Disabled access ticket sales at gigs have increased by 70 per cent in the past year.
As The Guardian reports, charity Attitude Is Everything recently found that of 106 venues and festivals sampled, 114,000 disabled-access ticket were sold in 2014. This figure was up from 67,000 in 2013. Glastonbury Festival, Reading and Leeds, as well as London’s O2 Arena and Roundhouse were among those taken into consideration, having previously signed up to the charity’s charter of best practice.
Founder Suzanne Bull said, “The disabled customer base has increased because venues and ticketing sites are improving. It’s like the line in the film Field of Dreams: if you build it, they will come. Word-of-mouth reputation is very important in the disabled community.”
Daniella Lipscombe, a disabled gig-goer from Bristol, told The Guardian, “I definitely see more disabled people in crowds now. Venues are improving, and once you know you can go to gigs and festivals, you want to go to even more. The attitude I’ve experienced in the past – that because I’m not in a wheelchair, I don’t count as disabled – is changing. Venues are realising that it’s not about being completely physically accessible, it’s more about understanding that people have different needs. It’s often something as simple as putting better information on their website.”
In 2013, a study by Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Trailblazers found that young disabled music fans consider themselves at a disadvantage when booking and attending gigs. 77 per cent of 100 disabled fans interviewed said they felt at a “substantial disadvantage” compared to non-disabled music fans when booking tickets, with one in two saying that they’d either had a stressful booking experience or missed out on tickets because of their disability.
Half of those questioned said that venue facilities, such as toilets, bars and food stalls, were not suitable for their needs. Nine out of 10 felt that more inclusive seating designs – which would enable disabled people to sit with more than just one friend or assistant – would make a big difference to their experience of watching live music.