NEWS
26/10/2018 13:01 BST

Partially-Blind Teen 'Refused Entry' To Gig With Guide Dog At O2 Institute Birmingham

She was told the noise would "hurt its ears".

Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Lucy Spraggan

A partially-sighted teenager was allegedly told she could not watch a gig unless she left her guide dog in an office.

Kali Holder, 18, was at the O2 Institute in Birmingham to see former ‘X Factor’ contestant Lucy Spraggan when she was reportedly denied entry with the dog.

Spraggan later tweeted saying she was “absolutely furious this had happened at her show”.

According to the musician, the reason the dog was refused entry was because the noise would “hurt its ears”.

When Holder arrived she was allowed to take her dog to a question and answer session, but was told by security it would not be allowed to go to the gig.

Spraggan, who said her wife was present for the whole incident, said Holder was told she could not see the office the dog would be left in, because there was money in there.

The security guard then allegedly tried to take the dog’s lead from Holder.

Spraggan said her wife felt intimidated by the incident.

Holder told the BBC: “They pointed me in a general direction where to go, but I can’t see in the dark well, it was really quite frightening.”

After telling staff she felt unsafe, Holder was allowed to be with her dog, but had to sign a disclaimer absolving management of any responsibility if an incident occurred.

Despite being reunited with her dog, the teenager she said she decided to leave before the gig started because of how upset she was over the incident. 

Guide dogs are allowed access to any place a member of the public is, with a few specific exceptions not including gigs.

The venue’s website says guide dogs are welcome.

The O2 Institute tweeted an apology to Holder when they were made aware of what happened by Spraggan.

They told the BBC in a statement Holder had accepted an apology and a refund of her ticket, plus travel costs.

They added an internal investigation would be carried out and staff would be retrained if necessary.