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UK Concert Groups Team Up to Boost Concert Access for Fans With Disabilities

The charity Attitude Is Everything is leading a campaign to improve access to concert tickets for music fans with disabilities, who often get left out by poor service and poor accessibility. The group launched a coalition of trade groups and stakeholders to figure out solutions to the problem.

Groups in the United Kingdom want to break down the barriers those with disabilities face when going to a concert.

Spearheaded by the charity Attitude Is Everything, which aims to make it easier for deaf and disabled people to enjoy live music, the new Ticketing Without Barriers Coalition, announced this week, hopes to organize the industry around actions that can help improve the experience of concertgoers with disabilities—particularly when it comes to purchasing tickets.

In a report by Attitude is Everything released this week, 82 percent of  deaf and disabled respondents said they had problems booking tickets, while 79 percent said they had been put off on the process entirely. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) felt discriminated against, and 11 percent even considered legal action.

While the situation had improved to a degree over the past four years—something three-quarters of respondents agreed with—Attitude is Everything CEO Suzanne Bull said that the situation is clearly a poor one for live music fans.

“In 2018, every large-scale music event should be all-inclusive. Disabled customers should be able to buy a ticket online, they should be encouraged to attend shows with their friends, and not have to jump through undignified hoops when things go wrong,” she said in comments to The Guardian. “As a disabled music fan myself, I’d urge ticket sellers, venues and festivals to understand that all disabled people must enjoy the same experiences as any other fan.”

That’s where the Ticketing Without Barriers Coalition will come into play. The coalition—which includes more than 30 trade groups such as UK Music, ticketing companies like Ticketmaster, and event promoters including Live Nation—will encourage industry stakeholders to work together on the issue of facilitating access to concert tickets to those being left out by the current rules.

With its strategy, Attitude is Everything is focusing on five areas of improvement—improved identification requirements, disability-aware customer service, better booking flexibility, stronger trust, and equal access.

“Although there has been much progress in making the ticketing process accessible and inclusive, only a comprehensive and truly unified approach will be able to drive through the real and lasting changes that we need,” Bull added in a news release.

(eatcute/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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