NO FREE PASS
Bishop’s Falls family upset by lack of understanding from promoter
Family upset with lack of empathy from Blake Shelton concert promoter
It can be difficult in the best of times to attend a once-in-alifetime event. It is, by definition, a rare opportunity.
The task is even more daunting if you have a physical disability.
However, Mick Roberts of Bishop’s Falls wasn’t about to let anything keep him from going to see Blake Shelton perform in Grand Falls-Windsor.
Roberts resident suffers from Duchene Muscular Dystrophy — a genetic disorder causing progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. He’s been confined to a wheelchair since the age of 13.
These days he spends most of his days confined to a hospital bed at home with his parents, Mary and Dave, to care for him.
When the 27-year-old heard Blake Shelton was coming to Grand Falls-Windsor, his family began making plans for him to attend.
However, the concert promoter’s policy on tickets almost hijacked their plans.
The policy, among other constraints, does not allow “free” passes for medical attendants.
The Roberts says they learned that even if tickets are paid for, a maximum of one person is allowed entry to the special seating area
So if a medical attendant requires a bathroom break their patient would, in theory, would have to remain unattended.
The Roberts family contacted concert promoter David Carver.
“He (promoter David Carver) told me his policy for the 30 years he’s been in business as a promoter is not to give away free tickets…,” Mick’s father Dave told The Advertiser. “Then he started telling me ‘why should Mick get a ticket for the escort?’”
Roberts father says it was an easy question to answer. He said Mick requires his medical equipment and a medical attendant wherever he goes. His requirements are unique, said his father, which is the nature of his disability.
Much like a quadriplegic requires a chair, Mick’s attendant is a tool. From past experiences, he says, Mick’s medical attendant is always admitted fee of charge to an event.
“We bought two tickets, one for Mary and one for Mick…,” said the elder Roberts. “But when they messaged us back, they said ‘no the escort wasn’t included.’”
Dave explained Mick’s condition to event staff, and says he also explained the attendant was a requirement for Mick.
When no resolution could be found by speaking with event staff, Roberts says he raised the issue to social media, posting on Facebook about their dilemna.
Following that Facebook post, Roberts received a call from the concert promoter David Carver. Roberts says while the condition regarding the number of people in the special seating area has been waived, the promoter was not willing to provide a free ticket for Mick’s attendant.
Bishop’s Falls resident Mick Roberts isn’t going to let his disability, or anything else, keep him from attending this year’s Blake Shelton concert in Grand Falls-Windsor on Aug. 26.