YouTube star Dan TDM has asked parents not to take out their anger on him after meet-and-greet tickets were handed out more than seven hours earlier than billed.
Hundreds of youngsters and their parents arrived at The Marlowes Shopping Centre in Hemel Hempstead this morning (Friday, October 30) ahead of 9am, which is the time the tickets were due to be released.
But when the toy shop opened its doors, it was revealed that all 100 tickets had been handed out to crowds waiting in the early hours.
A total of 400 tickets were handed out over three separate days, but 23-year-old Dan TDM – whose real name is Daniel Middleton – said the decision was made to hand out the remaining 100 at 2.30am due to ‘health and safety’.
In a statement on Twitter, he said: “So I have learned that many of you arrived at the store between 8am and 9am to pick up a free ticket to meet me today.
“However, when you got there, the 100 tickets that should have been available were gone.
“It was advised throughout the whole ticketing process to arrive VERY early to avoid disappointment and arriving at 9am would NOT guarantee you a ticket.
“The 100 tickets started to be given out at 2.30am this morning due to people starting to queue up already for tickets and as it was an extremely rainy night, health and safety would have been a problem come 9am and hundreds of people want to head to the same destination.
“If you did not get a ticket even though you arrived before 9am, I understand that you are disappointed, but even if the tickets were held until 9am, you WOULD NOT have got a ticket anyway as there would have been over 100 people in the queue before you.
“Please do not take this out on The Entertainer or me, as we have provided a fair system to try and meet 400 of my fans in a safe and secure environment.
“I hope you understand and I’ll be happy to answer any concerns via Twitter.
Among the disappointed parents was Karina Kelman, 29, who had travelled three hours from Kent in last night’s rush hour traffic with her eight-year-old son Liam.
The mum paid £72 to stay overnight in the Premier Inn hotel on Moor End Road, just yards from the shopping centre.
She said: “We got there at 7.15am, which I thought would be fine, but when we went up to the door they were just putting the signs up saying the tickets had run out.
“If I’d have known they were handing them out at silly o’clock then I would have had no problems with getting down there, but on the website it said not before 9am.
“I was so desperate for Liam to see him that I was offering people £50 for their ticket.
“When we found out the tickets had gone, I was the one welling up because I was so disappointed for Liam.
“He’s taken it surprisingly well, because I had said to him not to get his hopes up because there was no guarantee
we’d be able to see him.
“We’re going to hang around and hope we catch a glimpse of him.”
As a goodwill gesture, The Entertainer has issued 20 per cent off vouchers for use instore to those who were unable to get a ticket.