Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Surviving concerts - the disabled guide

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Today, I feel rough. Why's that? I only went to go see Beyonce last night! It's not often I get to go out never mind do anything big like go to a gig, so I'm obviously feeling a bit fragile today. It didn't go exactly to plan, with the Stadium of Light selling more disabled tickets than they had space for, so I decided it'd be good to put a few little tips together for those of us in wheelchairs going to concerts.

  1. The tickets. Firstly, the area a you go to more than likely have a designated disabled bay for wheelchairs. If you can transfer to a seat, I always recommend considering just staying in your chair as steams seats are usually plastic and extremely uncomfortable so do nothing for pain. Also, on occasions I have transferred they've had to take my wheelchair away and store it st the other end of the arena which is a nightmare to get if you need the toilet/at the end.
  2. When you get the tickets printed, double check that you've got the right ones. Twice have we been told we had disabled ones and they accidentally put us on normal seats!
  3. Check there Carers policy. Usually you can have 1 Carer stay with you and get a free companion ticket, but the policy for this depends on each place.
  4. Parking. Usually there's a limited number of disabled bays close by so if you get there early you'll get a spot. However be careful, as because they're so close you usually get stuck at the end with all the people leaving the arena so it can take a long time to get out!
  5. Check what time your actual act starts and finishes. Beyoncé last night started at 4.30pm but she wasn't on stage til 8 (well, 8.30 with the Queen Bee being late). If you've got limited energy like myself only go for the act you really want to see and be prepared to leave early if you get fatigued.
  6. Plan everything you need. Ear defenders, sunglasses, raincoat (if you're outdoors of course!) with blankets, supportive cushions, medication for if you're out at your usual meds time + extras for pain... Ect 
  7. Have fun. Be mindful that you're going to feel rough for the next few days but enjoy yourself. Don't forget to take a photo of your achievement for if you're feeling rough for the next day/week to remind yourself why you did it!
Send me pictures if you see anyone exciting!
Love Kate x