Disabled music fans have welcomed a new system introduced by Ticketmaster that enables them to buy tickets “like anyone else.”
Up to now, disabled music fans have faced multiple barriers when buying tickets online including only being able to access help via premium rate lines and having to provide complex evidence of their disabilities each time they purchase a ticket.
Now, a new system will allow fans to enter details of their disability online in a simplified format. Once validated, the information is bound to their Ticketmaster profile meaning they can book gigs in the future without having to repeatedly enter the same information.
In venues that participate with Ticketmaster, accessible seats will be clearly labelled on seat maps and a free companion ticket will also be provided.
Speaking to the BBC, Ticketmaster’s MD Andrew Parsons said: “It’s something we’ve been seeking to address for some time now. Fundamentally, all fans deserve equal access to live entertainment.
“The plus side of this system is that, in the future, the fans won’t have to do anything. They will be able to buy their tickets like anyone else.”
The new system has been trialled at two venues so far, Glasgow’s SEC and Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena, with feedback so far proving positive, according to Parsons.
“The feedback’s been really, really positive…We’re very keen to roll it out to a host of new venues now; and I’m challenging all of our teams on that.”
You can see some of the reaction to the news below:
Brilliant news this afternoon from @TicketmasterUK on a new accessible tickets booking system online! We look forward to this rolling out across more venues and hearing feedback from our Trailblazers!
Find out more here: https://t.co/trzJp8VM1f
— Trailblazers (@MD_Trailblazers) October 31, 2019
Really excited for this – ticketmaster are going to be rolling out a disabled access online booking service. This will make life SO much easier in so many ways https://t.co/5sVYstsQRR
— Emily Linka ♿️🏳️🌈 (@emilylinka) October 31, 2019
Ticketmaster just did something amazing.
It's still a huge problem however. There is a huge lack of disabled seating/viewing at every venue across the country.
— Jonny Naylor🌹 (@JonnyNaylor) October 31, 2019
For #disabled people like me, I am so pleased that @TicketmasterUK is taking this step. The ability to book online needs to be rolled out to all venues. Disabled people need equal access to culture and entertainment. https://t.co/msOAcmreU8
— Jess Plant (@IAmJessPlant) October 31, 2019
Nearly 100 musicians were surveyed by Attitude is Everything, a charity that focuses on “improving deaf and disabled people’s access to live music”.
Seventy per cent of the respondents to the survey said that they’ve felt the need to hide their disability because of worries that it could impact their relationships with promoters, venues, and festivals.
Half of the people surveyed also say that they have encountered barriers because of their health when seeking a space to rehearse, while 38 per cent are unable to access their nearest rehearsal space at all.
Mystery Jets‘ Blaine Harrison, who has spina bifida, said the findings were “absolutely heartbreaking. Making a living from music is tough enough. But for musicians with access requirements, it can be even tougher.”
He added on Twitter: “Now is the time for the music industry to stand up and support deaf and disabled artists.”