Music knows no boundaries so why barriers at concert venues, ask disabled music lovers
Piyush Sharma‘s love for music is endless. He not only listens to it but is a musician as well. A wheelchair user, Piyush ensures he never misses a single concert across India. However, the lack of accessibility is something that is a major turn off.
For starters, most venues lack wheelchair ramps and accessible washrooms. Then after entering the venue, people using wheelchairs and other assistive devices have to wait for a long time until authorities finish checking. This makes things inconvenient.
Until now, I have not attended any music concert that has provisions or facilities for a wheelchair user. Even the venues are not accessible. Some of them have steep stairs at the entry which makes it difficult for a wheelchair user. Piyush Sharma, Musician
Piyush says that an exclusive space must be reserved for people with disabilities at venues.
“This can be near the console at an elevated platform so that we can watch bands play. I have spoken to a few music concert organisers who have assured that they will do their best. It is high time that we are also made to feel part of the crowd”.
Creating accessible spaces is not tough if planned for well in advance. Like, organisers can have an exclusive option for people with disabilities when they book tickets online. This will give them an an idea about how many people with disabilities are going to attend the event. It will also help them make provisions accordingly.
Salman Syed, founder of Bangalore Open Air, a heavy metal music festival held every year in Bengaluru has promised to make a change. The festival he organises is powered by the internationally acclaimed Wacken Open Air Music Festival, known for accessible and disabled-friendly features. Salman says that the 2020 event will be different.
“We always had an exclusive space for people with disabilities at our concerts which is at the right side of the console. But we have been getting feedback from people with disabilities that they want to become a part of the crowd. So we are planning to have an uplifted platform next to the console”, promises Salman.
Not only will this open doors to more music lovers, it will also attract larger crowds, a win win for everyone.