Disability, festivals and events, Lifestyle, london

Disability Tax for Coldplay Tickets (update)

By Simon Sansome

Coldplay, are going on tour this summer and is most likely going to be their final tour, and being a Coldplay fan, I wanted to treat myself to one of their final shows. 

With this in mind I wanted a big blow out at Wembley Stadium and get one of the posh seats in the hospitality section. 

I have never done this before, never have a money to do this before, and so it is going to be an experience, a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

However, Wembley have different ideas. I have been to the stadium a number of times, to watch football and concerts. Using the normal accessible seats around the ground, never a booth. 

Wembley Stadium

Every time I have booked a ticket to go to one of these events my carer got in free of charge as it is essential for me to have a carer otherwise, I cannot go. 

I cannot get in and out of the car by myself because I cannot hoist my wheelchair into the back of the car. Given that I am paralysed from the waist down I also may need assistance with personal care. 

I wanted to buy the Diamond Ticket and yes, it is expensive at £500, this is what you get…

Diamond Package

£499 INC VAT

  • Reserved ticket in a central seating block
  • Relaxed and informal ‘lounge style’ hospitality
  • Exclusive access to hospitality lounge pre-show and for one hour post-show
  • Inclusive beers, wines and soft drinks from lounge opening and one hour post-show
  • A wide ranging grazing menu served before the main act
  • Post-show munchies available plus access to the after-show party (concludes one hour post-show)
  • Concert goodie bag for each guest

Wembley Stadium want to charge me what is effectively a disability tax. They want to charge me an extra £250 for being unable to walk, because I cannot get out by myself. 

If I was fully mobile, I would not have to pay this charge. So why are they charging me? 

I contacted Wembley Stadium for a statement to give them the option to comment on this story, on why they are charging disabled customers £250 extra for the privilege of being disabled and having a carer with them. 

I spoke to someone in Customer Services, they explained they would get someone to speak to me as soon as possible. 

They placed me on hold for over an hour, while I waited for an answer, but alas no answer was given, no one came back to me. I can only guess they went into hiding.  

Waiting for over an hour while they find an answer to my question.

Wembley Stadium have come back to me now and have offered a free ticket for a carer as a one off here’s my reply…

“I really want to thank you for the effort you have put into this it’s a lovely thought that my carer can go free of charge as a one off, however sadly I cannot accept.

I have 100,000 followers from the disabled community on social media and half a million people a week tune into a show called The Grumpy Gits and it has taken a news story to get Wembley Stadium to take some action on this policy.

I cannot justify accepting this gesture when if the person sitting next to me in a wheelchair in the same booth has paid £250 more than I have.

Here is a real hypothetical situation. There’s a 15-year-old who is paralysed in a wheelchair and he loves Coldplay and he really wants to see them live in a suit. The ticket is costing £500, however they have had to pay for one of his parents to come with them at a an extra £250. While my carer is completely free of charge, while the gesture is nice, the policy and procedures need to change and I cannot accept this offer unless Wembley Stadium change their policies towards disabled people and what is affectively a disability tax.

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