Jacob Cremen-Darkin had already gotten his hands on his father’s guitar before he could crawl. Music is a universal language for him. His favorite memory is of playing a baby grand piano for the graduating class in year 8.
“I guess I took a lot of things for granted before,” he admitted. In 2019, a man from Parramatta fractured his neck while performing a front flip. Mr. Cremen-spinal Darkin’s cord was crushed as he fell on his head, and he spent the following nine months in hospital.
But it wasn’t long before he began thinking about going to shows again, only to discover how tough it would be. “Simply being able to show up and not have to worry about accessibility, having a seat where I could watch the play, not having to worry about bathrooms because I could go anywhere… I wouldn’t have to consider it.”
Jacob isn’t alone: 4.4 million Australians, or 17.7% of the population, have some sort of impairment. However, just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you can’t love music.
“Music is something that we all like. We all enjoy celebrating it “he declares. Accessible seating areas, segregation from typical concert goers, and having something impede their direct line of sight have all been reported by people with disabilities across the country.
Similarly, many people say it’s tough to participate in VIP events, and they’re often put off from buying them because of their inaccessibility.
Pauline David, a self-employed Penrith woman with spina bifida, attends events on a regular basis. Ms David usually says she’ll pay for a seat in the gold area, but the ticketing business places her in a seat that isn’t wheelchair accessible.
“I’ve arrived at the venue, but there are no wheelchair spaces available because tickets are only issued for seats… They have no choice except to transfer you, and they may do so to a location with a lower monetary value “Ms. David explains.
“They’ll move me to the silver or bronze zones, but I’m not getting my [refund] back.”