Over the years i have been to many concerts/gigs, though i couldnt say who was my fave as all were great Anastacia and Shania Twain were fantastic and Alex Parks was great as i was sat right next to the stage. So here are ones that i have been to and the venues and how accessible they were.
When we went to see the Beautiful South (see their site: Beautiful South website ) in Blackpool the parking wasn’t the best it could have been. The gig was at the Opera House I think, though the parking situation may have changed by now, see link: Blackpool Opera House The seating once inside was quite good but I don’t think I used my wheelchair at this one because it is such a long time ago.
Over the years I have seen Bon Jovi (see their website: Bon Jovi ) twice and each time they were amazing making such a great atmosphere for everyone, definitely a band I would recommend anyone seeing. The first time we went I saw them at the Milton Keynes National Bowl Stadium see link: Milton Keynes From what I remember the car park was a rough and rugged and it had a platform for those in wheelchairs but this wasn’t the best because if you were anywhere other than the front you couldn’t see. However the atmosphere was great nonetheless and the weather was kind as it was outside. The second time I show them was at what used to be the McAlpine Stadium in Huddersfield, see link: McAlpine Stadium This was very accessible and had a carpark very near. The event was undercover for those in wheelchairs though we did have to sit at the back. We didn’t have obstructed views however and even got a free gift from the band themselves.
One of the best gigs I have ever been to would have to be Anastacia (see her website: Anastacia.) I had been wanting to see her for years and when I did it was well worth it. She came across as very chatty and friendly and got the audience involved in the show. She even had another little stage nearer to the back so that those at the back of the area could see her. She also honestly and openly about her cancer and how it had influenced her music career. This concert was at the MEN Arena in Manchester see link: MEN Arena This is a very accessible arena. It has disabled parking bays and lifts and/or ramps to use and a disabled toilet. The staff are relatively helpful and the areas are clearly marked out, though you are quite high up so make so viewing depending on were you sit isn’t always the best so make sure that you ask when you book about the view. One thing I’ve always found it that it can be quite cold in there so wrap up warm!!
Shania Twain (her Website:Shania Twain ) was another singer who works the audience very well, to the point were she sat in the audience to sing a few songs, definitely worth going to see her. Again I was at the MEN Arena in Manchester, so very accessible, see: MEN Arena
Also at the MEN (link: MEN Arena) I saw Kelly Clarkson (see her website: Kelly Clarkson, the American Idol winner from a few years ago. Had great seats for this where the atmosphere was quite electric, strangely she performed in bare feet, not quite sure why! But she did a great show.
The X Factor tour (at the MEN Arena) was a very different show and had lots of different type of music for the audience. It was good though, but you could tell the ones that really wouldn’t make it as their voices weren’t up to the task.
Busted (again at the MEN Arena) just before they split up toured the country. It was a good gig but it was full of children and the sound system was too much to be honest.
On both occasions I saw Texas it was at the MEN Arena. They also put on a great show, with lots of entertaining from Sharleen. She does swear quite a lot but its all in jest. The second time was funny as Peter Kay came on the stage to accompany Sharleen in the single ‘Sleep’
On one cold autumn evening we travelled to Glasgow (though cant remember the venue now) to see Tori Amos in concert. See her website: Tori Amos Id never really heard much of her music but she was fantastic. Her presence on the stage was something and her use of the piano was to be seen. Definitely a woman to be seen if you ever get the chance.
I have been to the Manchester Apollo, see link: Manchester Apollo a few times and have never really been impressed with the venue. The main reason being there isn’t an official car park and have to park away from the venue or on the side roads where there is a chance of getting cars parked too close to you. There isn’t great access to the building, there was no ramped access to the pavement and had to enter via the fire doors. The Garbage (see their website: Garbage concert wasn’t too bad as it was all standing and a platform was at the back of the room that disabled customers used. Though there was a good view as the room is rather small and the band were great and very rocky.
When I went to see Sarah McLachlan (see her website: Sarah McLachlan ) though she was amazing and well worth going to see. The sitting at the venue was not great at all. As I said at the Apollo they had a platform last time, but here there was no platform and seating and I had to place my wheelchair at the end of a row. So that every time someone wanted to come passed I had to move! Not ideal!
Hazel O'Connor (from the Breaking Glass film, see her website: Hazel O'Connor I have seen her twice in smaller venues, all of which from what I remember were accessible. She was a very good artist even though she is not that well known she performs very well.
In December 2005 we went to see Alex Parks see her website: Alex Parks in Manchester at the academy, see link: Manchester Academy The parking wasn’t great at this venue and had to park in the street and had to cue up outside in the cold. Once inside the lift wasn’t big enough to take my wheelchair so had to go in the service lift which didn’t smell the best! Once in the venue itself there wasn’t really a place for disabled customers so we ended up on the ramp up to the stage, so I could see pretty well and even got the chance to speak to Alex as she passed me on the way out. The music was good and there was a good atmosphere despite there only being 500 or so people in the audience.
Some while ago I saw Mel C see her website: Mel C in Prestons Guild Hall see link: Preston Guild Hall This was quite a good gig and one that actually had concessions for disabled customers. She had a good voice and I really did enjoy the concert.
On the 5th of November I went to see Pink in concert at the MEN in Manchester, see link: men I’ve wanted to see her live for a while now and it was well worth the wait. She was on stage for around 2 hours and put on an excellent show. Not just singing, but dancing and doing acrobatics by hanging from ribbons above the stage, shes very versatile. She is certainly a woman with attitude but with a softer side too and she can certainly entertain the audience. See her website: Pinks site
On the 6th of November I went to see the Scissor Sisters, again at the MEN in Manchester, MEN They were as expected very entertaining and it was such a good show. Though camp as a row of tents that’s their appeal and they are worth going to see. See their website: Scissor Sisters
In December we went to see Snow Patrol (see their site at: Snow Patrol ) We saw them at the GMEX in Manchester, see link: GMEX The gig itself was really good, the band are extremely good live. However i would not recommend the GMEX as a venue at all. The parking wasnt good. There is disabled parking but due to taking 2 hours to get there, there wasnt any spaces left. The staff were not very helpful in directing us to a place where we could park. We did end up on a outside carpark, with no disabled spaces, and around the back of the venue. In the pouring rain we had to walk around the building, through narrow walkways. Once inside, unlike the MEN, there was just a platform that wheelchair and disabled users where using, with apparently a disabled toilet next to it. Now if that was a disabled toilet it would be amazing! There was no room to get a wheelchair in and the grab rails were not too sturdy to balance my full weight on them. To top it off we had to queue outside in the cold for 20mins or more to pay for the car park. Would you believe it, once in the car, the barrier to get out got stuck! So it was an interesting evening to say the least.
In January this year we went to see Kylie in Concert in Manchester at the MEN ( MEN )
We were lucky that we got to see the whole concert as she had to go off the stage the next evening due to illness. It was an amazing show and she certainly knows how to put on a good gig. See Kylie official site at: Kylie
In July of this year myself and Rachel went to see Tori Amos at the Apollo in Manchester, see here for deatails of the venue: Apollo Manchester This isnt the best venue for wheelchair users, but there is a car park near by with disabled spaces and a disabled toilet. Though it does obviously get very busy around this area.
We were lucky enough to be able to sit at the front, not something that usually happens at music gigs. It really felt like being part of the atmosphere, i loved it and Tori is really talented. How many people do you know that can play two pianos at the same time and sing?! Highly recommended. Tori Amos
Back in December last year i went to see Take That in concert at the MEN in Manchester. It was one of the best concerts i have ever been to and i would recommend anyone who is a fan to get along and see them if they tour again. TAKE THAT
In May i went to the MEN in Manchester to see Celine Dion. It was a great show with a centre stage and good song to sing along to.
Following this again at the MEN in Manchester i went to see Avril Lavigne.
At the end of June we went to see Bon Jovi at the City of Manchester Stadium, see, City of Manchester Stadium. Their supporting act was The Feeling, see, The Feeling who were great too. Bon Jovi put on a great show lasting for over 2 hours. The only down side was that the venue wasnt great for wheelchair users. The carpark was a little way from the venue, the merchandise stall was located on the pitch that i couldnt access, plus non-disabled people kept on using the disabled toilet not something that impressed me at all! Plus the food and drink were really expensive with over £3 for a beer!
I went to see Pink in concert in manchester in April '09 and WOW what a show. That woman really knows how to put on a good show and i would recommend anyone to go and see her, whether you are a fan of her or not, just to see the show is amazing.
In May 2012 I went to the reunion gig of the Happy Mondays, my friend Rowetta is a singer with them, had a fab time & even got to go to the backstage party. Here is me with Ro after the gig, how she always
looks so amazing after 2 hours on stage I will never know.
In May 2012 I went to see the amazing vocal talent of Heather Peace & her support artist Amy (iAMAMity) at the Band On The Wall in Manchester. Both are amazing talents & I would highly recommend them.
Me with the lovely Heather Peace
Me with Amy (iAMAMiTY)
Check out Amy's website here: iamamity.com/