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.
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…
£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.
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.