Our evening at the Sony Centre was disrupted not only by rudeness and lack of consideration on the part of people around us but also by the highly unprofessional manner in which the Front of House staff tried to deal with the bad behaviour of a few troublemakers. The experience was so bad that we were forced to walk out before the end of what appeared to be an awesome concert.
The problem started at the break between the opening performance and the featured act. A large group of “mildly-rowdy” people took their seats in the row immediately across the aisle from us. Once the second act was well under way, the front of house manager appeared with a bright flashlight waving about and stopped at our row to address the group across the aisle. She remained there for quite some time talking to them and disrupting our enjoyment of the performance – all the time with flashlight blazing and waving about. Whatever the problem, she returned to the auditorium and repeated the long discussion three times and each time more disruptive than the previous.
Shortly after the beginning of the second act, two young women arrived late and took their seats immediately in front of us. They entered noisily with little regard to those around them and continued to have a conversation in voices loud enough to disturb us. They were also sharing photos and texting on their phones. I politely asked them to put the phones away and to be quiet. At a break, one of the girls turned to explain that they were late because there was a problem with their seats as someone else (indicating the group across the aisle) had taken their reserved seats.
During the next part of the performance, the FOH manager arrived again with her waving bright Maglite and had another lengthy discussion with the people across the aisle. The two young women in front of us resumed their conversation and use of their cell phones and we again politely asked them to stop. A few minutes later, the FOH manager arrived again and asked the two girls to leave. There was a brief discussion, and FOH manager escorted the two girls out of the auditorium.
A few minutes later, the FOH manager interrupted the performance again; this time coming to us. She asked that we leave the auditorium to answer some questions regarding our request for the two girls to be quiet. I told her that I would be happy to answer any of her concerns after the performance. She stated very forcefully that we had to go to the lobby right away or leave the theatre completely. At no time did she say why we had to leave the performance immediately.
When we answered her questions regarding our interaction with the other audience members she simply redirected us back to our seats. I was angered that she demanded we leave the performance and demanded a full refund for all the evenings disruptions that she had caused. She wasn’t rude but she also made it perfectly clear that she wasn’t concerned about disrupting our entire evening nor was she willing to discuss any form of compensation.