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Venues and promoters are failing disabled live music fans, report finds

By | Published on Thursday 27 June 2013

Muscular Dystrophy Campaign

Venues and promoters are not doing enough to ensure that disabled people can easily attend live music events, a new report by UK charity Muscular Dystrophy Campaign has found.

Often, says the report, disabled tickets for shows are only available via premium rate telephone numbers, rather than online, and sometimes an event has passed before venues agree to accept ‘proof of disability’ required when providing some tickets.

Those who do make it into venues often find that they are unable to sit with friends and family, due to limited number of extra seats in accessible areas, and toilet facilities are often lacking. The study also says that in some cases people in wheelchairs have been asked to leave before a performer finishes in order to “avoid disruption” for able-bodied customers.

Project Manager of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Trailblazers initiative Bobby Ancil said: “For many, going to concerts, gigs and festivals is a fundamental part of being young. The live music scene in the UK is burgeoning, however if you are disabled, accessing live music can be far from straightforward. We have heard from many young disabled people who describe their experience of getting tickets to see their favourite band or artist perform live as ‘an absolute nightmare’ because of drawn-out, costly booking processes and company policies that separate disabled music lovers from their friends and family at a show as ‘inflexible'”.

He continued: “There is no doubt that many venues have made significant headway in improving their facilities for disabled customers. However, we want to see the creation of an online booking option for all disabled music fans at live venues and more inclusive venue designs to ensure that disabled people can sit with more than one friend or assistant without compromising the view of the stage or their ability to enjoy a performance”.

Read the report in full here.