Judge rules Little Mix concert promoter discriminated against group of deaf mothers at 2017 concert

·2-min read
Judge rules Little Mix concert promoter discriminated against group of deaf mothers at 2017 concert

A judge has ruled that a concert promoter for Little Mix discriminated against a group of deaf mothers in 2017.

As reported by BBC News, district judge Ian Avent ordered LHG Live to financially compensate three mothers — Sally Reynolds, Sarah Cassandro and Victoria ​​Nelson — after it failed to provide an interpreter for the supporting acts at a 2017 Little Mix concert in West Sussex.

Reynolds, Cassandro and Nelson had requested a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter for the concert they attended with their children, who can hear.

Live allegedly offered carer tickets and said the group could bring their own interpreter.

Judge Avent dismissed LHG Live’s claim that the promoter did not have enough time to accommodate the group’s request.

He said it was “slightly surprising” that LHG Live (known as Live in the United Kingdom) had not been asked to provide a BSL interpreter at their concerts before.

What was more concerning, added the ruling, was that Live appeared not to have considered the possibility of disabled persons attending their shows.

He believed Live viewed the group’s request as a “nuisance” and provided solutions in a “high-handed manner” without empathy or understanding.

Judge Avent ordered the company, owned by Liz Hobbs, to pay the mothers £5,000 each for injury to feelings.

After the court ruling, Reynolds told reporters: “The three of us wanted the same access to the event that everyone else had.”

In a 2018 interview with BBC News, Reynolds said: "We asked two or three times, please can you provide the interpreter for us, and the explanation we got back was just a ‘no’.”

Adamant that didn’t amount to full access under the Equality Act 2010, Reynolds instructed her lawyers to apply for a court injunction to force Live to provide an interpreter.

While Live agreed to the group’s request just hours before the concert, it failed to book the interpreter for the two supporting acts that played before the girl band took the stage.

Reynolds previously likened the experience to only getting access to the “last 20 minutes” of a film.

At the time, Live told the news organisation it gave the women upgraded tickets, access to private toilets, and the set list in advance of the concert, in addition to ensuring an interpreter was present at the show.

However, Reynolds’ lawyer Chris Fry alleged that the promoter refused to accept interpreters were reasonably required and “threatened the families with costs liabilities of over £100,000”.

The Independent has reached out to Live for a comment.

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