Back with ANOTHER venue access review. This time I headed to Castle and Falcon in Birmingham for a dance with Beans On Toast.
(Disclaimer: I’m aware “accessibility” means different things to different people, as I said before, these are MY views on my experience of accessibility at this venue as an electric wheelchair user, I obviously can’t speak for others experiences but feel free to add your experiences in the comments!)
This was one of the easiest ticket buying processes I’ve ever had. I just bought a general admission ticket and then sent the venue a courtesy email to let them know I was a wheelchair user and would require an accessible entrance.
The travel was also easy as I just caught a bus from the end of my street and then took a 10–15-minute walk to the venue once the bus dropped me off. On the return, I took a bus back to the city centre, dropped my mate off at the train station and headed home.
Experience & Seating
When it came to the venue, I was a little sceptical as the website just said “100% wheelchair accessible, including accessible toilet”. Every disabled person can tell you of a time they’ve read that phrase on a website and then found the venue to not be as accessible as claimed. Thankfully, the statement was (as far as I could see) entirely true and the venue WAS entirely accessible. Whilst the main entrance has steps, there is a side entrance which is step free.
Once I had made my way in and found my new friends from Solo Armada, we hung out in the bar before heading into the gig room and to the front. I rarely get chance to be at the front because access platforms are usually towards the back of the room. But there was no specific access platform or access seating at this show, so I saw my chance to get a front row spot and took it! I also noticed that there was an accessible bathroom (with radar key access) which was well kept and very usable. You might not spot it immediately because I believe that side of the room (where the accessible toilet is) has a curtain across it during the actual gig, but the bathroom is still accessible if necessary.
With absolutely ZERO accessibility worries or issues, I could just chill out and dance, get a beer in between acts, and then head back to the dance floor. Once the gig was over, we just had to ask someone to reopen the accessible side entrance.
This has been a short review, but that’s just the way I like them. Because short and sweet means it was accessible. And Castle and Falcon was, without a doubt, the easiest and most accessible I’ve ever attended.
Before I leave you, I need to say something about the actual gig. It was just the most chilled vibe and felt like I could entirely be myself and enjoy the gig without worrying what people were thinking (something I often wonder about on the occasions that I’m with the general crowd at gigs and not on a separate platform). I was hoping to make another Beans on Toast gig (the upcoming show in Bilston) which shows the impact that the show made on me. However, metro works and general travel issues means no Bilston gig for me, curse you metro!
Castle and Falcon, thank you for an easy and accessible gig experience as a wheelchair user, just how it should be. I WILL be back!
Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)
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