Industry News

Attitude is Everything forms coalition to improve disabled ticketing

Attitude is Everything, a charity focused on improving live music access for deaf and disabled people, is launching a pan-industry taskforce aimed at improving the ticket booking experience.

The Ticketing Without Barriers Coalition, which is made up of 35 trade bodies including ticketing agencies, event promoters and venues, will meet to establish a programme of delivery.

The move comes just before Attitude Is Everything released its fourth State Of Access Report today at London’s Roundhouse.

The report reveals that more than 80 per cent of those questioned said they had experienced problems when booking tickets to live music events, and over 70 per cent stated they had felt discriminated against.

The 349 fans surveyed attended an average of nine concerts in the past year, spending an estimated £250,000 on tickets, food, drink and merchandise. According to Government data, an estimated 3.3 million disabled adults attend at least one live music event each year.

Suzanne Bull, Attitude Is Everything chief executive and disability sector champion for music, said, according to Music Week: “With our fourth State of Access Report we wanted to return to probably the single-most important issue that impacts all Deaf and disabled music fans – the process of booking tickets.

“Although there has been much progress in making the ticketing process accessible and inclusive, and certain venues and companies are definitely getting this right for their Deaf and disabled customers, we felt that only a comprehensive and truly unified approach would be able to drive through the real and lasting changes that we need.”

The Ticketing Without Barriers Coalition has highlighted five key areas where targeted action would result in greater inclusion at live music events, and enable event organisers to better serve their disabled customers.

They include a single proof-of-disability system that is uniformly recognised and accepted across the UK, and a single evidence policy adopted by the whole music industry. Accurate and disability-aware information and customer service, as well as choice and flexibility when booking tickets. To be able to trust that access requirements will be met and that there is equal access to everything.

“In 2018, every large-scale music event should be all-inclusive,” added Bull.

“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. 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.

“The wider music business has the power to fix this, and I’ve been delighted at the response from all who’ve agreed to join the Ticketing Without Barriers Coalition. It feels that everyone’s on the same page, up for the challenge and committed to working towards a positive result on this. We now look forward to getting to work, and delivering some results.”

Last year, the charity received support from the UK Live Music Group for its Charter of Best Practice.

The industry-funded UK Live Music Group represents the collective interests of the recorded, published and live arms of the British music industry. It has promoted the charity’s charter as the “industry standard” in access provision.

Image: Free-Photos