Wheelchair user frustrated after Denton concert experience

Denton man pushes for concert venue change

DENTON — Joe Rivas is hardly a stranger to most people living in Denton.

At 48, the man born with cerebral palsy has become a common sight zipping around town in his wheelchair.

One of the reasons he said he lives in Denton is because it's so handicap friendly. But he said that wasn't the case at the North Texas Fair and Rodeo almost two weeks ago.

"There wasn't a platform," he said. "I didn't pay money to look at butts. I paid money to watch a concert."

Rivas said he and a handful of other wheelchair users at the August 27 performance of the Charlie Daniels Band weren't able to see any of the performance after being forced to the back with a huge crowd.

He said there was no raised platform for people with disabilities, nor was there an area close to the stage where they could comfortably and safely watch the concert.

"We couldn't see anything," he said. "I'm not real mad but there needs to be more awareness."

Rivas fired off an email, and posted a plea for a viewing platform and ramp to the organization's Facebook page a few days later.

He still hadn't heard a word as of Wednesday night.

The fair's executive director, Glenn Carlton, told News 8 they're planning to reach out to Rivas this week about his concerns.

He said their facilities on North Carroll Boulevard date back decades, and that they try to keep them as handicap accessible and friendly as possible.

"We haven't had any past issues with this," he said off camera on Wednesday. 

Rivas said he hopes they consider building a platform, even a small one, so that wheelchair bound folks can get a decent view of the popular concerts.

"I want to go back. I hope something is worked out," he said.

He plans to bring the issue up with the city council, as well. 

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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