"Disabled Genesis Tickets" - First hand observations and comments over the handling of Disabled tickets for Old Trafford by 'A Genesis Fan'.
My story begins on in November 2006 and the Genesis Press Conference. After months or was it years of speculation it is finally confirmed. Genesis will tour in 2007. Wonderful!
So what happens next? I am long term ill and need to use a wheelchair. Going to rock concerts normally involves some advance planning and in this case serious consideration as to whether I am capable of coping with a day out at Old Trafford next July. After some thought and discussion with family I decide that if I can get tickets I will go. Never mind the two/three months after it will take me to recover!! This is Genesis and I have been watching them live since 1971!
Reading the Genesis forum I am delighted to learn that registered users will get tickets 24 hours in advance. Excellent news for genuine fans even if such a system can never be perfect.
So seven days prior to the Presale I start making a few telephone calls. Solo, Ticketmaster and Old Trafford ( Manchester United Disabled Association - MUDA). It is usual for the venue to sell disabled rather than the ticket agency. The disabled line at the ground is only manned for 1 hour per day (then answerphone) but a very helpful gentleman explained that at that stage they had no details but please telephone on the Wednesday (the day before Pre Sale). I did telephone again and was told that they were not dealing with tickets. Please contact Ticketmaster.
On the Wednesday evening I duly got my Presale email with the online link. Following the instructions I was directed to a telephone number which seemed familiar. Yes MUDA. I knew from earlier they had no information so a private message was sent to the Genesis Forum Webmaster alerting him to the problem.
The morning of the Pre sale and no one would give me any answers. MUDA – nothing to do with us. Ticketmaster – contact MUDA! Late morning and a couple of telephone calls from excited fans and friends (Hi Alan!!!) telling me they had got tickets. See you there! I received no response to my private message until I sent a second message almost 24 hours later. This said Ticketmaster do not deal with disabled contact the number on the web page.
So we get to Friday. Tickets are now on general sale. Still hopefully this will not be a problem. The kind gentleman at MUDA sends me an email the contents of which are:
Many thanks for your email referring to disabled spectator tickets at the Genesis concert taking place at the Manchester United ground in July 2007.
Unfortunately, Ticket Master seem to have provided every disabled enquirer with incorrect information stating that a call to 0845 230 1989 is necessary to purchase a ticket and discover information relating to parking etc. In discussions with the relevant people making decisions on how and where tickets will be made available from, I have been told that it will be at least two months before the staff of Manchester United will be made aware of our responsibilities regarding this event.
In view of the above, I would therefore ask you to contact Ticket Master again to ask them if they have any further details to give to you.
During Friday I lost count of the number of emails sent and telephone calls made. No success. During the afternoon I booked another show at the NEC Birmingham. I telephoned their dedicated disabled line to book tickets. “Sorry computer is down can I call you back” Less than 5 minutes later tickets booked. If only it could be that easy!!
On the following Monday the Genesis webmaster provided me with a telephone contact at Ticketmaster. They took my details and said they would pass them on to Old Trafford. I also contacted two more people at Old Trafford including the Assistant Ticketing Operations Manager. All took my details and promised to contact me. MUDA again confirmed it was likely to be 2 months before anything happened.
Early in January I sent a polite note to Old Trafford to see if things had progressed. The response was “we expect tickets to be released in the next couple of weeks”.
Date 23rd February 2007. No emails, no telephone calls. Have the tickets been sold? No idea? Do I still want to go? Yes? No idea? or should I say “I Don’t Care Anymore”.
It would have been nice to have the same opportunity as other fans to buy a ticket. Whatever happened to the Disability Discrimination Act? I do think that Presale for disabled could have been organized. (Just collect a list of names & emails) but I do appreciate how busy the Webmaster must have been during this period. Ticketmaster? Well I have never had much luck with them? Old Trafford? I still hold out some hope! Do I live in a fool’s paradise?
So come on lads how about a live dvd from the tour? In twelve months or so perhaps I can sit at home one day and watch the show! Alternatively how about an indoor Arena tour in the autumn of 2007 or spring 2008?
Various people have suggested to me contact your MP, Disabled Rights Association or Tony Smith. Should getting a ticket really be that difficult?
I would be interested to know anyone who has got wheelchair space ticket at Old Trafford. How on earth did you manage it?
In all this time I have not shouted or tried to offend a soul!!!
A Genesis Fan.
23rd February 2007.