Ticketek puts front-row Reece Mastin fan at back
Reuben Fitzpatrick was looking forward to getting up close to his idol Reece Mastin when the Australian X-Factor winner plays a concert Wellington later this month.
But the 9-year-old from Lower Hutt had his dream shattered on Friday by Ticketek after it shifted him from the front of the Michael Fowler Centre upper gallery to the back without any explanation other than "technical difficulties".
"I thought that was very disappointing and quite stupid because it will be harder for me to see and probably harder for me to hear because of all the screams," Reuben said.
"I found out I was going in November and I was really excited. I'm a pretty big fan of his."
Reuben said he was the biggest Reece Mastin fan he knew. He even went to the trouble of getting his hair cut the same way as the pop star.
Reuben's mother Kathryn Fitzpatrick said she deliberately waited until gallery tickets went on sale because she was worried her son, who stands about 135cm tall, would struggle at the front of stage.
"He's only little and I wanted him to get a really good view without him being overwhelmed by the chaos of female teens."
Mrs Fitzpatrick was so quick to buy the non-refundable $66.50 tickets for Reuben and his dad Neil Fitzpatrick - a devoted Reece Mastin fan in his own right - that she ended up with seats 1 and 2 in row A.
But she felt let down when Ticketek changed those to the back of the room.
The ticketek employee who called with the bad news "kept it brief" and didn't go into any detail other than "technical difficulties," she said.
Mrs Fitzpatrick felt a more detailed explanation and an apology was warranted.
"Up the back isn't good enough really. That's not what we bought," she said.
"I was really mad because it's a big deal for a 9-year-old. It's his first proper concert and the seats have been carefully chosen."
"Then to be told, 'tough, it's this or nothing' I just thought that was really off."
Ticketek did not respond to requests for an interview yesterday.
The Dominion Post