As Live Music Booms in China, Disabled Fans Call for More Inclusion

The return of large-scale pop concerts has sparked huge excitement in China over recent months. But fans with disabilities still face serious barriers to accessing the events — and they’re calling for change.

The return of live concerts has caused wild excitement in China over recent months, with music fans fighting — sometimes literally — to get into stadiums and see their favorite artists perform for the first time since 2019.

But one group has felt left behind amid the hype: the country’s 38 million people living with disabilities.

China has invested in improving disabled access to public venues in recent years, but members of the disability community say that they still face a number of barriers — especially when attending big events like pop concerts.

The issue came under the national spotlight in July, when a disabled influencer on the microblogging platform Weibo posted an account of trying to attend a recent gig in the southern city of Guangzhou — an ordeal that he said left him “mentally exhausted.”

The 25-year-old — who lost his ability to walk after a vascular tumor ruptured his spinal cord seven years ago — made several calls to the organizers before the gig, but was still unable to enter the venue at first because the barriers were too narrow.

After speaking with several security guards and venue staff, he was finally allowed to enter via an alternative gate. But he then had to find more staff to help open the stadium’s wheelchair area, as the space had been left locked. Continue to read the full article here

This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.