One of my absolute favorite things to do is see live music. Listening to music in the car or with headphones is great, but nothing compares to experiencing music being played before your very eyes. There a few things to keep in mind when going to see a live act.
- Parking: Before going to see your favorite local artist or big headlining act find out as much as you can about where exactly the show will be. If the venue is in a downtown area you may need to check and see where accessible parking is. If the concert is held in a large arena you’ll want to make sure you park close to whatever entrance your tickets are for.
- Seating: My general rule of thumb is, the bigger the event space the better seating will be. For example: Going to see an orchestra perform in a large concert hall there will (should) be accessible seating that you can request beforehand. Seeing a local musician in a club? Chances are you will want to arrive as early as possible to get a table with a view that works for you. What works even better is to befriend either the music act, or someone who works at the club and you can get a table reserved. Calling the location beforehand may also help.
- Restrooms: The same rule of thumb from above applies here, larger venues will most likely have more accessible restrooms. In theory every place that serves food and drink is supposed to have an accessible restroom, however that is simply not a reality. I can’t tell you how many times I have been at a show, filled myself with soda or coffee, and then had to hold it until the show was over and I could journey to a place with an accessible ladies room. When you get to the concert space check out the restrooms first. If it’s a “no go”, drink accordingly.
- Food and Drink: For some performances it will be obvious that there will be no food or drink available (like seeing an orchestra). Yet for smaller stages at clubs you may find something to nibble on and quench your thirst with. It’s always a good idea to eat before you go out, that way if there isn’t any food you don’t suffer from low blood sugar (or being cranky because you’re hungry). Throwing a pack of sugar-free gum or a few hard candies in your purse can help the scratchy throat that you may have from singing along with the band too loud. Eating beforehand can also save you some cash : )
- People: I love my independence, especially when I am in a new place where people are meeting me for the first time. I want them to see me, not my chair. However it’s important to be safe too. It’s a good idea to go with a buddy, or even a group of people to events like this, especially if you are unfamiliar with the venue and it’s clientele. Sometimes concerts get crazy and a little out of hand, it’s all part of experiencing the music. Rocking out with fellow music lovers in front of the stage can quickly turn into violent moshing (trust me, I took an elbow to the eye once). It’s good to know that you have a trust friend who’s got your back, at times quite literally, and can lend you a hand if you need it.
Live entertainment is a treat to the senses – hearing music, seeing movement on the stage, feeling the vibrations of loud music. Even the smells of different venues (and sometimes people) can be… memorable. What is important to remember is that nothing should stop you from experiencing some sort of live entertainment. With warmer weather coming many towns and cities have free music in the park this time of year, or local theater productions running throughout the summer. I encourage you to check and see what is available near you, and don’t feel daunted about going some place “new”. With this handful of tips and smart thinking you should have a great time.