Security officials at a popular Scottish venue have thrown a man out for using his phone to check on his sick dad during the interval of a show.
Chris Penman was ejected from the SSE Hydro in Glasgow before comedian Chris Rock took to the stage on Wednesday evening for looking at his phone.
The 45-year-old was left reeling after being approached by security seconds after unlocking his device during the interval.
Promoters for the show had imposed a strict policy demanding all audience members put their phones inside lockable pouches.
The devices could only be accessed in certain ‘unlocking areas’ in the arena with permission from staff.
Chris, from Motherwell, said he had explained to a door steward that he was waiting on an update on his dad’s condition.
The steward gave him the all clear to go in with his device.
Shortly after the support acts had finished, the engineer checked for the text but was pulled out by security within seconds.
After being escorted to the front of the venue, the workers then searched through his phone.
Chris said: “I must have only looked at it for about 15 seconds, no-one was on stage and I held it discreetly on my lap, then I was approached by a guard.
“As they were going through it, the text came in from my brother saying my dad had managed to take his medication and eat without being sick - which is what I was waiting for.
“My dad is in the heart transplant ward in the Golden Jubilee in a really bad way.
“I explained the full thing but they still said I had to leave. I couldn’t believe it - I’m still baffled today. It’s just extraordinarily petty and unreasonable.
“I’m happy that my dad is doing better but I’m angry because my wife paid £140 for the tickets and we didn’t even get to see Chris Rock.
“It was the first night I’ve left my dad in weeks, and was supposed to be a bit of a break, but ended up completely ruined by this ridiculous situation.”
The practice of removing phones from audiences is common in America and is designed to stop film or recordings being posted online.
Promoters for the award-winning American comedian Chris Rock are thought to have personally requested the policy for his UK ‘Total Blackout’ Tour.
He teamed up with Yondr, which locks phones within a neoprene pouch and is only released at the touch of an unlocking base.
A post by the SSE Hydro on social media ahead of the show said: “Any phones brought to the venue will be required to be placed in a supplied locked pouch.
“Anyone caught with a phone inside the venue will be immediately ejected.”
A spokeswoman from the venue added: “The safety of our visitors remains paramount whilst honouring the requests that may arise from a promoter or artist.
“Messaging that the use of phones would be prohibited at this event was widely shared across all our channels including website alerts, Facebook, Twitter and e-cards to all ticket holders.
“However, the use of phones was still allowed in the ‘unlocking’ areas on the concourse.”