1.Wheelchair user blocked from VIP area at Pink’s concert.
A music journalist who uses a wheelchair claims she was discriminated against at Pink‘s Sydney concert on Saturday night.
Marlena Katene, who has cerebral palsy, was one of 115 people who purchased $254 VIP front-of-stage tickets for the show at Qudos Bank Arena, but says she was forced to sit in the bleachers in a designated wheelchair section.
Katene claims she and her friend, Bert Hibbert, were told by security that it was against the venue’s policy to allow wheelchairs in the general admission standing area. After a verbal disagreement, police were called and Hibbert was removed from the stadium.
“We weren’t after any favours, we didn’t want any preferential treatment, we just wanted the experience we’d paid for,” he told 9 News.
Tonight I was excited for my 4th @Pink show but faced blatant discrimination from @qudosbankarena . Paid for wild heart tickets and was told to go into the wheelchair spot. @hartluck they even said it was pink security team made this decision. Kicked out m8 watched show alone
— marlena Katene (@aacjournalist) August 25, 2018
Katene, who travelled from the Gold Coast for the concert, said she had been in the same section at the singer’s Melbourne show and several other concerts without issue.
“In my mosh-pit experience having a wheelchair creates an even greater level of respect on the floor,” she told The Gold Coast Bulletin.
“The social aspect is worth the VIP ticket price alone and something I would not experience in the wheelie section.”
Qudos Bank Arena General Manager Steve Hevern said he was “disappointed” that the venues efforts to accommodate Katene safely did not meet her expectations.
“We respect Ms Katene’s enthusiasm and excitement to enjoy the concert in the way she had anticipated, however we have a duty of care to Ms Katene as well as all other patrons to ensure a safe event for all,” he said, according to The Gold Coast Bulletin.