Getting Wheelchair Accessible Concert Tickets
Last updated: August 2023
If you’ve ever lost out on accessible/ADA tickets to your favorite band or musician, today is your lucky day because I am sharing my tricks for always locking down a sure fun night.
How, you ask? Because I am in a wheelchair which comes with a lot of untapped privileges.
Do your research on the venue
When a band announces a tour, they’ll put up a list of venues along with the date that tickets will go on sale. Find the venue that’s closest to you and take time to familiarize yourself with the venue and its website.
Most venues will have a seating chart you can look at, which will show the locations of accessible seats and the surrounding seating sections. You can find this either on the venue website or simply by Googling “[venue name] seating chart.”
This information will come in handy when it’s time to purchase tickets as you won’t have to guess what seats have the best view or where to place your less fun friends (or parents) so they’re close but not too close.
Another thing you’ll want to check out on the venue website is their accessibility/ADA guidelines. This is often found on the FAQ page and can provide helpful information such as restrooms, parking, accessible entrances, and, most importantly, the phone number to the accessible seating office.
Always call for accessible seating
When it comes to getting wheelchair accessible or ADA compliant seats, always call the accessible ticket office at your desired venue and stay away from purchasing online. This is for a few reasons which I’ll get to.
In recent years, Ticketmaster has tried to accommodate disabled individuals by offering accessible seats on their website. But the location of those seats and the quantity that’s available is sometimes incorrect due to venues changing their seating charts and not notifying Ticketmaster.
To avoid this, call the accessible ticket office and purchase directly from them as they’ll know exactly where to sit you. Plus, you can tell them how many companion seats you need and they’ll attempt to sit your entire party together or nearby.
Ticketmaster or other third-party websites will often only let you purchase two companion seats with an ADA seat.
The best time to call the ticket office
The most important time to call the accessible ticket office is during a pre-sale or when tickets go live for a popular event. Since the accessibility/ADA ticket office works directly for the venue, they don’t have to wait in an online queue with a hundred-thousand other people. They’re able to jump to the front of the queue and purchase the necessary tickets for guests with disabilities.
But, it’s crucial that you call the ADA office before tickets for your event go on sale to confirm someone will be working on that day and time.
Dealing with a smaller venue
Most of this advice is geared towards larger venues like football or basketball stadiums.
Smaller venues are mostly general admission tickets, meaning you’ll be in a sweaty mosh pit and hoping somebody doesn’t spill a beer on your wheelchair. If that’s your scene, those venues also have ADA information on their website and are always happy to help the best they can when it comes to accessibility.
My only other advice...just have fun and be safe!
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