Face the Music and Move

In San Francisco I attended concerts solo without a thought–and without a problem.

Not so in Los Angeles.

I splurged on a ticket to the Hollywood bowl–a ticket, as in one. Got to the venue early and was politely shown to my seat, the section, row, and seat number printed on my ticket, by one of the Hollywood Bowl ushers. So there it was in black and white, and validated by an employee.

Then a large group showed up. They had several seats in the row in front of me, as well as the rest of the row to my left. Then more people showed up and the kingpin alpha male of the group (let’s call him what he was–an arrogant bully) told me I was in his friend’s seat and told me to move.

I wasn’t having it. I told him it was my seat I was in and if he had a problem he could call an usher.

A few minutes later, not an usher but a security person showed up and told me the group was cramped on the end of the row and said I needed to move. I showed her my ticket to prove–PROVE–I was in MY seat, bought and paid for. She gave my a shark-tooth smile that wasn’t polite, friendly, or respectful, and long story short, made me move farther down. I wondered what would happen if somebody showed up with a ticket with that seat number printed on it, especially when the oh-so-bright “security” person said I was in my seat number. I replied that no, I was now in a different numbered seat and not the one I selected and purchased.

Alpha Kingpin Bully made rude, insulting remarks about me to his friends that I was intended to hear. Another guy kept turning around and staring at me.

Then two more Bowl employees turned up and told me I’d have to move AGAIN. They told me to show them my ticket. Told me how the Group needed more room, oh gee, they were cramped.

They couldn’t have just bought an extra seat so they could all stretch out?

I asked if I could get the ticket refunded and just leave since they had a problem with my being there, in the seat they sold me. Of course, they couldn’t do a thing about refunds, not their department. I guess their department included rousting those obnoxious parties of one in favor of more lucrative parties of a dozen or more. They did give me a number to call for “Patron Service.” Yeah, right. If this was an example of the service they provided, I didn’t have  much hope for it. Or maybe the primo service is for parties of more than one. I don’t mind saying I was very angry and wasn’t shy about expressing it.

All to no avail. They made me move to another seat. Fifteen minutes before the show was to start. This move involved walking down several flights of steps, mostly without handrails, with an aching knee. It was a nightmare. Closer to the stage, maybe, but with a side view instead of straight on at the stage. All somebody else’s decision; I had no say in the matter even though I’d bought a ticket and hadn’t bothered anybody (except by arriving solo).

Attention, parties of one: I don’t recommend going to the Hollywood Bowl unless you relish being demeaned and humiliated and shuffled around like a cheap knickknack. I certainly won’t affront them with my single self again.