When you want to go to a big concert, you rush to get online and make sure the tickets aren’t sold out. I’m recently disabled and I was in for a huge wake-up call from TicketMaster when I tried to purchase accessible seating online.
My Ears Love the Clubs But My Eyes Hate It
I have auto-immune related disabilities and a lot of newer migraine related issues when dealing with flashing lights. Unfortunately, as someone who is a musical performer and lover of music, I don’t get many opportunities to participate in those club-related activities anymore due to the lighting.
Plus, I require the use of service dog and can’t be in crowded spaces where he can get injured. In other words, I simply need some disability accessible seating and a way to avoid flashing lights in order to go to a show.
I’m Blindfolding Myself and Going For It
I knew there must be a happy medium in order to go to some shows and enjoy them without having to see them. My experimentation with being blindfolded was working. My next step was to figure out which venues would be accessible to someone with disabilities.
Imagine my delight when I noticed that the upcoming Girl Talk show in March 2011 was going to be a venue that had disability seating. In order to get disability related seating, I simply needed to contact TicketMaster and let them know my concerns.
TicketMaster’s Accessibility Email Run Day 5
The first day, I received three emails letting me know they were working on the problem. After two subsequent days of not hearing from them, I wrote them asking if they had heard any news. They did not respond. Three days after that, I still did not hear any response. Even worse, I still didn’t have my tickets!
Will I Go To See Girl Talk in Oakland or Stay Home?
In the meantime, I am extremely worried that I will not be able to go to the Girl Talk show because the tickets will be sold out. It turns out, I may just have to wait and wait until the issue is resolved. Hopefully, they will hold a couple of tickets for me until they figure it out.
In the back of my mind, I wonder what to expect. After all, it seems to me that I should be able to order an accessible ticket instantly without a lot of extra hassle.
Two weeks after Girl Talk tickets went on sale and 12 days after I started TicketMaster’s system, I was told by officials at TicketMaster that disability seating was not available at the venue. So why did they advertise that they had this possibility when they did not? Otherwise, I could have checked the venue and assumed there would not be disability accessible seats.
If The Forecastle Festival Can Do It, Why Can’t TicketMaster?
My advice to TicketMaster? Do not advertise the accessible seating option if you know already that you do not have it. Furthermore, as a former volunteer coordinator at the Forecastle Festival in Louisville, KY, I find it outrageous and awfully fishy that disability access has not been addressed by Girl Talk, Ticket Master, or the venue in Oakland, CA hosting the event.
Surely if a group of volunteer activists in Kentucky can put on a multi-million dollar music festival that is 100% wheelchair accessible, a group of professionals in the business could do the same thing.
TicketMasters Long List of ADA Offenses
When I looked online to find solutions to my problem, instead I found a long list of rather nasty complaints filed by other disabled people against TicketMaster. It doesn’t appear that there have been any major moves to resolve the issue either. Instead, it does appear that TicketMaster is making minor moves in order to get the ADA off their backs.
In the meantime, if you feel that you have a complaint to file against TicketMaster and other businesses that advertise as accessible, you can contact them at ada.gov.