Disabled Music Fans Find Disadvantage When Attending Gigs, Study Finds

Disabled music fans say they find it hard to both book and attend gigs - now the UK government is under pressure to help adapt the live music industry to their needs.

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A new study shows that disabled music fans feel disadvantaged when booking and attending gigs.

For the past two months, the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Trailblazers charity has been asking 100 disabled music fans what was good and and about both booking tickets and seeing their favorite bands live.

The results are a disappointment to equal rights campaigners and ticket sellers alike: 77 percent say they feel a "substantial" disadvantage compared to their able-bodied counterparts, and half said they've had a stressful experience booking tickets or missed out on buying them completely because of their disability, according to NME. Half again said that venue facilities like toilets and bars were never up to scratch for their needs.

Now the charity is urging the live music industry to make changes so that disabled music fans can have the same access and rights as other music fans, and will meet with the UK government to discuss making these changes as soon as possible.

"There is no doubt that many venues have made significant headway in improving their facilities for disabled customers. However, we want to see the creation of an online booking option for all disabled music fans at live venues and more inclusive venue designs to ensure that disabled people can sit with more than one friend or assistant without compromising the view of the stage or their ability to enjoy a performance," said Bobby Ancil on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Trailblazers charity.

What do you think? Could more be done to help disabled fans make it into music venues? Share your ideas and concerns here.

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "Disabled Music Fans Find Disadvantage When Attending Gigs, Study Finds" no shit
    You can crowdsurf in a wheelchair...
    just watched it happen during Children of Bodom at Mayhem the other day in Mountain View. He was even in the circle pit during Battlecross.
    people actually takes this article seriously? Ofcourse their disabilites are a problem and they put them at huge disadvantages.0 But to put it out like this is just stupid.
    This made me think of a man in a wheelchair I saw on a Sabaton show here in Croatia. And I thought I was a big fan of them...
    I've seen disabled people at both gigs and festivals. I think Bloodstock allow wheelchairs onto the sound platform, and most of the bigger venues have lifts or same level seating that can be used for disabled people. Obviously, it's stupid to expect someone in a wheelchair to be able to be at the front, as they'll get crushed, and won't be able to see too much anyway. If they go immediately in front of the stage, it's a saftey risk unless there's an area set aside for it. But then again, not all disabilities are that obvious. I knew a guy who had a small epileptic fit at a Children of Bodom show. He knew they'd have strobes and took meds with him, and he was fine. Bands aren't going their stage set ups just for two people. But as it is, I think venues should have room for the disabled, and disabled access, unless it's some crummy 150 capacity venue that has neither the room nor the means to support such measures.
    Even a crummy 150 person capacity show has music worth listening to. If I liked Nirvana, I would use them as an example... but for now, I will say "Look at Matt Corby"...
    NExt we'll be banned from the pits incase a wheelchair gets dented :L If you have a disability, face it, you're gonna miss out on some stuff. Its not a big issue like this, but how can bars cater for disabled people..? genuinely intrigued
    There isn't any talk AT ALL of banning anything for anyone. And no one has the right to tell disabled people to accept they are unable to do things. Disabled people accept their limitations and get by the best they can. The problem with disability compared to other minority causes is that its so vast a subject. A race/gender/sexuality issue tends to be fairly straightforward, but every single disability is different. But anyway as a disabled person myself I can relate to this story. Im not seriously disabled but use 2 crutches to walk everywhere - its a bummer at the best of times but worse at gigs. I do plan my trips as best I can and most disabled people will do the same, but someone who is seriously disabled may need a viewing platform or something I dunno. It shouldn't be made law though - how can the scummy bar at the end of the street that holds 50 people at best squeeze something like that in its not feasible. Just would help for people to be a little more compassionate and a little less ignorant like some of the comments in this thread...
    Let's see you say that when you get hit by a bus or something and have to live in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. Such disrespect is sickening. And that's coming from someone who even agrees that it's not feasible to accommodate disabled people everywhere. Not every venue in the world can afford to be wheelchair-friendly and that's understandable since money does not grow on trees. But to be disrespectful like that, not cool, man.
    I'd love to see them moshing and wheeling off the stage to crowd surf.
    You know, you don't actually sound smarter or louder in all caps - the intonation is all in your head, man. Here's the real question: the US Navy has finally done away with them (all caps), so why don't you?
    "MUSIC IS FOR EVERYONE". That is the argument so many of us made in the 90's when the school districts around the country began disabling their music curriculum's as they propagandized us with their "We have no money for these programs" spiel, all the while the sports teams were purchasing new uniforms and astro turf, in high school stadiums. There are countless scholarly and journal articles that are testament to the benefit of music among the disabled people of the world. Regardless of their disabilities, music is the one constant in many of their lives, and benefits them both emotionally, psychologically, and physiologically. I am the parent of a 23 year old mid/high functioning person with Aspergers. The details are irrelevant, the fact is, Music is our link to being a family who can communicate. It opened the door for her. I think just the idea that music venues would be unavailable to some people because of a physical demand, in an of itself demands attention, and correction. We are all just one car accident, bike accident, or any other accident away from being the one stuck outside. Personally, I hope that is never me.