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Ticketmaster launches accessible tickets online

Ticketmaster has launched online tickets sales for disabled fans in the UK, allowing customers to buy accessible tickets online for the first time.

Ticketmaster’s online booking validation process allows fans with accessibility requirements to purchase the correct tickets easily. Customers who make an online accessible order are asked to submit their requirements, such as a seat for a personal assistant, a wheelchair-accessible space or access to the best location to view sign language interpretation, via their Ticketmaster account. All information will be saved for future purchases.

The system will be rolled out for upcoming events as Glasgow’s Scottish Event Campus (SEC) venues, which include the 13,000-capacity SSE Hydro, Glasgow and Motorpoint Arena Cardiff.

“At Ticketmaster we believe equal access to live entertainment is paramount,” comments Ticketmaster UK managing director Andrew Parsons.

“We knew we had to do more for disabled fans and our team has worked hard on this ground-breaking technology that endeavours to make ticket buying simple for all. Every fan should have the same access to the events they love, it’s an ongoing process and one we continue to prioritise.”

“This is real progress for millions of disabled fans who are entitled to a variety of ways in which they can book their tickets”

A recent survey compiled by music accessibility charity Attitude is Everything (AIE) found that 83% of disabled gig-goers have been deterred from buying tickets due to inaccessible booking systems. Many reported paying extra to be able to buy a ticket online, or having no option to purchase online at all.

Suzanne Bull MBE, CEO of the charity, says she is “delighted” that accessible tickets are now available online.

“This is real progress for millions of disabled fans who are entitled to a variety of ways in which they can book their tickets,” says Bull. “In designing their new service, Ticketmaster has worked closely with us and our Ticketing Without Barriers Coalition to achieve the five steps to inclusive ticketing that we set out in our February 2018 State of Access report. We wish them every success.”

The new system will roll out across more events, venues and countries in the near future.

Motorpoint Arena Cardiff and Ticketmaster UK were among nominees for AIE’s Outstanding Attitude Awards this year.

 


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Lewis Capaldi embarks on UK, Ireland arena tour

Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi has announced a UK and Ireland arena tour for March 2020, adding a surcharge of 50p to every ticket to pay for anxiety support staff in each arena he visits.

Tickets for the arena tour go on sale on Friday 26 April, preceding the release of the singer’s debut album, Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, on 17 May.

The announcement follows sold-out tour dates across the UK and United States in 2019. “Cannot believe we’ve got an arena tour going on sale with one already sold out. Milking this one hit wonder thing,” jokes the singer on Twitter.

Capaldi recently added a second date at Glasgow’s the SSE Hydro (13,000-cap.) to the 2020 tour, which also includes shows at Dublin’s 3Arena (13,000-cap.), Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (5,000-cap.) and the SSE Arena, Wembley (12,500-cap.), as well as two performances at the O2 Apollo in Manchester (3,500-cap.).

The singer will use the tour to launch a new initiative called LiveLive, which provides support to fans suffering from anxiety or panic attacks. An additional 50p charged for each ticket will go towards funding a team at each venue qualified to assist in cases of panic, anxiety or any other forms of distress.

“I hate to feel that anyone’s anxiety is making them miss out on anything they want to do”

The initiative also includes the setting up of designated help points, a safe place or ‘escape room’ and a gig buddy system for those attending shows alone.

“I always get tonnes of messages from people online who have said they want to come to my shows but can’t because they’re struggling massively with anxiety or are just generally afraid they will have a panic attack during the show,” says Capaldi.

“I really wanted to put something in place to help those people feel comfortable and offer them support to allow them to experience the shows.

“I hate to feel that anyone’s anxiety is making them miss out on anything they want to do and LiveLive is my attempt at helping make these shows enjoyable for as many of those people who have been supporting this journey for me,” adds the singer.

The tour is promoted by Live Nation, DF Concerts, MCD Productions, SJM Concerts and DHP Family.

Capaldi was nominated for the critics’ choice award at this year’s Brit Awards in London.

A full list of tour dates can be found below:

Mon 2 March – O2 Apollo Manchester
Tue 3 March – O2 Apollo Manchester
Thu 5 March – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Fri 6 March – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Wed 11 March – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Thu 12 March – The SSE Arena Wembley, London

 


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Motorpoint Arena Cardiff celebrates 25th anniversary

This September marks the 25th anniversary of Wales’ Motorpoint Arena Cardiff. The venue, which has entertained over 10 million fans throughout its history, is celebrating the milestone birthday with a series of redevelopment projects and upgrades to the space.

The arena, owned and operated by Live Nation UK, has taken many forms over its 25-year history. Its 7,500-capacity (standing) space has at points been transformed into an ice rink, a boxing ring and a motocross dirt track.

To commemorate its quarter-century, a number of investments and regeneration projects have taken place over the last 12 months. Alongside the refurbishment of all bars onsite, the arena’s Exit Seven performance area has been upgraded in a bid to further support the emerging talent that relies on the space.

Two “Wall of Fame” designs have also been constructed around the arena, featuring the names of artists that have performed at the venue throughout the years. Since opening in 1993, acts to have performed include Beyoncé, P!NK, Elton John and Oasis.

“The Arena is a favourite for fans”

Speaking of the anniversary and the refurbishment projects, general manager Phil Sheeran, says: “Live Nation’s investment and commitment to the Arena these past 25 years has brought some of the biggest stars and the very best music, entertainment and sporting events to Wales and the South West.

“The Arena is a favourite for fans. Seeing international artists up-close and feeling part of the action is just one of the reasons why people return time and again.”

Huw Thomas, leader of Cardiff Council comments: “The Arena has been an important entertainment partner in Cardiff for the past 25 years, and was a critical part of Cardiff becoming the UK’s first Music City.”

2018 has seen a number of sold out shows for the venue, including performances from Paramore, Dua Lipa and Noel Gallagher. Upcoming shows include Florence + The Machine, Jess Glynne and the Prodigy.

 


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Live Nation given OK for second Cardiff venue

Live Nation has been granted permission to redevelop a Cardiff warehouse into a 10,000-capacity music and events venue.

In a 31 August meeting of Cardiff Council’s licensing subcommittee, city councillors voted to grant a premises licence to Live Nation UK to hold six events over three weekends annually for up to 9,999 people at Splott Warehouse (pictured), located in the Splott district in the east of the Welsh capital.

Despite some local opposition – largely on the grounds of noise pollution – councillors gave the go-ahead after Sam Bush, Live Nation’s president of UK touring, addressed the committee, stating that ‘the applicants were looking to achieve new opportunities by addressing the huge demand for music in the area,’ according to council minutes.

‘Live Nation has worked in partnership with local authorities and others to ensure that its activities are sustainable, and therefore it is important to build good relationships in terms of sound management and crowd management. Live Nation respect the opinions of other and will undertake to do everything possible to mitigate the impact of any events.’

“We want to try and find a way to satisfy the demand for music in the area”

Legal advisor Phil Crier confirmed Live Nation has signed a five-year agreement with the venue that “would allow for infrastructure to be brought in aimed at minimising impact. That impact would be assessed and mitigated against accordingly.”

“There’s a huge demand in the area for music, and we want to try and find a way to satisfy the demand for music in the area, whether that’s rock music or pop or family shows,” said Bush, adding that Live Nation was looking at several venues in Cardiff, reports Wales Online. “We’re trying to bring a variety of music to the area.

“This is the first step and we want to achieve that by doing things the right way.”

Live Nation operates one other venue in Wales: Cardiff’s 5,000-capacity Motorpoint Arena.

 


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