UPDATE: R has emailed us (7.30pm) to tell us he has been given a disabled/carer’s pass and hope he now enjoys return visits to Motorpoint Arena! A record we only blogged about this 3 hours ago…
We were contacted by a disabled music fan (who we will call R) based in Cardiff who asked if we could help sort out why he had not heard back from CIA/Motorpoint Arena regarding his appeal to be re-accepted for a Disabled / Carer’s pass. He has been waiting FOUR months.
UPDATE: The good news is Attitude is Everything has also helped and the Arena they have promised to get in touch with R immediately.
R has emailed us to say:
“Thanks so so much for your help in this matter! You are a breath of fresh air.”
Back to earlier … R wrote to us providing more information about his disabilities (which for privacy reasons is not mentioned here).
He did tell us:
“I am disabled … for many years I have attended concerts at the CIA/Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff with the help of my carer.
Some months ago they advised me that I would have to re-apply for my disability/carers pass. This I did evidencing my high level of care needs.
I was rejected on the grounds that they considered that they had staff who could cater for my needs.
I appealed, detailing my concerns.
To this end, despite several emails I have limited contact, to say that someone would get back to me. This was in early April and despite reminders, I am being completely ignored. Is there anyone within the Live Nation organisation that I can contact regarding my appeal?”
I am not sure what grounds R was rejected but from the information provided to us it is clear that someone who has carer support would need that person to accompany them. Being told to rely on stewards who are not trained to offer carer support is astounding and could be dangerous as well as inappropriate.
The Silver Charter is offered to venues who:
- Go beyond the legal minimum level of physical access
- Have an early entrance option
- Backstage/stage access
- An accessible and diverse recruitment policy
- An ‘Access Address Book’
- Extend Disability Equality Training
- Access to the performance
- Extend access policies to partners
When I contacted the Box Office earlier today (11 July 2013) to find out who we needed to speak to the person we spoke to was not only unhelpful but unable to give us any information about access arrangments to the venue nor how to apply for the disabled/carer’s pass.
When I pointed out there was no information on their website page and asked for the name of the person we needed to speak to – that was not forthcoming. We asked for the Box Office Manager who unfortunately wasn’t available. UPDATE: I’ve been advised that the website will be updated in line of Attitude is Everything’s factsheets.
We were told vagely that we needed to speak to the Live Access Department and to “leave a message on the answerphone”.
Indeed the Live Access Department number appears to be just a dedicated answerphone and we only managed to speak to one of the front of house staff by ringing the general number.
That person was not only helpful but gave us their email address to send on details which they promised to pick up with The Box Office Manager and her deputy.
It is shocking that it has been four months since R contacted the arena to remind them of his appeal and he is still waiting to hear back from the Box Office Manager.
That is a long time to wait considering Motorpoint Arena’s committment to Attidue is Everything’s Charter.
Live Nation who run the arena are a big supporter of Attitude is Everything – their work and the groundbreaking campaining by Suzanne Bull (who this year received an MBE) has transformed the way disabled and deaf music fans can enjoy music festivals and gigs.
Their charter has some really great practical points:
In regards to getting a disabled / carer’s pass – that will depend on the critiera. I suspect that in this instance it is the fact the person concerned is not a wheelchair user may be a factor.
No one can really judge how much support and personal assistance a person needs and Motorpoint Arena needs to be open and clear about what criteria and basis they are accepting membership for disabled / carer’s pass.
Is the priority wheelchair users?
Would deaf people qualify if the criteria includes the fact you to be in receipt of DLA as many profoundly deaf people have their DLA applications rejected.
Without knowing what their criteria is or how to apply for a pass (and what evidence do you need to provide? It is hard to judge.
Yet in this instance and others we have been told about ticket agents repeatendly failing disabled fans. Read Samantha’s blog back in April about being able to book tickets for the first time online it seems shocking that in 2013 this is only just happening: LiveNation, Ticketmaster, and Access to live music- Progress!!
Then there is Samantha’s blog about trying to book tickets for The Killers which exposes the huge difference in ticket offers by the SAME promoter at different venues which she describes as hitting her head against a brick wall.
Then there was Arsenal Football Club who’s Disability Liasion Officer couldn’t even be bothered to respond at all to Samantha’s concerns about inaccessible seating (they put disabled fans in the gods regardless of disability or access needs) and it was Coldplay who actually saved the day.
Lastly there is the chaos caused to disabled fans applying to Doctor Who 50th celebrations in London in November phoning a premium number to book carer’s tickets – that could have easily been set and offered online.
p.s. any music fans going to CIA/Motorpoint Arena Cardiff and need access information or need a carer’s pass here are the details so you contact them (if all else fails ring the main reception and press option 3 (for switchboard)
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff:
For Access Queries please contact LiveAccess:
Phone: 029 20 23 45 09
For further information call Main Reception on 029 20 23 45 00
In the arena’s instance this includes