Aiken no longer giving free entry to carers
Music promoters Aiken Promotions is no longer allowing free entry to concerts for people taking care of disabled concert-goers. Many promoters, both at home and abroad, charge only the disabled patrons for tickets and their carers are allowed free access.
A spokeswoman for Aiken Promotions said last night that free tickets were supplied to carers “at one point in the past” but this practice had been discontinued “as part of an overall policy review”.
The promoter’s policy on the provision of services for disabled patrons “sets out to ensure that patrons with physical or other disabilities should, as far as possible, be treated in the same manner as those who are able-bodied”, she said.
“Where this is insufficient to meet needs, then additional provisions will be made where this is possible and practicable. Aiken Promotions has taken advice on developing this policy from organisations representing disabled people.”
However, she said that the matter of a carer ticket “where a patron expresses a need for assistance which can only be provided by their personal carer” was under “active consideration” by the promoters.
A man acting in the capacity of a carer – who did not wish to be identified – said yesterday it was important for health and safety that disabled patrons be accompanied by their own personal carer.
“It’s a health and safety thing because the person knows the specific needs of the disabled person,” he said.
“Normally when you go to a concert, the disabled person pays for a ticket and the carer goes for free because they act as a steward for them if they need to go to the toilet or go home or anything.
“With this promoter, we’re both being charged full price. Obviously they are not going to have a steward for every disabled person there and they are not using the money to cater for them.
“We’re also going to the O2 to see Fleetwood Mac and that is purpose-built – being in there is like being inside your own home in terms of the facilities for the disabled – and they still only charge for one ticket.”