HOLMDEL - Three people who bought tickets to the Vans Warped Tour music festival at PNC Arts Center in Holmdel say they were denied entry into the venue because they had service dogs.
Heather Masch and her friend Mindy Morley each have service dogs; Masch for post-traumatic stress disorder and Morley for a genetic disorder.
Both women tried to attend the concert on Sunday. They went through security with their dogs, but were stopped before their tickets were scanned by two PNC security officers and a New Jersey state trooper. They were asked for vaccination records and service dog certification and were denied access inside when they did not provide the information.
"It was really embarrassing," says Masch. "I was never denied access into any place ever with my dog."
Another person, retired Army veteran Mark Brimmit, was also denied access. Cellphone video sent to News 12 New Jersey shows Brimmit, who was injured in Afghanistan, arguing with PNC personnel about his dog. He too was asked to provide vaccination records, but refused to turn them over because he says it's illegal for them to ask for it.
A spokesperson for Live Nation, the company that runs PNC Arts Center, confirms the incidents did occur. In a statement provided to News 12 New Jersey, the spokesperson says "We have found that proof of vaccination may not be required in certain circumstances...We regret the error."
"Everyone is equal," says Masch. "Just because I have an invisible disability doesn't mean I should just sit out in the parking lot."
Live Nation plans to reach out to all the individuals involved to make things right. Staff at all of its venues will also be further educated on service dog policy.