonald’s infant son, Leni, wasn’t born yet when the Sheeran tickets went on sale last year. So, she didn’t account for him, and bought standing tickets for herself, her mother, and her sister-in-law. Since Leni doesn’t take to a bottle due to a medical condition, Mcdonald can only breastfeed him, and had all intentions of bringing him to the concert with her. She emailed Ticketek, the company handling sales for both Sheeran’s shows in Brisbane, just to be sure she could bring him in a baby carrier. However, they responded in a way MacDonald hadn’t expected – saying she couldn’t bring Leni if she didn’t have a ticket for him.
“There is no free on the knee for this event — all patrons must have a ticket,” Ticketek said in an email, according to the Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC).
“I just thought it was absolutely ridiculous,” MacDonald said. “I’m quite angry.”
McDonald told ABC that in the past, she’s had no problem bringing Leni, along with her other two-year-old son, to sporting events. She’s brought them to see the Brisbane Broncos and Roar play, free of charge, and already has tickets to bring them with her to the Common Wealth games in April.
“I understand not many people would take a four-month-old to a concert, but just the fact I can take him to so many events without a ticket … I just really assumed it’d be fine,” McDonald said. “He’s not taking up much room.”
Frontier Touring, the event promoter, seemed to disagree. They told ABC that they defend its policy and this is a “standard practice for all patrons to hold a ticket regardless of age.”
“Part of the reason that we require people to have a ticket is knowing exactly how many people are in the venue, which is primarily for a safety reason,” a spokeswoman said. She also said that the company discourages bringing a child at such a young age to a concert, even with earmuffs.
Frontier Touring offered McDonald a refund for her ticket if she’d like to stay home with her son, but she is set on still going to the show. The concert is now sold-out, and tickets are being sold for incredibly high prices. If McDonald buys another ticket for her son, she’ll have to pay more than twice the price she did for her own ticket.
She said that she’s “willing to pay more,” since she really wants to see Sheeran, but thinks the “whole concept is odd.”
After the issue was featured on The Today Show, people swarmed on social media, bashing the mother for even thinking of bringing a baby to a concert with such loud decibels. One tweet said, “Having to pay is stupid but not as stupid as taking an infant to a concert in the first place.”
Sheeran will perform at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on March 20 and 21 before continuing to Auckland. The star has sold-out shows at almost every gig in Australia, breaking the record for the highest-selling single tour in the country’s history.