NEWTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A concert promoter admits it made a mistake by turning away a military veteran and two women with service dogs from a New Jersey music festival.
In an incident caught on cellphone video Sunday, a security guard prevents Army veteran Mark Brummitt and his service dog from entering the Vans Warped Tour music festival at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.
As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, Brummitt was emotional as he told the guard that he was standing up for all vets after being asked for vaccination papers for his dog, Kita.
“I spent 13 years defending everybody’s ability to come over here and be doing this,” Brummitt tells the guard. ” … And I’m trying to make sure that they don’t have to deal with what you’re asking me.”
Brummitt, who was injuried while serving in Afghanistan, has Kita because of a post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis. He had the dog’s vaccination records, but said it’s illegal to ask for them.
“And I knew if I hand them my paperwork and went inside that other people would still be dealing with it,” he told Sloan.
Live Nation, the promoter of the festival, said security guards stopping Brummitt as well as Heather Masch and her service dog, Lizzie, were confused over policies.
“Upon further investigation, however, we have found that proof of vaccination may not be required in certain circumstances,” the company said in a statement. “We regret the error and will be reaching out to the patrons directly.”
“I would like an apology from them,” said Masch, a Carlstadt resident.
Masch said she called the center before the concert and was told her medical alert dog and another friend’s service dog were welcome. But it changed when they got there.
“We couldn’t go forward with our service dogs because they might be a danger to the public,” she said she was told.
Masch said she’s received a lot of comments on social media asking why she would take a dog to a concert. She said she went completely prepared with a lot of ice packs and water and special earmuffs for Lizzie.
“She’s everything to me,” Masch said. “She gets me through the day.”
Live Nation gave Brummitt and Masch refunds and plans on educating staff on service dog policies.
Brummitt said he’s happy staff will receive training. But he said security guards were handed cards that clearly stated what they are and aren’t allowed to do regarding service dogs, and they still denied him entry.