10 Apr How to Improve the Experience for Disabled Concertgoers
People with disabilities want to enjoy concerts the way any abled-person would want to. They show up with friends and family and want to take in the whole experience of a show. They shouldn’t have to worry about whether they’ll be able to get tickets or proper assistance upon arriving. In short, venues need do more. Below are four suggestions to improve the experience for disabled concertgoers.
Improve Online Ticketing
One of the biggest hassles a disabled concertgoer has is getting tickets. You can read about the problems my brothers and I had with finding disabled seating here. Part of the issue is the lack of online resources. When entering a ticketing website looking for accessible seat tickets, there’s a good chance you’ll face two options. Either, call an 800 number or purchase the tickets at the box office in person. My experience with calling an 800 number is bad. I had to wait on hold for 30 minutes only to find out that the venue is not accessible. Going in person to purchase tickets seems like the exact opposite option to recommend for a disabled person. Online ticket companies need to be more accommodating.
Smaller Venues Need to Become Accessible for Disabled Concertgoers
In each city, there are many major venues that are not accessible. Not only are these venues saying that people with disabilities don’t deserve concert experiences but they are also losing out on money from potential ticket sales.
When these larger venues don’t accommodate it should be up to smaller venues to open their doors and be accessible. Besides it being the right thing to do, they will also reap the financial benefits. When my brother’s and I looked for concert tickets at a large reputable venue and couldn’t get them, we found a music show at a community center that hosts monthly musical events. The experience isn’t the same as a large production full of pyrotechnics and fun lights. But small venues find ways to make their shows special and enjoyable.
Train Venue Staff Better About Disabilities
Staff members at concert venues should never assume they know what disability looks like. Venues should not presume ramps and wheelchair accessible bathroom stalls cover disability requirements or accessibility needs. Some people have disabilities in the form of visual or hearing impairments. Others have invisible disabilities that cause chronic pain and fatigue, for example. Staff members must be trained to understand this and prepared to provide assistance.
Venues Should Be More Strict on Disability Regulations
Venues shouldn’t allow people to sit in an empty disability accessible seat because it’s closer. If the venue staff sees this type of behavior they should stop it as it happens. I have personally seen people take those empty seats and no one has stopped them. This same rule should go for parking and bathrooms reserved for people with disabilities. As disabled concertgoers see others take advantage of their privileges it begins to feel like their situation isn’t taken seriously.
Samantha Bold is a writer from New York City. She is an avid music and sports fan and is really sad the Rams are in Los Angeles.