Blanket ban: Standing room only for Simply Red fans

Sunday Sessions at Norwich's Earlham Park Credit: Lee Blanchflower

A previous Sunday Sessions event at Earlham Park in 2019 - Credit: Archant

Gig-goers booking tickets to see one of their favourite bands this weekend were baffled to discover blankets and chairs are banned from the outdoor show.

Manchester-based soul and pop band Simply Red is scheduled to perform in Earlham Park on Saturday night.

But some angry ticketholders are seeking a refund over a ban on sitting down at the outdoor event with many fearing older fans will struggle to stand for hours on end. 

A spokeswoman for the concert said it has always been promoted as standing only which is clearly stated in the terms and conditions. 

Lorraine Margitson, of Taverham, paid £47.60 for a ticket to the event through ticketing company Ticketek which she excitedly booked with a friend at the beginning of the year.

Simply Red will play The Embankment, Peterborough, on Saturday, June 11.

Simply Red - Credit: Supplied by Sliding Doors Publicity

But the 65-year-old - who has osteoporosis and arthritis - was left fearing for her health after spotting on the email confirming her booking that she would have to be standing for hours. 

She said: "It seems very strange. I have been to loads of concerts and this is the first time I can't take blankets or a chair. 

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"Simply Red have been going for such a long time so a lot of people going will be a similar age to me. This ban feels like we are being discriminated in some way.

"I would understand it more if they had an ethical reason to ban chairs and blankets. Maybe if it was damaging the ground for example.

"I can't see why this would be a problem when it is open for the public to constantly walk across." 

Ms Margitson - who works in a city centre opticians - had booked the day off work so she could enjoy the sunshine in the park ahead of the concert. 

After being contacted by the Evening News, the event organisers have now reserved two seats in the disabled area for Ms Margitson and her friend.

A screenshot sent by the event organiser showing chairs and blankets were stated as not being permitted

A screenshot sent by the event organiser showing chairs and blankets were stated as not being permitted when customers agreed to the terms and conditions - Credit: Contributed

Ms Margitson said she had initially wanted to leave these seats for those with more serious disabilities than her own.

A spokeswoman for the concert said: "The Simply Red concert has always been promoted as a standing only concert and is clearly stated in our terms and conditions and FAQ’s that no chairs or picnic blankets are permitted."