We have enjoyed many concerts at Eastbourne Bandstand, on all levels, but I feel I must add my voice to complaints recently made about the barricades and heavy-handed organisation of these events on the seafront.
When a relative came to visit I took her down to the Bandstand at 8pm to buy tickets on the door for the Beach Boys tribute band. The lower levels were full but the staff offered us £4.50 discount to sit on the upper open level. That seemed great, and the music fab, until we were informed that even though ticket holders we would not be able to go down to the bottom level and buy a drink from the bar. Even in the interval we would not be allowed to buy a drink! The reason given was that we would have to carry our drink via the promenade back to our seats and open drinks are not allowed on the promenade. A security guard did negotiate a special arrangement for us that we could buy a bottle of wine as long as we promised not to remove the lid until we got to our seats upstairs. I didn’t bother to ask whether we were allowed a cup or were expected to neck it from the bottle. I don’t like wine much or being treated like ... well I don’t know.
When much of the audience is, like me, wearing flat shoes, and an anorak, just how much damage do they think we are going to do on the prom with a PLASTIC cup? Oh and don’t bother taking your own drinks – the security staff search your handbag and confiscate it. Really. When did it get so hard for grown-up people to have fun at an entertainment venue in a holiday resort? Plus we wanted to pay to hear those musicians.
I only wanted a gin and tonic in the interval but in the end, like hundreds of others, we saved our money. We listened to a couple of songs outside the barricades, had a drink in the Cumberland Hotel bar, and then wandered off to the echoes of God Only Knows.
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