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Concerts for Carers: Everything you need to know

As venues reopen and spectator limits are lifted, NHS staff and paid carers are being rewarded for all their incredible efforts with free concert tickets for events taking place across the country.

Concerts for Carers is a registered charity that aims to promote positive mental health and wellbeing by providing free social care worker tickets and NHS tickets for concerts so that those under pressure can see some of the world’s biggest music acts.

The charity was established in 2020 by music executives who raised funds via crowdfunding platforms to kickstart the initiative.

The reward scheme has been launched as a ‘thank you’ for key workers in the health and care sectors following the challenges of the pandemic. Perhaps best of all, eligible staff members can take along a guest who does not need to work in the sector.

The charity is backed by O2, the telecoms giant that lends its name to one of the world’s most popular events venues – London’s O2 Arena. As well as O2 concerts at the massive former Millennium Dome, tickets will be available at O2 Academy venues throughout the UK and a host of other event spaces.

Are you eligible for free Concerts for Carers tickets?

To be eligible for free carer tickets for concerts, staff working in health and care roles have to be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Currently working in the NHS, in any role (including volunteering), with a valid NHS ID badge
  • Employed in a residential, home care or support role for a provider registered with the relevant regulatory bodies* in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

    * That is the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England, Care Inspectorate Scotland, Care Inspectorate Wales, The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) in Northern Island, and the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) in the Republic of Ireland.

How to register and apply for tickets

The first step is to register on the Concerts for Carers website.

Registration must be completed with a work email address only and you will have to upload proof of a valid ID card.

Once registered, you can pick which events you’d like to attend and apply to enter the ballot for each one. You can apply for two tickets at a time; one for yourself as an eligible worker and one for a guest who can accompany you. The eligible member will have to attend the event and you may need to show your ID badge at the box office should you be collecting tickets. If you’re successful, you’ll be notified by email with details of how you will receive your free tickets.

You should be aware that although the tickets are free, there is a transaction charge made by the charity which is intended to cover running and administrative costs. At present, that charge is £4.50. You don’t pay anything upfront until your bid for free tickets has been successful.

It still works out as a massive discount, even taking into account the admin fee. For example, tickets to see Elton John (available on the scheme) are over £200 to see the music legend live at the O2.

If you have any specific access requirements, such as for a wheelchair, you can email the scheme or contact the venue directly.

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Who can I see with a free ticket and where?

The events listed for the upcoming months are pretty huge. Up to the end of 2021, eligible members can apply to see Elton John in his ‘Yellow Brick Road’ farewell tour, Genesis in their first calendar of events in 13 years, 80s electro-pop outfit Erasure and the eagerly awaited return of boyband JLS. With Steps, Blondie, McFly and Alanis Morissette to come, there’s something to suit everyone’s musical taste. Current listings with much more to follow presently run through to next summer.

It’s not just music that carers can enjoy either. Concerts for Carers are also providing tickets for WWE events, stand-up comedy performances, Disney on Ice around the Christmas period and the annual Strictly Come Dancing tour from February 2022. Once you’ve registered, keep checking the site, and your inbox, as new events are being added to the listings all the time.

Concerts for Carers have also said that they will be announcing ‘carer only’ events at the O2. So, even if you’re not successful in gaining tickets for one of the dates that are also open to the wider public, you should be sure of being able to get a ticket for one of the exclusive events.

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