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State of Access Report 2018: Ticketing Without Barriers

09 Apr 2018

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This report focuses attention on the key customer service issue that impacts the ability of Deaf and disabled people to access live music – the experience of seeking to pre-book reasonable adjustments in order to meet access requirements.

In its 2016 State of Access Report, AIE asserted that access depends on customer service.  This has never been more the case, as venues and events across the UK put in place an array of access provisions whilst needing to control access to these via pre-booking.

This report is designed to offer a snapshot of how these models are currently working, sharing best practice case-studies, and teasing out what still needs to improve.

In doing so, it examines what barriers can arise when accessibility has beenconside red and adjustments put in place, but is then subject to the gatekeeping process of having to be booked.

AIE has decided to narrow its attention in ter ms of the scale and nature of the venuesand events that this report is concerned with.

The focus is:

  • Single day outdoor concerts.
  • Medium to large music venues and arenas.

In addition to this, the target audiences for this report are:

  • Events and venues with in-house ticketing departments.
  • Events and venues that utilise third party ticketing partners.
  • Ticketing companies that provide services to events and venues.

‘Reasonable adjustments’ are changes to policies, procedures or the physical environment that remove barriers that might place Deaf and disabled people at a substantial disadvantage when seeking to access something on an equal basis to nondisabled people.  The Equality Act 2010 states  that service providers have a duty tomake reasonable adjustments.

‘Access requirements’ are the changes a Deaf or disabled  person needs in order toaccess something on an equal basis to non-disabled people.

The report, includes the findings of its Access Booking Survey and the combined voice of hundreds of Deaf and disabled gig-goers.

Key findings…

Of over 300 respondents, 80% had experienced problems when booking tickets to live music events.  A similar number had been put off buying tickets due to non-accessible booking systems, while over 70% stated they had felt discriminated against. And while 37% felt that access booking had improved over the past four years, 1 in 10 had considered legal action.

The research also highlights the strong affinity that disabled audiences have with live music, and their contribution to the UK music business – with the 349 fans surveyed attending an average of 9 gigs or concerts in the past year, and 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.