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TREATMENT OF FANS AT MSG BY SECURITY STAFF


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I have spent a lot of time on social media over the course of this tour, following fans sharing their experiences and enjoying the largely wonderful community that surrounds this group we love.

Naturally things can't always go smoothly and there are occasionally some negative experiences, however the reports I have seen from some fans attending the MSG shows have been beyond belief.

Fans being physically knocked to the ground in cancellation lines by unscrupulous scalpers, venue security working with scalpers to prevent fans from reaching the box office before them, venue security yelling at fans in line who have just asked for help or guidance, to name but a few.

There have been people sharing these incidents on social media and complaints to MSG but nothing has been done, now I know you can't account for scalpers or the odd unpleasant fan, but venue staff should not be allowed to get away with this sort of behaviour.

 

Yesterday's appearance by Adam and Edge at The Cutting Room and various comments made by the band during the tour proves that the U2 camp DOES take notice of what is happening in social media, MSG management clearly don't take fans seriously, but are far more likely to take U2 seriously, whether it's the band themselves or management.

I urge all fans who have had bad experiences to share here and to keep sharing across social media using #U2 #U2ietour #U2msg, the next 2 nights are going to be the most frantic and in demand yet and I would imagine these kinds of experiences are going to be rife and I fear for the safety and wellbeing of fans and hate to think of their experiences being ruined.

It's time to do what U2 do best, bring people together and make some noise, this sort of behaviour cannot be allowed to continue by people in a position of responsibility. Please don't pass this post by, if you have had a bad experienc or know someone who has please share. Thanks

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This makes me very sad and unfortunately, I saw some of this first hand.  The security there has been nothing short of rude and inconsistent.  My friend, Camucha, was treated very poorly by them on the 2nd night we were there and it was almost like they were specifically picking on her. (I'm going to let her tell what happened, if she would like to.)  That same day, my 13 year old daughter was yelled at by one of their staff for sitting on the floor at my feet when we were in line waiting for the merchandise booth to open, which might I add, that they told people different times that it would open.  I am happy to say that I've gotten to see U2 at Madison Square Garden, but I will NEVER go there again because of how poorly the venue was run.

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In section 113 at the bottom rows closest to the stage on Monday 7/27, security officer Louis P appeared at the intermission and basically started picking fights with the fans who had aisle seats and were leaning into the aisle. They were leaning because the stage setup had a huge stack of cables completely blocking the view of the stage for people in those aisle seats. No one was causing a problem or obstruction but this guy came down all fired up and ready to start a problem and did. An usher tried to calm the security guard down but he was yelling and screaming at fans for the rest of the night. Disgraceful.

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Wth. This is really poor and heavy handed, not good at all. U2 would be appalled if they knew how aggressively some fans were being treated.

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I have just been speaking to another fan who is in line right now and says she has been targeted and bullied by one member of security, just aweful!

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I'm here to share my story. On my second show (NY4) as I did the night before I brought my Peruvian flag neatly folded inside a plastic bag in my purse to the venue, the flag was signed by Bono in Houston in 2009 before the 360 show. I also brought a sign I made on a cloth napkin that depicts a heart made with two bass clefs, one inverted. This sign has come with me to 5 shows of the 360 tour and I had it with me during the NY3 show.

I was number 50 in the line, got my number the night before, I went for the check up times and behaved and waited respectfully.

 

When it was my time to be searched at the entrance, the woman that was doing so, was really angry and already searching the bag of a guy from Mexico that had a small flag in his bag, she threw all of his stuff on the table and was flipping his things and arguing with him. He was allowed to keep everything and went inside.

When it was my turn, the woman started to pull everything from my bag, she saw my cream colored napkin with the sign inside a clear plastic bag, and scream, What is this? NO SIGNS NO SIGNS, throw it away. I told her, is a napkin. She knew she didn't have a way or point, it was just a piece of cloth, it could have been a handkerchief. She said that signs weren't allowed, now I think about the previous show in which Jimmy Fallon was present and he DID have a sign, and it was part of the skit they did before the performance. 

 

Next thing, she went after was the bag with my flag, a semitransparent bag, again, screaming, what is this? what is this? I was really nervous at that point, I told her it was my flag, and she said, NO FLAGS, NO FLAGS, THROW IT AWAY, I told her is my Peruvian flag, Bono signed it, I can't throw it away, I brought it yesterday and they let me in, PLEASE. No, the woman kept on telling me to throw it away, that no flags were allowed because they didn't want to create controversy. I didn't have an ISIS flag or a Confederate flag, I don't really know what kind of controversy I was going to create with it. Besides I know I have read somewhere that Bono encourages to bring your flags to wave them when they sing 'Streets', the fact that the woman let the man with the Mexican flag get inside that was before me, was upsetting too. The other woman that was in the table told me to 'go outside and hide it'. I couldn't do that, a flag isn't just a piece of cloth, it is a symbol of your nationality. If you, as an individual respect yours, you should respect other peoples flag, you don't simply put your flag in a trash can. So I did the only thing I could do, I went outside and ran the 8 blocks back to my hotel, in the 90+degrees, went to the 11th floor, and ran back, and just so everybody knows, I don't run, I'm glad I didn't have a stroke or pass out, because I was really upset. God was watching over me though, because I happened to bump and fell into Mich's arms and then into Tracy's arms, while they were going to MSG and they told me that they were going to be there in the line, waiting for me. And I happened to arrive just went they were about to enter and they pulled me in, and people around were nice to let me cut into the line.

I really wanted to get a spot on the rail, because at 5 feet tall, it is really hard for me to see if I'm in the middle of floor. 

Funny thing, while I was on the line, some spots before me was queuing the girl from Colombia that was pulled on stage by Bono that night, Marcela, we spoke briefly when I finally got inside and told her what happened, and she said that she was allowed to get her flag inside. While she was on stage, Bono asked which countries were there and he said, we have flags from Brazil, Mexico… That was really a slap in my face and a punch to my stomach. 

I saw the woman when we got inside MSG, she wasn't screening bags anymore, I don't remember her name, but I do remember her face, and I do remember the horrible moment she made go through.

Flag.jpg

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The security guard I stood next to for three of the shows gave me a fist bump to welcome me to "my spot" the second two times, and was very nice the entire time. It's always hit or miss who you interact with there... although I never try to bring anything in with me (aside from two bottle caps).

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It is ridiculous what we put up with.

 

I think some venues are putting effort into improving the overall experience for fans at events (the O2 in London seems to be pretty good), but it does require will, investment and effort from the people organising the staff, to get them to understand that we are the paying customers, and need to be treated as such.

 

Still plenty of numbskulls at Wembley though....

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