Last weeks blog, I discussed the difficulties and barriers of booking accessible tickets at gigs. This week I want to share my top tips on how to discover when events happen, how to research accessible facilities and how to book tickets:
1. Discovering tour dates of bands & artists
The key to finding live dates is subscribing to mailing lists and following bands and artists on social media. You will receive emails with tour dates and information when tickets are scheduled to be released. You can add yourself to mailing lists on particular musician’s websites and you can subscribe to ticket selling site’s mailing lists. The best ones to use are:
The Ticket Factory
In addition, Ticketmaster can send you ticket alerts for specific artists. For example, you want to know when Muse are next playing. Simply type “Muse” in the Ticketmaster search bar, then select “Get Ticket Alerts”, then when the band announce upcoming dates, you will receive an email giving those gig dates, the venues and release dates.
You can also find your favourite artists on social media. If you Like a band or artist on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter, then allow their posts to be shown on your news feed. When a tour is announced, an advert for it will appear on their timeline.
2. Finding out how to book accessible tickets
Once you’ve decided which event to attend, you need to find out how to book accessible tickets. The way I’ve done it is find the event on Ticketmaster, select it, then click on “accessibility” with a disabled sign on it. At this point, it should give you the contact details of where to book tickets. Most places have a telephone number. Some venues, such as The O2, have a dedicated accessible booking line. Others, like BH Live, who cover Bournemouth & Portsmouth, may ask you to join an access scheme before booking tickets. Whereas smaller venues may not provide accessible tickets and you just purchase standard tickets. If the information is not available here, go to the venue’s website and check their FAQ’s. If their website is unhelpful, phone or email their customer service team who can provide you information on their accessibility facilities. Make sure you do all this before tickets go on sale.
3. Booking the tickets
Before the general sale date, double check what time they are released. On release date, make sure you know how and where to book, have the phone number or website at the ready and your payment card. As soon as the clock strikes release time, begin booking. In most cases there will be a queue so patients is important. At the end of the day, it is first come, first serve, so the sooner you book, the luckier the chance of securing tickets.
4. Disability evidence
When booking accessible tickets, you are very likely to be asked to provide evidence of your disability. You can be asked to do this either before purchasing tickets, before being sent the tickets or bring the evidence to the event. A majority of the time they’ll ask for it before sending the tickets. For most major festivals, you purchase a standard ticket then they send you an access application pack a few months before the event. Once they’ve received it, many venues will keep the evidence for future reference, so if you attend their venue again they will automatically have your proof of disability. Evidence they can accept include:
• DLA/PIP or equivalent
• Medical professional’s letter
• D/deaf or blind registration
• The Access Card or equivalent
5. Never give up
There will be occasions you will miss out on tickets. This doesn’t mean you will never get a chance to see that band or artist live. There is hope they could add dates to their tour, do another tour later on in the year or appear at festivals. Plus musicians do play more than one tour throughout their career, so you could be lucky to see your favourite band or artist perform live at multiple events. For instance, I’ve seen Bastille 4 times, Muse, Kasabian, Royal Blood and Courteeners twice and about to see Foo Fighters for the third time this June.
If you would like to read more about my booking experiences the go to The mission of booking accessible tickets.
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