Mum claims disabled son ‘kicked out’ of Pink concert: ‘Felt like a criminal’

Pip Christmass
Pink compared the way her two children react to their mum being a pop megastar.

The mother of a seven-year-old boy with Down syndrome said she “felt like a criminal” after being kicked out of a Pink concert in the UK.

Vanessa Vasey, 48, spent A$1100 for tickets to take her son Jesse to Pink’s concert at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday night.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Pink’s hilarious backstage footage from Australia.

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But Jesse struggled to stay seated after they arrived at the stadium.

Vasey claimed “around six security guards” ordered Jesse to sit down, otherwise they would have to leave.

She said she tried to explain her son’s condition to the guards but they ended up being “escorted from the premises” just as Pink took to the stage.

On Facebook, Vasey wrote in detail about what happened, saying her son had been “robbed” of a special experience.

“Music is his life and Pink is one of his absolute favourites,” she wrote.

“We successfully saw her perform at BST Hyde Park last year and were thrilled to learn of her return again this year.”

Vasey said she purchased more expensive “hospitality tickets” allowing people to move between bars and food outlets during the night “so that Jesse wouldn’t be pressured into remaining in one seat all night, as he gets overwhelmed in busy environments and finds it hard to sit still.”

Mum Vanessa Vasey said her son Jesse, who has Down syndrome, was ‘robbed’ of enjoying a Pink concert.
Mum Vanessa Vasey said her son Jesse, who has Down syndrome, was ‘robbed’ of enjoying a Pink concert. Credit: Vanessa Vasey/Facebook

“We spent some time in the bar leading up to the main act, and Jesse was having a wonderful time, until about 45 minutes before Pink was due to come on, they suddenly shut all the blinds, obstructing us from seeing anything,” she wrote.

“I tried to consult with the hospitality managers over this, and explained Jesse’s needs, but they wouldn’t budge on it.

“So not wanting Jesse to stare at a blind all night, we attempted to go into the seating zone.

“We couldn’t get him to sit in his seat, but he was happy dancing and singing at the front railings, and even interacting with some of the other guests.

“Doing no harm to anyone, or obstructing anyone’s view. This seemed OK for about half an hour or so.

“Then ... just as Pink dropped from the sky in her opening number, we had six security guards come into the zone and ask us to leave or sit in our seats.”

Pink at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 15, 2024 in London, England.
Pink at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 15, 2024 in London, England. Credit: Joseph Okpako/WireImage

Vasey said the security guards were “abrupt, intimidating and unpleasant”.

“They tried to force us to take Jesse to a sensory room which was soundproof, and watch Pink on a screen,” she wrote.

“Something we could do at home, robbing us of the whole experience, as if my son was some sort of inconvenience, and better off shut in a room out of sight.”

When Vasey complained, she said several more security guards appeared.

‘Upset and overwhelmed’

“By that time we were left with no choice but to leave, we were surrounded by about 10 guards and staff, and I had a very upset and overwhelmed little boy,” she wrote.

“We were escorted out of the building like criminals and saw no more of the Pink show.

“Jesse was utterly devastated, and they showed absolutely zero care or understanding.

“Shame on you Tottenham Stadium,” she concluded.

“My poor boy deserved so much better than this!”

Part of Vanessa Vasey’s Facebook post.
Part of Vanessa Vasey’s Facebook post. Credit: Vanessa Vasey/Facebook

Vasey’s followers were shocked by the situation.

“I bet both of you are devastated,” one person wrote.

“This hurts my heart so much,” said another.

“Disgusting,” said another.

“Send it to Pink and her managers!”

Pink performs as part of her Summer Carnival Tour at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 15, 2024 in London.
Pink performs as part of her Summer Carnival Tour at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 15, 2024 in London. Credit: Matthew Baker/Getty Images

Tottenham Stadium released a statement after the UK media picked up on Vasey’s story.

“Following further investigation, we can confirm that Ms Vasey was offered assistance by our Safeguarding and Welfare teams throughout the night to provide Jesse with a comfortable viewing experience, including access to our dedicated Sensory Room,” the statement read.

“The offers of assistance were declined by Ms Vasey and the party chose to leave the event.”

Later, Vasey took to Facebook again, saying she had received “a lot of hate and criticism” after going public with her story.

Most of the complaints were from people who asked her why she took Jesse to concerts if he was, as she said, “overwhelmed by busy environments”.

Mum responds to critics

“Why do we take them? Because, as parents, we have the same dreams and aspirations for our children as any other parent,” she wrote.

“We have the same desires to see our children’s faces light up, as any other parent would.

“Our children are exposed to the same world as other children, and they enjoy the same things.

“They have the same likes and desires.

“The only thing that’s different is their needs, their abilities and their way of accessing their dreams.

“Why should these things deny them of fulfilling these dreams and passions?

“This is meant to be a world of inclusion. So let’s start including!

“That means adapting, understanding, supporting and most importantly; changing the way we deliver these privileges so that they are privileges for all of us, and not just some of us.”

Vanessa Vasey’s second Facebook post.
Vanessa Vasey’s second Facebook post. Credit: Vanessa Vasey /Facebook

Followers applauded her response to the criticism.

“I can’t believe people have been trolling you and being horrible. Forget the haters. Well done, I say to you,” wrote one.

“I was shocked and saddened that you had this experience and then received trolling,” added another.

“What is the world coming to?”

But another Facebook user had a different perspective.

“Having been in a terror attack at a concert, I can tell you now those aisles need to be clear at all times, regardless of who you are or your circumstances,” they wrote.

“If you know your child will not sit for long periods, why on earth would you even book a seat in the middle row knowing full well they will not sit for long, and this goes for any child, not just yours.

“You were offered a solution and yes, it may not have been to your liking, but it’s great they even have a sensory room for people who need it, as a lot of places don’t even offer that.

“Unfortunately, I think your choices are the issue here, and it’s the stewards’ job to keep everyone safe.”

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