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Byline: Jasbir Authi STAFF REPORTER

AN ANGRY dad has accused HMV of tempting pupils to bunk off school to make sure they see pop sensations JLS.

The band will be signing copies of their new album 'Evolution' at the firm's store at the Fort Shopping Centre, near Erdington, at 5pm tomorrow. But fans wanting to meet them must personally collect one of the 600 free wristbands allowing them access from 8am.

The dad, who would not be named, said he knew several of his 13-year-old daughter's friends were considering skipping school to make sure they did not miss out, as parents were not allowed to collect a pass.

The 46-year-old said: "I told my daughter that she could not bunk off school to get a wristband and she was heartbroken. "But I know for a fact that at my daughter's school, they were all talking abut missing school. JLS are a big attraction and it's an open invitation to bunk off school.

"I don't think JLS would endorse it themselves. I feel sorry for all the kids who want to meet them but won't be able to unless they miss school to collect a wristband."

But HMV said the wristband system was the best way to hold such events safely and was intended to ensure youngsters were not tempted to skip school by queuing up early to meet the band.

Gennaro Castaldo, from the firm, said: "Our aim is to organise a fun, successful event that fans can attend in a safe and organised manner, and which also avoids the need for them to miss school.

"If we had suggested that everyone came along nearer the time, that would potentially create all sorts of issues.

"Younger fans might bunk-off in order to secure their place in the queue, which could also lead to crowd management concerns.

"Instead, fans can pick up a wristband in the knowledge they can head to the personal appearance after school. We're sorry if any readers are unhappy.

"It's not easy finding a perfect solution, short of not having such events. We do our best to act responsibly bearing in mind we also have to accommodate the band's requirements."

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Heartbreakers: Boyband JLS will be at HMV at the Fort Shopping Park tomorrow.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 8, 2012
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