Fans' bid to meet idols goes awry

BY GILES BROWN
Last updated 05:00 05/10/2010

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Two Metallica fans scaled the fence around an arena and impersonated staff in a bid to meet their heavy metal idols in Christchurch.

In the Christchurch District Court yesterday, student Christopher John Sage admitted pulling the stunt on September 22, hours before the band were due to play at the CBS Canterbury Arena in Addington.

Police prosecutor Sergeant John Taylor told the court that Sage, 19, and a friend were in Jack Hinton Drive about 5.30pm.

The pair climbed a fence into a restricted area behind the arena where staff stored their bags.

"The defendant pretended he was a member of staff and was given a uniform. He then attempted to gain entry to the back area of the stadium," Taylor said.

It was only a short time before Sage was spotted and the police called.

Taylor said Sage told police he had been to the previous night's concert and wanted to get backstage so he could get autographs from band members.

Sage's unnamed companion did not appear in court.

Outside court, Bryan Pearson, chief executive of Vbase, which operates the venue, said the pair had put on "some garments" meant for front-of-house staff.

He said they were found out when they failed to provide identification.

They were in the venue for only a short period, and it was four hours before Metallica were to appear on stage, Pearson said.

"Needless to say, we reviewed our various procedures and are confident in the various practices we have in place."

Sage was granted diversion after admitting being unlawfully in a yard and will not need to reappear unless he fails to complete the process.

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