New Brunswick

Obstructed view spoils Luke Bryan concert for Fredericton woman

A 26-year-old woman with spina bifida says her accessible viewing seat for Saturday's Luke Bryan concert in Moncton was obstructed by rails and banners.

Woman with spina bifida says her accessible viewing seat was blocked by rails, banners

Sam Malone's accessible viewing seat was blocked by railings and banners above her eye level. (Sam Malone/Submitted)

Saturday night's Luke Bryan concert at Magnetic Hill in Moncton was supposed to be a dream come true for Fredericton's Sam Malone.

But the show was a disappointment for the woman, who has spina bifida.

Malone, 26, uses a wheelchair and purchased a $120 ticket for the accessible viewing area.

When she got to her seat, her view was blocked by a railing and banners. 

"I could hear the show, but I couldn't see much," Malone said.

The railings were above her eye level. The gaps in between the railings were covered by banners. 

"All I could see was in between the bars of the railing and the banner."

Sam Malone has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair. (Submitted)

Gloria McCoy was with Malone at the concert and complained about the obstructed view. When she spoke to someone at the venue, she says the option presented wasn't any better.

"And, he said the only other thing you could do would be to come sit down on the ground, which would've been worse," she said.

McCoy said going on the ground with thousands of other people wasn't a realistic option.

Even if they wanted to move to ground level, there was no way to manoeuvre the wheelchair to get there.

"It was all mud. I would never have gotten her all through there."

Removed banners

McCoy said she removed some of the banners in front of Malone to help open up a better line of sight. "That helped but she still had to look through like bars, you know what I mean? Like bars on a fence."

Malone has been to concerts at Magnetic Hill in the past. She said she never had an issue with the seating before. 

According to an emailed statement from the city of Moncton, accessible platforms of about 1.2 metres, or four feet, were installed for the section. But railings of the same height had to be installed to meet the building code. 

Malone said she hopes someone can come up with a better solution for the next show.

The concert promoter, Whitecap Entertainment, was not available for comment.