Music charity Attitude Is Everything is launching a new pan-industry taskforce aimed at improving the experience for Deaf and disabled audiences when booking tickets for live music events.
Comprising more than 35 trade bodies, leading ticketing agencies, event promoters and venues, the Ticketing Without Barriers Coalition will meet to establish a programme of delivery, before updating on progress at the Ticketing Professionals Conference in March 2019.
Its formation comes ahead of the publication of Attitude Is Everything's fourth State Of Access Report today at London's Roundhouse, which reveals that more than 80% of those questioned said they had experienced problems when booking tickets to live music events, and over 70% 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 3.3m disabled adults attend at least one live music event each year.
Suzanne Bull MBE (pictured), Attitude Is Everything CEO and disability sector champion for music, said: “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 are:
- 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
- Choice and flexibility when booking tickets
- To be able to trust that access requirements will be met
- 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.”