Ticket scam didn't stop wheelchair bound Adele fan from seeing Adele live

Music 24/03/2017
A pair of Adele super-fans had an "amazing" night at her first New Zealand concert after a ticketing bungle that almost meant they couldn't go.

Letita Butler's friend Maiz Marshall-Amai, who is wheelchair-bound, bought a pair of tickets for AU$1252 from scalping website Viagogo last year.

She was told they were for a wheelchair-accessible location, but when she finally got the tickets this week, discovered they were worth just NZ$204.50 each and for seats high up in the stand in the middle of a row.

Despite a public outcry over what the pair say was a scam, they didn't know if they'd actually be able to experience their musical hero live until the last minute.

"Our tickets got us in and then I spoke to a lady called Nicola, a volunteer from recreate.org.nz. She was incredible," says Ms Butler.

"She took us to a corporate area, got me a chair and Maiz sat beside me. We had an amazing view.

"At the beginning when Adele's eyes were massive on the screen, then they opened and it said 'hello', I was like, 'Oh my God!' Maiz thought it was funny - she was mocking me because I was crying."

Ms Butler says Nicola the volunteer didn't know their story, but helped out because she was "loving and wanted to accommodate Maiz's disability".

"It was amazing. She was awesome. She personally looked after us, just wanting to make sure that Maiz could enjoy the show.

"The pair were initially devastated when they realised they'd paid so much for tickets they couldn't use. But their sadness turned into joy as an outpouring of support and generosity flowed.

"There were lots of people who were offering us their VIP tickets once our story got out. They were all Māori and they didn't even want our tickets in return - they said we deserved to go more than them," says Ms Butler.

"But the tickets they were offering were for the Sunday show, which we couldn't go to. But we were so incredibly thankful and hope they enjoy that show as much as we did."

As for the scalper who sold them the tickets in the first place, Ms Butler has a message for other would-be victims.

"Viagogo is a no-go. It's not worth the stress," says Ms Butler.

"We're trying to build up awareness to stop them from doing this to other people."

Adele's New Zealand concert promoter Live Nation has advised fans never to use a reseller website like Viagogo.

"Only tickets purchased via the respective approved ticketing agent (Ticketek or Ticketmaster) are valid for entry to the show."

Adele is performing at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium again on Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26.