A Woman With A Disability Has Shared Her Fked Experience Organising Taylor Swift Tickets

Photos of Amy and Rebecca Evans with captions which reads: "But this is the discrimination we're facing from Ticketek and Frontier when it comes to getting accessible tickets for Taylor Swift... in this day and age, it shouldn't be this hard!! In fact I'm willing to offer free advice on how to make their ticketing process more accessible. If you could please share and tag whoever to help get this message across, that would be much appreciated!"

Ticketek and Frontier Touring have been called out by Amy and Rebecca Evans for allegedly being “discriminatory” towards people with disabilities ahead of the Australian leg of Taylor Swift‘s Eras Tour.

On Friday, the Evans sisters uploaded a joint Instagram post detailing their frustrations with Ticketek, Frontier Touring and the Melbourne Cricket Ground after they faced multiple difficulties when they attempted to organise tickets for the highly anticipated Eras Tour.

In the lengthy IG post, the twins highlighted four instances of alleged discrimination they faced while trying to organise wheelchair tickets.

“Like many Taylor Swift fans, we’re planning to get tickets to her Melbourne shows. However, unlike her other fans, we’re facing discrimination when it comes to buying tickets,” they wrote.

“As we have a disability, we can’t just purchase tickets online along with everyone else (discrimination number one). So Rebecca rang up both the venue, organiser and Ticketek to find out more details in preparation for the presale on Monday.”

During their conversations with the organisers, the sisters revealed they were told that wheelchair seating would not be guaranteed in any of the VIP sections. However, both sisters require wheelchair seating as they both share the rare condition, Nemaline Rod Muscular Myopathy (NM).

Amy told ABC News: “My muscles are weaker compared to most people, with my limb, trunk and facial muscles affected the most.”

Both sisters use electric wheelchairs to help with their mobility, and they also use ventilators to help them breathe.

(Source: Instagram / @amy_c_evans)

According to a text message shared in the IG post, a Ticketek spokesperson said seating allocations are only visible once the tickets go live. The sisters also claimed it was “suggested that [they] can’t get VIP tickets because [they] need companion tickets” for their support workers.

“This is despite needing to take support workers due to being ventilator dependent. As if Rebecca and I wouldn’t love to just be able to go to a concert together, just the two of us!” the sisters wrote.

To make things even more difficult, the Evans twins claimed that Ticketek told them to “fill out an online form”. They also allege that Ticketek would not be selling Eras Tour tickets through their Accessible Booking phone line.

“Ticketek are saying to fill out the online form but, as we have experienced in the past, by the time Ticketek actually call you back the VIP tickets are often all sold out to people who can buy online,” they wrote.

“The online form is simply a way to work through accessible seating allocations, but if accessible seating hasn’t been allocated in the VIP areas to start with, then filling out the online form is like playing Russian roulette as to if there will be any VIP floor seats left.”

Since the twins uploaded their experience, many people have offered support. Some folks have even come forward with their own stories.

“I’ve had a lot of people commenting that they relate to my issues, as they also have struggles purchasing tickets to concerts as a wheelchair user,” Amy told PEDESTRIAN.TV

“Which, while this is comforting to know I’m not alone, is disappointing to hear how widespread this issue is considering how little attention the issue gets.”

A day after they made their post, Frontier Touring responded to the twins via their IG comments. The company mentioned that accessibility options would be available for all price categories. They also noted that companion cards will be honoured in VIP, minus merchandise inclusions.

(Source: Instagram / @amy_c_evans)

Although Frontier Touring was able to answer issues around companion cards and VIP accessibility options, Amy pointed out that the specific allocations of wheelchair seating, as well as the number that would be available, were not clarified in the company’s statement.

(Source: Instagram / @amy_c_evans)

Speaking to PEDESTRIAN.TV, Amy said the MCG has been the most helpful so far during this experience. She also said Rebecca spent at least five hours on the phone trying to organise these tickets.

This isn’t the first time the sisters have called out discrimination in concert venues and in ticketing.

In 2019, Amy critiqued a variety of venues and ticketing companies for the way they handle wheelchair-accessible seating on her blog, The Velvet Court. She also shared stories where she and her sister faced difficulties booking accessible seating. One of the incidents happened at a Taylor Swift concert at Optus Stadium.

(Source: Instagram / @amy_c_evans)

In one story, Amy claimed they were told that wheelchair seats were not available on the floor because they would be a “fire hazard”.

“Not only was it discrimination, but if there was a fire, seats on the floor are actually safer because in the tiers, we’d have to use the lift to get out (which can’t be used during a fire), while on the floor we can just drive straight out as it’s on the ground floor,” she wrote.

As mentioned earlier, Amy and her sister have seen an immense amount of support from folks online. But unfortunately, some people have reached out, saying that they’re facing the same difficulties.

In response to the support, Amy encourages those to “be persistent” and not “settle for what you are offered” when trying to purchase tickets.

“The more voices we can add to this conversation, the more traction we are likely to get in terms of actually getting systemic change when it comes to the ease of booking concert tickets for wheelchair users,” Amy said.

Frontier Touring told PEDESTRIAN.TV accessibility options will be available for all price categories at the Eras Tour.

“As with all tickets, demand is expected to be incredibly high, and we expect all tickets will sell out quickly — no guarantees can be made on any ticket type for this tour,” it said.

“Ticketek is the contracted ticketing agency for both the MCG and Accor Stadium. As the promoter, we have no control over their appointment, the technology they use for accessible seating or their customer service processes. We have been in contact with Ticketek around this topic and understand they are addressing the concerns of fans.”

Ticketek told PEDESTRIAN.TV it “does not determine the allocation or location of tickets and VIP Package inclusions” and the promoter is the one that sets these.

“Customers with accessible needs can buy Accessible tickets to the Taylor Swift – The Eras Tour by completing the online accessible booking form,” it said.

“Ticketek prioritises fair access to tickets for all fans, which is why this form will be made available on the Ticketek site when tickets go on sale. We will work through these requests in the chronological order in which they are received.   

“A dedicated support line will be made available to assist fans through the process.”

Image Source: Instagram / @amy_c_evans