Accessibility in Music Venues — Reeve Connect
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Accessibility in Music Venues

BrookeU Moderator Posts: 175 Moderator
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Hi, everyone!

I'm a huge fan of live music, as is my brother with SCI. We've had amazing experiences at some venues and terrible experiences at others, and I'm curious to hear about yours. For example, one venue we went to pretty much was just "get here early so you can be in the front," then people started moshing (heavy rock show), my brother has limited torso control and his head was in level with the edge of the stage, so our friends and I had to basically form a barrier around him so he wouldn't get hit.

What are some music venues you've been to that were super accommodating/accessible? And what are some changes that you'd like to be made to others/guidelines that you think should be put in place? I think about this a lot whenever I'm at shows because I think it's important that venues realize people who use wheelchairs and other assistive devices love live music, too. I'd like to see some more official accessibility rules put in place specifically as they pertain to venues.


  • Zcollie
    Zcollie Moderator Posts: 239 Moderator
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    I am a huge fan of concerts myself. It is one of the things I love to do whenever I can. I have been to a handful of venues since my accident. The majority of them have been nothing but amazing. Accommodations and seating were great. I am not sure where you live, I am in California. The ADA here is great for the most part. However, I have been to venues in LA that were not accessible at all! The Wiltern in LA was not accessible. You can only buy general admission tickets and I was told they would accommodate me when I got there. When I arrived they took me to an area that was blocked off for me, but I was the same level of everyone else standing. I could only see people butts and could not even see the stage. On top of that it go so crowded that able-bodied people started filling up the area I was in and no one said or did anything about it. I will not be going back to that venue.  
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
    WAGSofSCI Moderator Posts: 379 Moderator
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    This doesn't seem to be an issue at all of the larger stadiums/event halls in our city of Vancouver, BC. Since the Olympic Games were held here in 2010 they did some major upgrades to various halls and park theatres etc to ensure proper accessibility is there for their patrons. There are rules now that make sure there are accessible seating areas reserved for people in wheelchairs. At our home stadium called Rogers Arena (where the Vancouver Canucks hockey team plays), there are 3-4 areas dedicated to wheelchair users, without any thing but chairs that can be moved around for their guests. The seating has a great view of the stage and my husband and I have gone to many concerts - a few where we had the whole area to ourselves! Its close to the washrooms and cafeteria which makes the experience more enjoyable and convenient. Also, at BC Place, the redone city centre stadium with a retractable roof where larger concerts are held has similar accessible areas. The downside is, that you have to call and reserve tickets rather than just booking online. This sucks for us because it makes it longer and harder to get tickets when we want them. Sold out shows, forget about it. 

    That all being said, the smaller more intimate "older" venues lack the accessibility standards of the larger ones. They don't seem to abide by any of the city's access rules, and they aren't enforced either. Usually we get told that the building is "too old" and it would be too expensive to put an elevator in. So they may be able to have an accessible seating area inside, it would be impossible for a wheelchair user to get into them. Most of these buildings have steep staircases or, are down in the basement area of a building or club. 

    - Brooke 
    Your WAGS of SCI
    (Elena and Brooke)