Should you have to provide disability evidence to purchase accessible concert tickets?
Mar 2, 2023
Now, we know this is a very tricky topic but we’re daring to delve in! We’ve been talking about concerts on our social media for a while now (here’s our first blog about how accessible concerts are in the UK), and this topic has come up multiple times.
Why do companies ask for disability evidence to book tickets?
When we asked our social media audience, 12% said they do not go to concerts and when asked why that was - the overwhelming answer was the booking systems. If you’re not aware, when you’re disabled and require accessible seating there are many different processes in order to secure tickets. This means there is no set system. Sometimes venues ask for “proof” of disability such as letters from your PIP (personal independent payment) eligibility. Others ask for you to sign up to acquire an “access card” - however this also has its own system. So you can see it can feel like an extra admin task just to potentially secure some tickets.
Is it okay for companies to ask for proof of your disability? Here’s what you said:
1. “Yes it is…”
We asked you for your thoughts, and there was a lot to discuss! Some people in the disabled community feel there should be a system in place. Amy on Instagram noted how due to the lack of accessible spaces available in venues, we need a system in place to make sure access is provided to those who require it.
It is widely known in the community that in smaller venues there can sometimes be as few as 2 wheelchair spaces available which can be hard to pin down! Therefore being able to make sure those who need to access it, can is key.
2. Why disability proof doesn’t work for everyone…
Georgina Grogan - a disabled plus-size fashion blogger explains how the system doesn’t work for everyone. “Not everyone has all the same evidence like a blue badge, not everyone gets PIP etc, so I think the evidence needs to be more open like you could use your bus pass or DID card and less intrusive”
The topic of intrusiveness was a strong theme in the discussion. One mother tweeted “Really intrusive and unnecessary I do it a lot for my daughter and get fed up of being asked the same questions over and over again”. Providing evidence for something that is your daily lived experience can be tiring.
3. Is providing disability proof harmful to the disabled community?
It may seem like a quick task to most, but proving information about yourself that has lots of layers involved can be exhausting. As Katie on Twitter mentions, this system can also lead to feeling invalidated having to 'prove how disabled you are'.
Whilst the non-disabled community can quickly click a button, enter their card details and buy a ticket - for the disabled community, there’s so much more involved which often includes non-disabled people deciding whether they can attend or not. Nici on Twitter comments "It's really frustrating spending so much time having to prove ourselves to people who often don't even truly understand".
Is this a barrier which means disabled people are put off attending concerts? We think this may be the case…
So, how can we be more inclusive when booking tickets?
There may not be a “right” answer to whether we should be providing proof for accessible tickets as, as you can see there are so many differing opinions in the disabled community. However, what we all seem to agree on is being able to book accessible tickets online quickly and efficiently is something that is urgently wanted in the disabled community. There are too many different systems in place and a standardised less intrusive system is the way forward.
Thank you to everyone who took part in this conversation, we know it's something a lot of the disabled community is passionate about! What is your experience of booking accessible concert tickets? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to carry on the conversation!