Loud music, flashing lights and an electric atmosphere are all found at a concert. But what is to be expected from these concerts when you suddenly have to attend them in a wheelchair? Not being able to stand on the barrier or join in a mosh pit may be downsides to the wheelchair lifestyle but when it comes to concerts there are many upsides.
Of course I wouldn’t advise going in a wheelchair just for the sake of it, but when your body decides it prefers a life on wheels taking advantage of the little perks is never a bad thing. I’ve spent all of my teenage life going to a ridiculous amount of gigs all over the country. From Tinie Tempha to My Chemical Romance, festivals to 200 capacity halls. And about 60% have been enjoyed standing up and leaping around. But for the other 40%, and this includes every festival I’ve been too a little genetic birdie has had to be taken into consideration.
Now to the perks.
Over the past three years I’ve tested a lot of wheelchair space. The advantage of sitting in the disabled area is 90% of the time your view is closer, uninterrupted, and at a good angle. If you pick the right block you can often be closer to the stage than most people standing. Normally sat right at the front and slightly higher up means no one can stand blocking your view, no matter how tall. I can only think of about 3 venues where the wheelchair seats were meanly placed. The main problem being the closest one they had were as far from the stage as physically possible.
2. Skipping the line
This doesn’t just apply to concerts, but it is handy when you by pass the hundreds of people lining out in the cold. It also means if your running late or need that extra half hour resting in your hotel room you don’t have to worry about missing the opening song. Often being taken in before doors open is a massive help to. Meaning you can comfortably find your seat without trying to avoid the heels of excitable fans.
3. Free stuff
Now I understand that people often feel sorry for people in wheelchairs, but it can all get a bit over the top when roadies, stage hands and security guards pick you out of the crowd to give you free items. Not that I’m complaining. Over the past year or so I’ve got given five plectrums, four of which the band actually used. A towel from the stage, a poster, a workers back stage tour pass and a set list. Another free gift you get when in your disabled is a free carer. This is a great help as it means a ticket suddenly halves in price. Its true for most tickets to any events. And of course then theres the free parking, although this isn’t as dreamy as it sounds. As more often than not there just aren’t enough disabled parking bays. Meaning we have to begin the getting into a wheelchair in a normal tiny car space dance. The worst part of this is when one or more of these gold dust spaces are occupied by a car not wearing a blue badge. Annoyed hatred doesn’t even come close.
4. The concert itself
Nothing beats losing your self and your dignity in the engrossing thumps of blood bouncing rifts screaming from the amps. Completely forgetting for a second that your genetically mutated and nearly destroying your wheelchair from dancing. Nothing quite gives you the will or determination to take back control of your life and your body than watching people and bands living at a concert, knowing your as with them as much as you physically can, but soon you’ll be the one leading the living.