Last weekend I accompanied my daughters to watch the concert of their favorite British Pop Band, The Vamps, at the Kia Theater in Quezon City. For Gaby, this is her second time and a first for Adi. Gaby, lucky girl that she is, managed to snag a Meet & Greet pass from her Ninong. So while Adi and I stayed in line, she was fortunate to be able to enter the venue way ahead of us….alone. Let me make this very clear, this was Gaby’s 2nd time to watch them and also her 2nd Meet and Greet. Since her 1st Meet and Greet went without hitches, I was confident that the same would happen. Before I allowed her to go on this Meet and Greet, I asked her if she was confident enough to take care of herself. She assured me that she would be with other fans like herself and that they really take care of each other. And so she went at it alone and came out victorious as she had, once again, met her idols. The rest of the story is what would be expected. We watched the concert…the girls came out giddy….and we all lived happily ever after. WRONG!!!!
Here is where things got nasty. The next day we were up early for another event…a CD signing. This time it was just Gaby and me. We got up early…lined up for a little over 2 hours to get the CDs and waited another 2 hours for the event to begin. Once inside the venue we took our seats and waited. The host of the event came onstage and announced how the flow would go. The band would be onstage and the audience (of mostly screaming teenage girls) would be called by row and we would go up and hand over our CDs for signing. Then we would make our way out. Picture taking was allowed except onstage. Pretty simple. Of course, given the kind of hysteria this boy band can create, it was expected that ALL the fans would be screaming and going bananas. What else do you expect? Its a boy band and their fans are mostly young girls. And when I mean young girls…I mean 9 year olds to 22 year olds. Anyone older would probably be a guardian. Even they knew that because they came out with a directive that should there be any fan younger than 12, he or she should be accompanied by a parent or a guardian. Fair enough.
The band arrived 2 hours late. By then the fans were going nuts…my daughter included. Then I noticed that other than the band, 2 or 3 BOUNCERS went up on stage as well. Having bouncers in an event like this isn’t new. Even during concerts there are always bouncers or security detail somewhere between the artists and the audience. Fair enough as well. But when the first few fans came up for their signing these bouncers started grabbing them and pushing them down the line!!! I saw some girls who fell and were dragged away screaming.
It was around this time that Gaby told me that she too was pulled away by a bouncer during the Meet and Greet the night before. I presume that she thought it was normal. She’s only 13 and is a mega fan so I don’t think she thoroughly understood what happened. She told me that she was talking to one of the band members and was asking him to sign her ID. As the fellow reached over to sign her ID, a bouncer took her by the arm and announced that it was time for her to go. I’m assuming that it was so abrupt because according to Gaby the band member was also surprised and kept apologizing to her. This is where it gets nasty….the bouncer continuously pulled her until she could barely see the band anymore!!! Why?!!! She wasn’t doing anything!! She was just talking to the band!! What kind of harm can my kid do to them for this f%*(*%&ing bouncer to pull her by her arm!!!
So, with this in mind, I decided to go up with her onstage. When we were called I put my game face (aka “don’t fuck with me I’m a Mom face”) on and handed over our CD’s. The frontliner was the band’s own manager and I suppose he recognized “the face” and swiftly opened his arms and made us pass.
Then when we came up to the first bouncer he was just about to hold my shoulder and I turned to him and screamed “DON’T TOUCH ME!!!” which, I guess, scared the shit out of him because he said something like “Mabuti pa itong grupong ito..mababait.” He put down his arm and we passed with not one of them coming near.
I wasn’t able to take a video of the girls being dragged and pushed but I was able to take a short video of the signing. You will notice that as the girls come up on stage, the bouncers quickly grab them and move them down the line.
I know for a fact that bouncers are employed for security purposes. They are there for additional safety or to break up fights. A friend of mine who works for a company that owns some of the bigger clubs in Manila told me that they have bouncers in their employ but are under strict instructions NOT TO TOUCH THE CUSTOMERS. They are there make sure that peace and order are always maintained. So if that is the case, why were the bouncers at the signing event/meet and greet/concert given the go signal to manhandle the fans? What kind of harm can a girl from the age of 9 to 22 be able to inflict on any member of that band so much so that she has to be pulled..dragged…pushed…carried away by a bouncer twice or thrice her size?!!???
As a woman, I know for a fact that this is so wrong. You cannot just touch a woman in parts of her body in the way these bouncers so clearly did.
As a mother, this for me is criminal. My 13 year old did not deserve that. None of the girls in that event deserved that kind of treatment.
Again, this is not about my daughter’s fangirling. I have no problem with that. She can be a fan for as long as she wants. But to be treated the way she was treated because all she was doing was being a fan….that to me is unforgivable.