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Study to improve disabled access at concerts

music crowd
music crowd Image credit: http://favim.com

Everybody is entitled to live music regardless of any form of disability they may have, although a recent study brings to light the trouble disabled people endure when they book and attend a concert.

Falling in everybody else disabled people sometime have to phone premium rate lines or wait for hours until they are put through to a ticket line. Once their call has been answered they may find themselves seated away from family and friends.

A spokesperson from Ticketmaster stated their service offered online booking arrangements for disabled customers as well as an 0800 freefone number.

Most services also allow for an extra carer to go free, although many don’t accommodate those needing extra careers who may be seated away from their colleges despite being prepared to purchase a ticket.

Another ticket company, Ticketline, replied with the following statement, "We are not responsible for the organisation of any event; we sell tickets on the venue's behalf.

"We do not use premium rate lines - everyone rings up using the same number - and we do not ask for proof of disability. When people turn up, it is clear that they are disabled. If we do get any complaints about accessibility at venues, we feed them back to the venues."

Next Wednesday (3 July) a group of disabled people represented by campaigners Trailblazers will meet MPs to express their dissatisfaction with the issue.

One of their concerns is being forced to purchase tickets over the telephone opposed to an online service. Another is being asked to leave venues before the concerts have finished allowing the crowd exit without further disruption. Purchasing refreshments and access to toilets has also been scrutinised in the recent study.

500 people aged between 16 and 30 are involved in pushing for an improved structure which will support those with various forms of disability enjoy live music.

Bobby Anil is project manager at Trailblazers, he said, "We have heard from many young disabled people who describe their experience of getting tickets... as an absolute nightmare," said Trailblazers'

"They also continue to be frustrated by inflexible company policies that separate disabled music lovers from their friends and family at a show."

Organisations such as Attitude are Everything and us here at ABLE2UK are also supporting the music industry to improve accessibility at live music events.