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Access denied: no Sheeran or Mars tickets for people with disabilities

Wheelchair users may as well live on Mars for the sheer remote chance of getting tickets

Dignity Party MLC Kelly Vincent is calling on Ticketek to urgently improve their sales process after many South Australians with disabilities have been unable to purchase tickets for the upcoming concerts for Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran, due to an apparent malfunction of Ticketek’s “special needs” booking service.

“People with disability have just as much right to attend music, entertainment and sporting events as everyone else,” says Kelly Vincent.

“Yet time after time, barriers such as physical access or poor ticketing procedures prevent us attending these events. It’s just not good enough.

“One family who’ve had a really difficult time buying tickets tell me that they have now been blocked on Facebook by Ticketek after demanding better service. This is a completely outrageous response to a family seeking fair access.

“Many others have called the Ticketek Special Needs Booking Service more than 100 times without being able to get through on even one occasion, as the line is constantly engaged.  It does not even ring.  It is clear Ticketek need to allocate more staff to this Booking Line.

“Ticketek state that people with disabilities who either have specific access needs (e.g. wheelchair access) or that use Companion Card, can only purchase tickets through the telephone hotline, and are unable to attend outlets or buy online, particularly for pre-sale tickets.

“Cinemas and other venues are able to provide an online booking service to people with disabilities, so it’s time big ticketing companies moved into the 21st Century and started providing a modern, fair for all service.

“One family contacted me because their 15 year old son is a massive Ed Sheeran fan, as well as being a wheelchair user.  He has never been to a concert (other than The Wiggles) and although his parents are keen to take him to see Ed Sheeran, they just can’t book the tickets, it is just so unfair.

“The disability community is getting a raw deal when it comes to buying tickets or entry to community, arts and sporting events – it’s time ticketing services and venues either improve their access, or face prosecution under the Disability Discrimination Act,” said Ms Vincent.