An Ed Sheeran fan who splashed out £720 on VIP tickets for him and his wife to one of the singer’s UK gigs says he arrived in a puddle of vomit near their seats. James Collier said he was “very dissatisfied” with the hosting experience, which was also marred by several other issues.
Mr Collier, a warehouse manager, bought the tickets for Sheeran’s show at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light as a Christmas present for his wife, Sue, 53. Wanting to give her a special experience, he purchased the Riverview Restaurant Hospitality Package, reports TeessideLive.
However, apart from the vomiting episode, Mr Collier also said that when they arrived at the stadium their restaurant seats could not be found and they had to wait 30 minutes for a drink. He claims they missed the first act of the bill while waiting for their food.
And, when they finally took their places in the stadium, they were greeted by a puddle of frozen vomit on the ground nearby. There were also sick people in the back of a nearby seat, which Mr Collier said had been bought by former Sunderland footballer Kevin Philiips.
Mr Collier, of Redcar and Cleveland, said the mess was eventually dealt with but the smell remained. He complained to Sunderland AFC.
The club told TeessideLive: “We have no comment. The club believe the situation has been resolved.”
About 115,000 fans packed the Stadium of Light over two nights to see Ed Sheeran, many of whom loved the concert.
Mr Collier paid a total of £720 for his hospitality package tickets to the Stadium of Light on Saturday June 4. Its tickets included seats in the West Stand Manager’s Area, food, a free bar serving cocktails and table drink service for the duration of the concert as well as the promise of a pre-party atmosphere. in the suite, which has “private balconies and panoramic views of the River Wear”.
“We arrived at the Riverview restaurant, the atmosphere was great, we went to be seated to be told we weren’t on the table plan and the staff seemed to have no idea where our reservation was, at even asking us if we had arrived at the right evening, “said Mr. Collier.
“After a few minutes of staff running down the hall, we were then told we were overwhelmed. This, to begin with, didn’t seem like the package was going to be a special occasion for my wife.
“We had booked into a room called the James Herriot room, the atmosphere was appalling, there was no music or entertainment at this stage, nor was there a view of the Riverside in which our passes pointed to the Riverview restaurant.”
He said the bar was small with a bartender and not enough stock to keep up with requests and that in the early evening the couple waited half an hour for their drinks. By the time the main meal was served, the first act was playing and they missed it.
“The meal over and the second act was already playing, my wife walked into the stadium as she felt like we had missed so much and hadn’t soaked up the atmosphere. I went for a few drinks to take away at the concert,” he said. in his complaint to Sunderland AFC.
“My wife told me to watch my feet as there was a puddle of frozen sick on the floor next to her seat – the smell was unbearable and made her nauseous, there were also splashes of sick on the back of one of the empty seats. Ironically, it was the seat of footballer Kevin Phillips. It was clearly from the night before, she also pointed out that there was another puddle of dried up sick people four seats away. we, obviously the stadium hadn’t been cleaned,” he said.
He says he raised the issue with the catering manager, who was the only one available, and eventually the area was cleared. It took 45 minutes, he says, and they missed the rest of the second act, with the area still smelling of vomit.
“So far I haven’t received anything from them and as you can see what I experienced for £720 was a scam and I missed the start of the show, the smell for the rest of the show was awful not to mention I warned Kevin Phillips and his girlfriend to be careful of the seats because they were all sick before they came to sit down I had to get the cleaners to come and have them clean up before they arrive,” he said.
He wrote in his complaint: ‘So as you can understand we are very disappointed and very unhappy with the whole hospitality experience and believe that the amount of money spent of £720 does not justify the experience that we received.”