Sage Gateshead – to buy accessible tickets I have to join a ‘disability register’

Sage Gateshead, 13 November 2019

I tried to order tickets for an event at Sage Gateshead. Buying tickets was not available on line so I called as instructed. I was told that in order to buy a wheelchair accessible ticket I would need to join a disability register, which felt deeply uncomfortable from the outset. Then to bring a personal assistant I would need to supply to Sage Gateshead some proof, such as a PIP letter, that I needed a PA and couldn’t use the CEA scheme which is accepted by the vast majority of venues and cinemas. All of this would take 10 days to process – by which time the tickets I want are likely to have sold out. The whole scheme, the collection of data, the need to be ‘registered’ feels beyond inconvenient and almost sinister. I just want to be able to buy tickets the same way as everyone else – and not have an organisation collect my ‘disability’ information. At a time when Ticketmaster and other organisations are simplifying buying accessible tickets then Sage are adding multiple layers of complexity and making things more difficult. I’m also concerned they could be breaching GDPR rules about collecting and holding data unnecessarily. Very disappointing from what has previously been one of the more accessible venues in the North East.