The healing power of the 'Frapp

I warned you I would report on my big expedition to see my favourite band...

After 8 months of going no further than a 3 minute drive to the local superstore, on Monday, I made a 2 1/2 hour journey to Oxford, then caught a bus, spent 3 hours in an overcrowded venue, caught another bus, and slept in a strange bed. All solo, I should add.

It went amazingly well. The gig was fantaastic. And next day, before coming home, I felt well enough to wander around the Radcliffe Camera, the Museum of the History of Science AND Blackwells bookshop. Today, I feel better than I have for many months.

What I learned:

* it was well worth experimenting with my prednisolone dose in the week prior. Even a 1 mg daily variation made a big difference.

* Always check the accessibility of a venue. The O2 Academy at Oxford is atrocious. Me and a friend in a wheelchair could see nothing at all and were stuck underneath the air conditioning. We had to keep our coats on and hoods up all night!

* By golly, it's good to get out.

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10 Replies

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  • 👏👏👏👏👏YAYAYAY!!!!!

    Grrrrrrreat post, whisperit...made my day 🌈🌝🍀😘 coco

  • Brilliant! Nothing like hearing about a Grand Time Out. Good for you x

  • Amazing what a change of scene and stretching our boundaries does! Great!!!!!

  • Yes, I did try something similar a few months ago, but ended up limping home like a whipped dog. But this time I prepared for weeks and seem to have hit on the perfect mix of drugs and rest just in time. Having a specific target event/day was really helpful.

  • Well done you.

    Glad you enjoyed it and glad you feel so much better.

    Great news.

  • Niiiiiice! So glad you had fun and have sussed that as long as concessions are made, you can still do stuff. I give a hurrah!

  • Music really does heal the soul. I'm so glad you got out. Disappointed to hear about the O2 venue as i find mine in Glasgow brilliant.

    Can i suggest emailing them and addressing it? As they do take feedback on board.

    You may also be entitled to a carer ticket if in receipt of certain benefits. That ticket is free . O2 will guide you through that process of applying. For me i would struggle without someone with me. The venue may let you skip the queue etc.

    There's also an ACCESS card for some venues.

    I have encountered accessibility issues at concerts & am currently dealing with a complaint about it with the public ombudsman.

  • Thanks dylanmagic,

    We were let in 15 minutes early to find anywhere that might have a decent sightline from a seated position, but unfortunately about sixty "O2 Priority Customers" were let in before us. Naturally, they claimed all those spots.

    I have sent an email with some suggestions; even though the venue has obvious limitations for everyone, there are a few things they could do to give patrons with disabilities an equally mediocre viewing experience! It will be interesting to see what they say. I'd also be interested in hearing of your experience with the ombudsman.

  • Hmph i don't think that's fair at all and i would be communicating that to the venue manager. I make sure the people directing the queue know we have been told to come to the front. Yes you get dirty looks & grumbles from folk (and i'm sure we both would rather not need to do that &be in a regular queue) but we are as entitled to go in first. I walk with 2 sticks nobody sees them & i explain my anxiety that in a crowd i will be tripped so need a clear pathway. They escort you to your seats,ask folk to move out the way at the smaller 02 venue in Glasgow. The larger one has benches downstairs so nothing to lean back on. I endured it once but you had people leaning against you! I ask to go upstairs(no lift) for a proper seat. Providing i can do it at my pace i can manage. No harm in contacting the O2 priority folk even if you're not a customer to put your point across.

    We do have some great venues & O2 have worked hard on upping their accessibility having spoken to them about the positives & negatives it's all taken on board. Tried to persuade them to ban people who nicked disabled seats when the folk went to the loo or bar at my last gig.The guys never came back too worried about confrontation. It was mature women i tried to explain to them but they weren't for listening.

    Use social media as well,addressing things publicly can get you a quicker response & a better resolution.

    Although some guy called me rude & demanding when i asked if TRNSMT gig could contact me! I had emailed them no reply,fb messenger wasn't being used. Pre sale had started & i didn't know anything about accessibility & you have to plan ahead & be organised.

    Do you use Euan's guide at all?

    Glasgow Life have been awful to deal with they oversee a few venues i have been refused tickets,had to fight for them,made to pay for a carer ticket etc. They handled my complaint differently to their policy putting it through as 2nd stage without telling me so that meant i had to go to the ombudsman. I tried to tell them that the manager never made this clear,put a complaint in about her breaching their own policies. They agreed to that then decided to do it internally. They said i never provided new evidence but they never asked for it. They kept saying they would phone me but didn't. Then got pissed at me taking up their time & valuable resources! Said they would not communicate with me again turned out it was admin staff i was talking to nobody said that or directed me to the right person. I have been advised to contact the Equality act advisory service by the SPSO for advice on disability discrimination & human rights. First contact with SPSO they said blatant discrimination.

    I love music and am so passionate that nobody should be excluded from going to things they love that i will do my best to fight it. I got from Glasgow Life - what do you want from this- to enjoy music,get tickets like everybody else without a fight and be treated equally- not preferential treatment.This complaint is not being done just for me but for every person with a disability who wants to lead a normal life & go to gigs.

    We have as much right to get a good view as the next person i can add to that now you have said it. Luckily not had that....yet.

    Pkease don't let this stop you going to gigs.

    Nobody will ever take that pleasure away from me.xx

  • Thanks dylanmagic. My first job after college was as a live-in carer for someone with paraplegia, way back in the early 1980s. He was very active in disability rights campaigning, so I have kind of come full circle!

    My new disability has meant I have had to retire from work but even if I have much less money coming in, I intend to get to a lot more events than previously. As you say, it is just not right that those of us who have extra difficulties in so many aspects of daily life should have extra obstacles put in our way by the thoughtless and lazy.

    I will definitely be trying to do my bit to persuade venues and promoters to think about access from the start. Good to hear of your efforts and determination to do the same! x

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