Asthma & Events

Hi all

I am going to a concert in february (a long way off I know but v excited, Rammstein if you're interested...!) and am worried. I will be standing for a good few hours, it will be very hot, and very cramped. My asthma can be very tempremental at the best of times, and the last concert I went to (although about 3 years ago, and I've deteriorated since then) did trigger an attack. There won't be enough space for me to neb if I need to, and nowhere to sit - besides, if I have my neb on me, it's likely to get battered and broken by jumping hooligans. My asthma is always worse in the cold winter months anyway, and I can pretty much guarentee that something will go wrong!

I don't want to not go as I don't like to have to give in to my asthma, but do any of you have any advice for these occassions? I know many of you go to football matches, concerts etc and wondered what is the best way for me to go about it. Should I tell the stewards, or is that OTT? I will be going on my own, so I will have no-one to sort me out if it all goes bad...

Thanks in advance

Emz x

10 Replies

  • Hi

    If I was in the same situation as you, then by all means tell the stewards, they may be able to put you somewhere near the front to one side, at least it would make things easy for you, but also the medical team if they need to get at you, which we really hope they wouldn't.

    Do enjoy the concert.


  • Call the venue in advance because of the numbers of people they will have to have something like St John Ambulance cover and probably a trained nurse and maybe a crowd Dr. Make yourself known to them when you arrive give them copies of everything you think useful from rpt script tear offs to letters or protocol from your consultant. Basically make sure they have a copy of everything you would normally carry if you were off to an event somewhere. Arrange with the venue where you can safely neb and tempting though it is don't head for the front cos it will be impossible to get out. I have been ungraded to the VIP areas in the past but I have a lot more ""baggage"" and a bit of a history and the nurses that do these events talk to each other so they clearly passed on to ""watch this one"" I got though a Meat Loaf concert in dreadful cold drizzle simply by nebbing the entire time whilst sitting in the golden circle this is not advised and I can't remember much about the event cos I was not well. Careful planning and insisting you speak to the venue's stadium manager or stadium health and safety do not be fobbed off by a ""we will pass it on"" type thing you need to know exactly where your safe place is, where the St John are posted etc. I often get my own paramedics sitting with me at football matches I like them they are releived if I get through the match OK. If I get St John often they almost seem to want me to have an attack and at the 1st sign of a neb will have full resus kit out and ready, which as I have only had 2 major attacks at football is a little OTT. The medical commander and crowd Dr normally come and see me before the match when we are away from home just to make sure there is nothing weird about my action plan. The nurses and Dr's that do football matches often do concerts and things which is why I am telling you about football as they tend to use the same rules. A couple of times the crowd Dr at home matches has not been overly happy with me but he just asks that I sit with them rather than trundle to my usual seat, so if I go off I am close by, as I get on well with all of them this is not an issue and he is mightly releived I have port-a-cath and that is accessed. Although they have full kit to access the port as well and he has been reading up on it as it is 15 years since he last accessed a port!

    Plan in advance and all will be well even if you do have an attack.


  • I would tell the stewards so they're aware in case they need to intervene and they may also be able to have you in a less crowded position. The venue should have access arrangements for all disabilities/health needs so it might be worth contacting them directly so see if they can help.

    Also, dependent on the state of your asthma nearer the time, it'd be worth talking to the GP/consultant as they may be able to provide some very short term help (higher dose of steroids for instance) just to get through it, as this is about quality of life and being able to take part in the same activities as other people - that's what the consultant did for me for my recent holiday and it made such a difference.

  • ive been to quite a few gigs in my time and it always seemed to set my asthma off, especially when people smoke in the crowd too.

    ive had other health problems recently which making going to gigs even harder, but its made me realise howacomodating venues can be.

    There will be someone from st johns ambulance at a gig of that size and they will be able to give you nebs. I have had to use them in the past myself. However i would ring the venue in advance and ask what arangements they can make for you. Most venues has disabled viewing areas which although they dont let you experience the gig ni the same way as 'normal' do mean you can see the gig properly without jepardising your health. When i went to a festival this summer the production people let me sit on the step on the front of the barrier (the bit the stewards stand on to lean into the crowd) right infront of the stage (and the speakers...nearly deafened me!) which i found really good because you felt part of the gig rather than a bystander.

    Im lucky though, i moderate the forum of my favorite band and as such im in contact with the bands P.A. - the last few gigs i have been to she has sorted out arangements for me. One time this included putting me on the list for the VIP lounge, so i watched the gig from a balcony sat at a table on a barstool with a brilliant view and my own personal barman! (who supplied me with coke and crisps) and a steady flow of famous people too!!! very fun experience and made up for not being in the crowd with my mates. Im going to another special gig of theirs next weekend and im 'on the list' for the 'platform'. im not sure yet if thats a disabled platform or a VIP platform, guess i wont find out till the day!!!

    Anyway, what im trying to say is that depending on what sort of experience your wanting out of the gig, there should be something they can do to make it happen. The worst thing you can do is play down your health problems and suffer for it. If your having trouble breathing tell a stewardimmediately- thats what they are there for!

    I even used to warn stewards before gigs that i was asthmatic and that i would be taking my inhaler and not to worry about it, but i might need a glass of water, as i had had a few stewards try and pull me out when they saw me take my inhaler. They would tend to keep an eye on me after that and check i was ok every so often and made sure i got water- was quite useful really!!!

    I hope you have tons of fun at the gig!

  • Just to reiterate having just spoken to my favourite crowd nurse you can not over plan for things like this the more info and warning they get the better they will be help you. Letting them know as much as possible in advance means you will be mentioned at the stewards briefing and the St John briefing at least you should be and there will be ""safe and quiet"" areas for you to neb you just need to request them. If you travel with oxygen you must warn them in advance or they try to confiscate it in case you throw it at anyone! I have also been told to keep all but one cylinder tucked out of sight so no-one else tries to use it as a weapon of mass distruction.


  • Thanks so much for your very helpful replies so far - I will be at Wembly stadium, is anyone has any personal experience of this particular venue...

    Bex, luckily I don't travel with O2, though I do have scenes in my head of cylinders being used as launch missiles...not pretty!

    I do think I'm being a bit ahead of the game though, it isn't for another 4months... :S

  • I've been to Wembly. I've guessed from what you say that you like being near the front, but there is likely to be loads of space near the back which has less people - and room to sit on the floor. If you head towards one of the fenced off areas where the speaker stacks are, you can lean against the barrier, and if needed I'd hope the steward in the fencing would pull you out - and you could turn around to neb to give you a bit more room if necessary. Disabled access platform is also a good idea (these get booked up fast, so call now - and you'd be able to bring a friend), or maybe you'd consider getting a seated ticket? Getting out - obviously there is suddenly thousands of people heading for the tube. I'd advise either leaving 10 minutes early, or waiting at the end. The tube system is normally fantastic, and somehow they empty the whole of Wembly within minutes, but the crowd surging towards the tube could be tricky. They use police horses to break up the crowd into chunks, incase you are allergic to horses! If you're not in a rush, I'd advise waiting for most of the crowds to leave before walking out, if you are worried about that bit. Have fun, but dont get stuck in a mosh pit or crowd crush - really not worth it!

  • Yes I would still go.Make sure you have some medi id on you eg telisman.Try be in the best spot you can maybe near the side.My sister passed out at a concert at the frount and a medic picked her up and took her to the medical room and took care of her.She does not have asthma and it must have been the confined space.

    My sons and husband are epileptic but they never let anything stand in their way.

    Just be carefull.could always tell people around you that you have asthma and if taken bad get help for you.

    Have a brill time and stay safe .

    Love Glynis xxx

  • Hi EMZ

    Go for it do not let your asthma stop you from having a good time.

    I often go to concerts (u2 bon jovi etcetc)with my most recent being U2 at Wembley last month and i have this plan of action:

    1)ensure i have print out of all meds and contacts and brief history

    2)arrive at venue as early as possible

    3) find nearest first aid post to your seat

    4)go and introduce yourself to them and ask to speak to the medic responsible for the area you are seated in.

    5)Give them as much detail as possible (its at this stage i normally get moved to a more accessible(often better )seat)

    6)If you neb regularly then take your neb kit(ie tubing and mask for some reason they never have one around!!)and ask if you can neb off their o2 just before the concert is about to start - i have never been refused this- also have a quick word with the stewardds near u so they dont think u are doing anything illegal!!

    7)if at any stage you think u are going off then GET OUT AND GET HELP!!!

    8)before you leave it maybe worth returning and having another neb(if applicable) if not just wait and let most of the crowds pass.

    On many occasions i have ended up with my own private 1st aider or hunky paramedic!!!

    At Wembley you shouldn't have any probs with smokers as its not allowed

    PLease feel freer to mail me if u want more info

  • Thank you so much for all your helpful posts - and I hope others have found them useful too. I feel much more informed about what I should do at these events, and realise that it is better to be safe than sorry.

    I could even start my own little mosh pit on the side lines!

    Cheers all, and take care

    Emz x

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