Hundreds of Westlife fans in Glasgow – including elderly, sick and disabled people – were forced to stand or go home last night at the band’s sell-out SSE Hydro gig.

Furious crowds were told less than an hour before the boyband were due on stage at the Glasgow venue that their seated tickets were no longer valid – despite forking out as much as £200 per head.

Some fans paid more than £1,000 for VIP experiences to catch the band’s ‘Twenty Tour’ as it stopped by Finnieston – with most stumping up for tickets months in advance.

Organisers blamed ‘traffic delays’ for the failure of ‘essential equipment’ to arrive at the 13,000 capacity venue, which meant a stage level seating area could not be set up.

The SSE Hydro posted a statement on its Facebook page minutes before doors opened to the concert telling fans they would have to stand or request a refund.

Some elderly and disabled concertgoers told the Evening Times they had to go home because they were physically unable to stand for the duration, with one group travelling back to Aberdeen that same night. Others were offered alternative seats ‘nowhere near’ their original.

Fan Sophie Campbell said she does not go to gigs often due to asthma, but made an exception to see Westlife with her mother Margo.

She paid for front row ­tickets, only to arrive at the gig and be told ‘it’s a free for all’.

She said: “I don’t go to concerts to stand because my asthma is too bad, small enclosed spaces don’t work for me.

“I was told when I got here I could stand or get a full refund. That’s all.

“I asked for a wheelchair for my disabled mother and was told she can either deal with it and stand or go home and come back to the Hydro tomorrow for a refund, so I’ve got to drive all way back to Glasgow for a refund.”

Niki Kane was having her tickets scanned at the door when she was told she and her group of six friends would have to stand.

She explained to staff that three of the group suffered from arthritis, sciatica and fibromyalgia, and so could not be on their feet for a prolonged period of time.

She said: “We were told to either stand or leave and try for a refund but it would not be guaranteed.

“There didn’t seem to be any organisation or concern for the interest for ticket holders.”

Once on stage, the band apologised to crowds gathered on behalf of themselves and their crew, and said transporting production equipment from Belfast was the cause of delays.

Singer Nicky Byrne said: “The options were, at 7 o’clock tonight, no show or give them the best show that we could give them, which would mean standing on the floor for you guys.

“Rather than send you all home and postpone for another night we thought we’d just go out and give them a great show. We hope you don’t mind.

“So thank you for being so understanding – we really appreciate that.”

A spokesperson for the SSE Hydro told The Evening Times: “The seating layout for tonight’s Westlife show was changed due to unexpected transport delays.

“For ticketholders who did not wish to or were unable to stand, full refunds are available from the original point of purchase. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

The Evening Times understands the seating chaos was due to a delay in the arrival of production elements of the show, meaning the floor seating plan had to change.

Show organisers have been approached for comment.