The number of deaf and disabled fans attending live music events in the U.K. is on the rise.
In 2015, almost 144,000 concert tickets were sold to disabled patrons, up 26 percent on the previous year's total, according to music charity Attitude is Everything, which analyzed box office data from over 100 U.K. music venues and festivals.
In financial terms, the sales amount to an estimated gross of £7.5 million ($9.9 million) when supplementary spending by personal assistants and food and drink purchases is taken into account, says London-based Attitude is Everything.
It cites an increase in the number of venues that have signed up to its Charter of Best Practice among the reasons behind the year-on-year growth. New sign-ups in the past 12 months include The Lowry in Salford and Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena, who join London's 20,000-capacity The O2 arena and Glastonbury festival among the 100-plus venues and large-scale festivals looking to improve concert experiences for disabled and deaf music fans.
By signing up to the best practice charter, venue operators pledge to make an ongoing commitment to improving accessibility and go beyond the legal obligations of the 2010 Equality Act, which legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. They also agree to be visited and ‘mystery shopped' by Attitude is Everything's network of volunteers.
"As well as encouraging innovation and best practice, this practical and straightforward process sends out an important message of inclusivity to deaf and disabled fans across the UK, who are attending live music events in ever increasing numbers," commented Attitude is Everything CEO Suzanne Bull.
"The success of this approach is born out by today's figures, which also highlight the growing demand for deaf and disabled fans to attend live music events," added charity patron and managing director of Manchester-based event production company Ground Control, Jon Drape.
Ground Control events were among those that saw the largest spikes in disabled ticket sales in 2015, with Festival Number 6 and The Parklife Weekender up 107 percent and 55 percent, respectively.