Longtime Metallica fan unable to see Edmonton concert from wheelchair-accessible seat
Derrick Jones drove 7 hours from B.C. to Edmonton with his parents to see the band at Commonwealth Stadium
A longtime Metallica fan who uses a wheelchair is upset that he couldn't see the band from his assigned seat at Commonwealth Stadium on Wednesday.
Derrick Jones of Fort St. John, B.C., says he couldn't see over able-bodied fans who stood up in front of him when Metallica took the stage because his assigned spot wasn't elevated.
"I felt a whole bunch of emotions," the 28-year-old said Thursday. "I was pretty upset, I was mad."
Jones, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair, had purchased three $163 tickets —one for himself, and one for each of his parents. The tickets were for a wheelchair-accessible seating area.
The family made the seven-hour drive from Fort St. John to Edmonton for the show.
Jones could see the opening bands from where he was. But when Metallica took the stage, everyone stood up to watch — and because he is unable to stand, he couldn't see.
He and his parents approached an usher and explained their situation. Jones had been bedridden for seven months with an illness complicated by muscular dystrophy, and was looking forward to seeing a band he had liked for 15 years.
"[We explained] we drove a long way and that I'd been really sick lately and this concert meant quite a bit," Jones said. [The usher] said, 'Well, that's too bad,' and just kind of shrugged her shoulders."
Dejected, Jones and his family moved back to their seats.
Jones said others in wheelchair-accessible seating had perfect views on an elevated platform.
But his tickets seemed to be at regular floor height, which was not high enough to allow someone in a wheelchair to see over fans who were standing.
He posted a photo of his view on Reddit early Thursday morning and the post received more than 45,000 upvotes in nine hours.
Still had a good time
Jones said he didn't ask the two men in front of him to sit down. If they had, they wouldn't have been able to see either, he said.
He's more disappointed that the seat he was sold prevented him from seeing the show.
However, the sound and the energy of the crowd made him glad he went.
"I still had a good time overall," he said. "The audio was really good, like, that's some of the best audio I've ever heard at a concert."
He has sent emails to the city-owned Commonwealth Stadium and to Ticketmaster, but hasn't received a response yet.
"We understand that Mr. Jones did not have a good experience at the Metallica concert at Commonwealth Stadium on Wednesday evening," said a spokesperson for the City of Edmonton in a statement to CBC News Thursday.
"We will reach out to him to better understand what happened in order to ensure a better experience for everyone in the future."
Jones is hoping to hear back from someone soon. "[I'm hoping for] at least an apology. Maybe it'll help prevent that from happening in the future," he said.
He said he wouldn't go to another concert at Commonwealth Stadium unless he was sure he could see from his vantage point.