And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #156: Venue Cymru v Fact-light Vaccines fans

By | Published on Friday 10 May 2013

Justin Young

“Who is the lead singer of The Vaccines? And what are the titles of the band’s two albums? Come on, quickly! Quickly!”

“I don’t know! I just don’t know! Oh god, please stop tormenting me and allow me entry to this fine venue! I must see The Vaccines play, I simply must!”

“No, you may not enter. Your brain is too devoid of facts. You are an embarrassment. An EMBARRASSMENT! And also probably a thief. Go! Leave this place! You shall not pass”.

That there is an entirely accurate reconstruction of what I imagine the conversation between Vaccines ‘fan’ Andy Bellis and a security guard, before the band’s show at Venue Cymru in Llandudno on Monday evening, sounded like. Bellis and a friend were refused entry to the show after failing a Vaccines quiz on the door, seemingly set by security because they felt the pair looked like a couple of those pickpockets you hear about.

Bellis told Wales Online: “We queued up for a good half hour and gave our tickets at the door. It seemed pretty normal. [Then] we’re pulled aside to get searched and the security guy asks if I know the lead singer and could I name their two albums and some songs. I couldn’t think off the top of my head so they kicked us out, took the tickets off us and said we couldn’t watch the band because we didn’t know enough information about them”.

The venue explained in a statement: “Venue Cymru was made aware that pickpockets may attempt to operate in the arena during The Vaccines gig. In order to ensure the safety and security of our customers we carried out random checks of those in the queue. As a result six people were refused admission and a further two people were ejected from the building. Security were working closely with the police and licensing officers throughout the evening. Unfortunately one or two genuine visitors may have been refused admission and we apologise that they missed the event and full refunds are being given”.

Now that might seem like a reasonable way to ensure a venue is secure and that no bad crimes will happen. Unless you stop and think about it for more than, say, six and a half seconds. Possibly less.

First, as Bellis indeed pointed out in his interview with Wales Online, one of the most enjoyable things about going to gigs is seeing a band you know nothing about and falling in love with them. Sure, the number of people going to a Vaccines gig with no prior knowledge is going to be lower than something in the back room of a pub, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a few people out to discover something new in the audience.

Secondly, maybe the evicted gig-goers were there to see the support band – Toy in this case. Lots of people like Toy. I’d be willing to believe there are people who like Toy who have no interest in The Vaccines. And if those Toy fans are willing to fork out £18.50 to see the band, who is anyone to argue with their disinterest in the headliner?

Thirdly, in future, if it’s known that your barrier to entry to access a treasure trove of floppy armed indie fans’ wallets is a simple pop quiz, surely it would be worth any potential thief’s while spending two minutes while on the bus to the venue flicking through the headline band’s Wikipedia page on their (probably stolen) mobile phone.

Plus, of course, who the fuck knows anything about bands? I reckon I could name the frontman in approximately 7% of the bands I like. And it’s my JOB to know that kind of stuff. Imagine what it’s like for those awful normal people you see around the place.