Apologies after ticket fiasco at Norwich Arts Centre Maccabees gig

PUBLISHED: 17:12 15 December 2014 | UPDATED: 17:12 15 December 2014

The Maccabees at the Norwich Arts Centre on Sunday.

The Maccabees at the Norwich Arts Centre on Sunday.


Organisers of a free gig put-on to celebrate a Norwich venue winning a prestigious award have apologised after up to 100 fans were turned away.

Norwich Arts Centre won NME magazine’s Britain’s best small venue and tonight hosted indie band The Maccabees as their prize.

But queuing fans were left disappointed when they were told by door staff that the event was over-subscribed and they would have to go home.

Representatives from NME, who organised the gig, and the Arts Centre apologised to the music-lovers stood outside.

Tickets were allocated after fans entered a competition with NME online, but many said they were not told until four hours before the gig via email that it would be a first come, first served event.

NME said they allow for a 40pc no show on all events and that the Norwich gig was unusual as it appeared most people had turned up.

But many had travelled as far as four hours for the popular event and were left angry by the ticket-glitch.

Elliott Hale, 19, travelled from London for the gig and said he was disappointed at the wasted journey. He said: “You can’t expect to put The Maccabees on and then think that people won’t turn up, it’s a joke.”

And Brett Flavell, 34, from Costessey, said he was bitterly disappointed at how “badly organised” the event was.

Norwich Arts Centre director Pasco-Q Kevlin described the situation as “very frustrating and sad” and said sorry to those turned away.

“What was supposed to be a celebration of the Arts Centre just become award,” he said. “No one wants to go to a gig and not be able to get in. We are very sorry.”

Lizzie Hempsgall, who works in the commercial department for NME, was took email addresses from disgruntled fans outside the event and said they would be offered something in compensation.

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