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When concert security told a fan to sit down, Adele told them to leave him alone


All right. You're at a concert. Do you stand up or sit down? That debate reignited this week after a fan at an Adele show in Las Vegas stood, sang and filmed themself during her show, even though many of the people in his section were seated. A security guard got involved. So did Adele. And as NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports, making everybody happy at a concert isn't always easy.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: In a video, Juan Lastra passionately belts out every word to Adele's songs.


JUAN LASTRA: (Singing) I wanted to love you. You left me...

BLAIR: A woman comes up and tells him people are upset.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Look behind you. Everybody's upset - everybody.

BLAIR: When a security guard approaches him, Adele stops the show.


ADELE: What is going on with that young fan there? He's been bothered so much since I came on for standing up.

BLAIR: Another fan responds.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: They won't let him stand up.

BLAIR: Adele was having none of it.


ADELE: Can you leave him alone please?


ADELE: They won't bother you anymore, darling.

SAM SWERSKY: It is kind of our worst nightmare.

BLAIR: Sam Swersky is the house manager at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Virginia.

SWERSKY: It is one of the worst situations you could have where the concert actually stops and the artist is talking to my staff about how we should be doing our job.

BLAIR: It might seem like a personal decision. You want to stand up and sing, or you want or need to stay seated. There are regular debates about this. Swersky says what his venue enforces is up to the artist.

SWERSKY: You know, do you want us to have a hands-off attitude? And a lot of artists thrive on that. They want to see their fans up on their feet, dancing, singing along. That's just part of what gives them the energy to put on a great performance.

BLAIR: At Adele's concert, fans say there were signs encouraging them to stand up. But when there's no guidance from the venue, what should you do? Audrey Fix Schaefer is a spokesperson for I.M.P., which owns concert venues in the D.C. area.

AUDREY FIX SCHAEFER: It's really a bit of a social contract with other concertgoers where people are able to enjoy it by being conscientious of each other but then also knowing that everybody enjoys it in a different way.

BLAIR: As for Juan Lastra, the fan who made headlines, he told TMZ he was sorry others complained.


LASTRA: But I only had one opportunity to see her, and I took it. I took it as I wanted.

BLAIR: Lastra thanked Adele for this breathtaking night and for standing up for me. Elizabeth Blair, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF ADELE SONG, "RUMOUR HAS IT") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Elizabeth Blair is a Peabody Award-winning senior producer/reporter on the Arts Desk of NPR News.