Ed Sheeran Concert only Free for Some Babies as Policy Becomes a Tale of Two Cities

A mother who took her baby to an Ed Sheeran concert in Adelaide for free is furious a mum in Brisbane isn’t allowed to do the same.

Brisbane mum Kirsty McDonald has been told she’ll need a ticket to take her four-month-old son in order to attend one of Ed Sheeran’s sold-out Brisbane concerts next week.

Mrs McDonald needs to breastfeed her son Leni, who refuses to take a bottle due to a lip tie, but did not think she would need a ticket for him when tickets went on sale last year.

Six-month-old baby Londyn Balchin at the Adelaide Ed Sheeran concert.

It was a different story for Sarah Lehman who travelled from Broken Hill to Adelaide last week to see the British pop star with her partner Keta Balchin.

The couple weren’t initially planning to take six-month-old Londyn along too, but when she wouldn’t settle for a babysitter, they set off for Adelaide Oval with some pink earmuffs and baby Londyn in tow.

Ms Lehman said they had no problem getting through the turnstiles without a ticket for Londyn.

“We walked in with no hassles at all it was great”.

Ms Lehman said while they got some stares and comments from other concert-goers it was “out of this world” to be able to take their baby to their favourite musician’s concert.

She said mum Kristy should be able to do the same.

“I’m furious, I would be furious if I was her … I’m really angry”

Kirsty McDonald with son Leni in a baby carrier

Frontier Touring defended its policy to deny Mrs McDonald’s baby entry, and said it was standard practice for all patrons to hold a ticket regardless of age.

“Part of the reason that we require people to have a ticket is knowing exactly how many people are in the venue, which is primarily for a safety reason,” a spokeswoman said.

Singer Ed Sheeran when he closed the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury in Britain,

The spokeswoman said the company “would always discourage bringing a child of such a young age to a concert”.

“Even with earmuffs it’s still obviously an incredibly loud environment to bring in a child with such sensitive ears,” she said.

But Ms Lehman said her baby was fine.

“The noise was loud but we had the earmuffs on her, it didn’t affect her at all,” she said.

“She sat there and enjoyed it … she loved the light show.

“As soon as Ed came on she literally stopped and chilled out, she was very, very calm.”

Where can you take a baby for free?

The rules around where you can take a baby and how much you have to pay vary depending on the venue and the show.

The Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) said its policy is generally that children up to three years old are able to attend free if they sit on a parent’s lap.

The Nutcracker performers

However, current QPAC productions have different requirements: Queensland Ballet’s La Bayadere charges $55 for children over 18 months, while Aladdin – The Musical allows children for free up to two years.

James Roberts scores against the Titans
Ticket websites for this year’s Taylor Swift concert at the Gabba state “all patrons regardless of age will require a valid ticket”.

Brisbane Entertainment Centre where upcoming Frontier Touring shows for Harry Styles and The Killers will be held requires children over 24 months to have a ticket.

But it said that policy may differ for certain shows.

Lang Park, where the Ed Sheeran show is being held, allows children in free under four, when they sit on a parent’s lap.

Source