A wheelchair-bound disability advocate who claims she was forced to the back of Eminem’s Brisbane concert even though she had VIP tickets has slammed ‘aggressive’ and ‘threatening’ security at the event.
Marlena Katene, a 27-year-old freelance music journalist, claims she was segregated from crowds at Eminem’s concert at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre on Wednesday night.
Ms Katene, who has cerebral palsy, arrived at the venue early with carer and friend Bert Hibbert to secure a spot in the standing area.
But their excitement to watch the rapper open his four-show Australian tour was quickly squashed when security allegedly called the wheelchair a ‘safety risk’ and moved Ms Katene to the back.
Marlena Katene, a 27-year-old freelance music journalist, claims she was segregated from crowds at Eminem’s concert at Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre on Wednesday night
Ms Katene, who has cerebral palsy, arrived at the venue early with carer and friend Bert Hibbert to secure a spot in the standing area
Ms Katene shared numerous videos and posts on her Facebook throughout the night, claiming security kept a watchful eye on her throughout the gig.
The music journalist, Mr Hibbert and friend Maya had bought the Rapture 2019 VIP package which offers fans the chance to ‘get the best position in front of the stage’.
In a livestream to the social media platform, Ms Katene wrote: ‘Segregation at Eminem looks like this’.
Ms Katene and her friend display their VIP passes before the camera flips to an open space separating the wheelchair users from fans flooding around the stage in anticipation.
‘This has got to stop,’ Ms Katene wrote.
‘When we look at the royal commission space this week, this highlights why removing people with disability to spaces is wrong.’
Ms Katene shared numerous videos and posts on her Facebook throughout the night, claiming security kept a watchful eye on her throughout the gig
Ms Katene claimed her safety had been compromised as she was moved away from witnesses.
‘Security once again have lied saying we threatened, swore and were aggressive. Couldn’t be further from the truth,’ she wrote.
Mr Hibbert updated followers on social media that the ladies were ‘allowed’ to mix up the front after three-and-a-half hours.
‘Our night has been ruined but only from a minority wanna be cops aka security,’ he wrote.
‘We video to keep me calm and accountable but also to call them on their bulls***.’
Mr Hibbert claimed he was forced to stand his ground when security allegedly pushed him and tried to force him out.
Ms Katene shared a powerful message on Facebook before the gig
‘They were in process of getting police involved and were physically aggressive and accused myself of the same,’ he told news.com.au.
Mr Hibbert said he did not swear in retaliation to the altercation and stood his ground.
‘This is a common thing happening lately … Basically we did not get what the ticket says we can.’
Speaking on behalf of Ms Katene, Mr Hibbert said the girls wanted to have fun and make friends but security didn’t give them a chance.
‘Ultimately I believe the onus is on the venue – they choose to sell packages, they can’t say one part of society can’t access that,’ he said.
Speaking on behalf of Ms Katene, Mr Hibbert said the girls wanted to have fun and make friends but security didn’t give them a chance
Ms Katene compared the incident to a similar experience at a Pink concert in August 2018.
‘Pink situation all over again,’ she wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
Ms Katene, who purchased exclusive tickets to the pop stars gig at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena last year, was forced to sit on her own after the venue decided her wheelchair was not allowed in the VIP area.
Before Wednesday evening’s gig, Ms Katene shared a powerful message about inclusion for those with disabilities.
‘Off to Eminem tonight and up the front among the fans. This picture is a strong visual of why inclusion for those with disabilities is vital,’ the post read.
‘Placing me or others with a ‘carer’ on a platform or a ‘special place’ doesn’t gel with me.’
‘This year this fight is taking another level.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Ms Katene for comment.