‘Disabled music fans are unable to buy tickets’: Human Rights Commission calls for change

Equality watchdog threatens legal action if practices don’t improve.

The Equality And Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is calling on music venues and ticket sellers to ensure methods of booking tickets don’t discriminate against disabled music fans.

The EHRC has threatened legal action if methods of buying tickets don’t improve for disabled people.

According to the charity Attitude Is Everything, 88% of disabled fans said they felt discriminated against when trying to buy gig tickets, while 83% were put off from trying to buy tickets at all because they felt the current method of buying tickets was inaccessible.

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Nearly half – 47% – had considered taking legal action against promoters or venues.

The EHRC wants promoters to offer free tickets to disabled fans’ personal assistants and to introduce more flexible and accessible methods of booking tickets for disabled people. It warned that the Equality Act 2010 means it is law for ticket sellers and venues to offer a “fair and inclusive” service for disabled concertgoers.

Following a legal challenge in 2014, promoters SMG agreed to allow disabled concertgoers to attend concert at their venues with personal assistants for the price of one ticket. Many venues offer this policy, but EHRC has called for the practice to become mandatory.

EHRC’s disability commissioner Lord Holmes said: “There is a wide problem with ticketing practices across Britain. It’s frankly outrageous that, in a thriving industry like the live events sector that’s worth over £900m, disabled people continue to be viewed as a nuisance or an afterthought.”