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How to purchase accessible event tickets

Most UK venues and festivals offer free Personal Assistant (aka carer or companion) tickets for attendees who need them. However, it is worth noting that applications for PA tickets can close some time ahead of general admission sales. This can unfortunately mean that disabled attendees are excluded from buying resale tickets or waiting until close to the date of an event to make a decision on attending.

In general, live event accessibility policies are handled by venues rather than promoters or artists. The exception for this seems to be conferences, whose venues may not have their own box offices. In this case, conference organisers may take the lead on their event’s access policy.

Some UK venues and events will require you to provide proof of disability in order to apply for accessible facilities and support. However, many will accept a Nimbus Access Card, which is a worthwhile purchase to avoid emailing copies of sensitive documents for each event that you wish to attend.

Some conferences, educational, or professional development events, such as the Audio Developer Conference, offer Diversity Scholarships or similar schemes, to allow people from underrepresented or low income backgrounds to attend at no cost.

Some events may also feature on Tickets for Good’s Ticket Bank platform, to allow attendees who receive Cost of Living support to purchase a ticket at a low cost, though applications are limited to a short time window for each event.

Live Nation offer guidance on how to purchase accessible tickets for their events.

Some venues, such as Bristol Beacon, allow disabled attendees to join their Access Register or similar, which automatically enables priority booking and a free PA ticket for each booking made at the venue. There is currently an initiative, All In, to develop a national access register, with details shared between participating venues and organisations.

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Jay Pocknell

Jay Pocknell