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Hong Kong gigs

Bob Dylan fan in Hong Kong left in desolation row despite premium concert tickets

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2018, 7:01am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2018, 7:01am

AEG Presents, the promoter that brought Bob Dylan to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on August 4, not only sold tickets at full price without mentioning that they would have a very limited view, but now refuses to consider refunding my ticket on the grounds that any complaint should have been handled “on the night”.

My ticket, bought through HK Ticketing (which has ducked the issue and referred my complaint to AEG), cost HK$1,288. For this considerable sum, I had a seat some five rows from the front, to the right of the stage. But my view was completely blocked by a large speaker/amplifier.

Dylan’s piano, where he sat for most of the concert, was behind the obstruction. All I could see was the top of his head. Even when he occasionally stood, I could only see the side of his head. As for his five-piece band, I saw the lead guitarist part of the time while the rest were blocked from view. There were no projection screens.

In my experience, when reputable promoters and agents – both local and international – sell tickets with restricted views, they flag them as such and reduce their prices accordingly. The choice is then yours.

Instead of a great night, the entire experience was ruined. I should add that I was not alone. Some 50 people in the section around me were in the same boat. Some tried to stand to the side to get a better view but were aggressively re-seated by overzealous and unpleasant security staff.

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To have my complaint summarily dismissed is insulting. The idea that I should have complained on the night and that I might have been re-seated, which AEG suggested, is ludicrous. There were no AEG staff visible at the venue and, since the HK Ticketing website said that the concert was sold out, alternative seating would have been impossible. All in all, a shocking experience. I will boycott any future events promoted by AEG Presents.

Wendy Allen, Sai Kung