Advice on disabled-friendly gig venues
Have you got favourite disabled-friendly gig venues?
This is a guest post by Carly from Get To The Front with their advice on disabled-friendly gig venues. This is what they’ve found from their experiences…
There have been a lot of headlines recently about the lack of help that some gig venues offer to people with disabilities. Although there are many venues that could do more, we thought we’d let you know about some of the places that are disabled friendly and what you can expect to find there.
Our top three UK venues
O2 Academy Leeds
Although the venue was built in the 1800s, O2 Academy Leeds makes a big effort to make its gigs accessible to everyone. Staff are knowledgeable and helpful and the venue offers a free ticket for a companion, carer or personal assistant for each disabled customer. There’s a roped off viewing area which means you can enjoy the gig knowing you’ll enjoy a fantastic view of the stage without getting crushed – just let the venue know ahead of the event to reserve a space. Bars and merchandise stands and the box office counter are lowered for disabled guests.
The Genting Arena, Birmingham
What used to be called the NEC, the Genting Arena has lots of disabled-friendly facilities. From a dedicated telephone ticket line to lift access and wheelchair-accessible seating areas with excellent views of the show, disabled visitors should enjoy a good experience from start to finish.
V Festival, Chelmsford and South Staffordshire
V Festival provides a free carer ticket and disabled access is a free add-on feature to any event ticket. The festivals have disabled access parking. At the venue itself, there are dedicated disabled customer entrance lanes, viewing platforms and disabled toilets and showers. If you have any concerns or questions, you can contact the dedicated email address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do your research
Most venues will have a disabled access section on their website, under an ‘information’ or ‘our venue’ heading. Here you’ll be able to find out about access, viewing and facilities. If you’re planning on going to a gig in London, Inclusive London has put together a list of music venues, showing the facilities they have.
Access all areas
If you get fed up of having to explain your disability whenever you try to book tickets or when you arrive at an event, you might want to apply for an access card. This card translates your disability into symbols which highlight the barriers you face and the reasonable adjustments you might need – especially useful in a noisy music environment.
If you have any questions about buying tickets for a venue and whether it will be suitable for you, independent music site GetToTheFront.co.uk can offer advice through their ‘Ask Abs’ feature. Just visit their site for free ticket advice and you can get in touch with any questions about tickets, venues and any other questions you might have, or buy tickets safely.