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There’s Good Caution And Then There’s This

, , , , , , | Working | February 16, 2023

My parents are well-known musicians, part of a band that has quite the following and has been around for about thirty years or so. Around 2004, when I was thirteen, I went on tour with them when I was off school for summer break. They paid my expenses out of pocket and made sure I was treated like a member of the band. It was a very fun time and an eye-opening look at what really goes on behind the scenes of concerts.

We arrive in London for one of their shows. We all have to wear special crew passes to get in and out of the venue before and during the show. I am given one by my parents and told to always have it visible when we are at the venue. Each badge has a specific number attached to it, and all security guards working the doors are given sheets of paper with these numbers and who the badge belongs to with a picture of that person. It’s 2004 technology at its prime.

My parents decide that we are going out for food before the show, and we make it back just in time for their call time. I tell them I’ll meet them inside, as I have to use the restroom really quickly before we go in. They tell me to take my time but to be backstage before the doors open as I usually wander around and speak to the merch vendors as they are setting up, even helping them out at times due to boredom.

I finish up in the restroom and head toward the backstage area, but I’m stopped by a security guard.

Guard: “What do you think you’re doing?”

I flash my crew badge.

Me: “Going backstage?”

Guard: “Where did you get that? This is an eighteen-plus show — no minors!”

Me: “My parents, [Mom] and [Dad], gave it to me so I could meet with them. I just had to stop by the restroom before—”

Guard: *Snatches the badge from my hand* “Who did you steal this from?! No kids are allowed, and the venue is closed right now! You need to leave or I’ll be calling the police service and having you arrested for trespassing!”

I try to grab the badge back from the guard, but it is no use. He grabs me by the arm and pulls me outside the venue, shoving me into the street and warning me that if I come back, he’ll call the police. As I do not have a cell phone due to it being 2004, I have no way of contacting my parents. I decide to wait outside the venue — luckily it is summertime and not too cold — to see if my parents or one of the crew will come looking for me.

It is well past call time when police cars show up, and they are escorted into the building past fans who have started to line up early. There is murmuring in the crowd, but I think nothing of it until a police officer comes outside about half an hour later and looks through the crowd until he spots me. The officer walks over to me, and I can’t help but be my normal smart-a** self.

Me: “I believe you might be here for me, officer.”

Officer: “And why would you think that?”

Me: “You were either: A) called by the security guard trying to arrest me for trespassing, or B) called by my very scared and worried parents wondering where their son has vanished for about… two hours now?”

Officer: *Looks me over* “Are you [My Name]?” 

Me: “That would be me, yep.”

Officer: “Could you step inside with me, please?”

Me: “Gladly.”

The two of us headed inside, where we were met by my very worried — read: exhaustedly bawling her eyes out — mother and my very upset and worried father. The officer asked me for my side of the story — where I had been, what I was doing, etc., and I told him about what happened between the guard and me. I can’t exactly remember much of what happened next, but I do know that my dad was furious and berated the guard for not checking the sheet and for going on a power trip. I know the guard wasn’t fired for what he did, but he was only allowed to work the front doors for the rest of the tour and was given a severe reprimand from his boss once his boss found out.

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