Spoilers: it is not
I went to the Beachland Ballroom to see the band, Moon Hooch. Things started off well enough.
None of the staff stopped me to inspect my mobility device, which is something I have had happen at other events. (This is extremely dehumanizing and I hope those people always hit red lights on the roads forever!)
I am having a nice time exploring the front of the venue; there’s a cute little vintage shop down a few flights of stairs to explore before the concert starts. Generally speaking, I am having a good time!
The problem begins when I get into the stage room and see that there are no chairs anywhere to be seen. The room is flat, there are no bleachers to the sides and no banisters anywhere to hold onto. Basically, I’m fucked. Now I have to decide if I want to risk standing for the entire concert and passing out or start the overwhelming process of asking for Accessibility.
Abled people are often of the opinion that “Oh it’s not a big deal to just go ask for a chair.” And I get it, tasks like that are easy for people with bodies that cooperate with them.
But, think about all the steps that involves while using a cane:
Tracking down a staff member, or several when the first one doesn’t have the authority (or inclination) to do something outside the norm for you.
Remember, you’re using a cane, and chasing them down takes a longer time than you would think.
Maneuvering a chair through a concert crowd of people. It’s dark and crowded, and almost everyone is drunk.
You have only one hand for this chair and now you’re unbalanced and leaning more heavily on your cane.
Setting the chair in a place where you are least likely to be trampled because once you’re sitting people seem to think the area around you and above you is free space.
You are now on guard because people keep accidentally kicking or stepping on you, and your focus can’t be solely on enjoying the concert.
I manage all of this, barely, but it has completely exhausted me. Now I’m tired and sitting in the far back by the wall to hopefully avoid being trampled. I can’t see anything. People are backing into me and stepping on me.
Also, a lady decided that where I was sitting looked like a good place to stow her bag. That was weird and uncomfortable. Do I look like storage to you?
People’s audacity is out of this world sometimes.
The final “stepped-on count” was easily 25 times before the first act was done. Including a security guard.
The point where it became dangerous for my safety was when the crowd standing continued to push in on my space so close that I began ducking to avoid elbows.
Eventually, I was able to sit in the sound booth, but only because I had an able-bodied person there with me to advocate on my behalf. (I want to note this would not have been accessible if I was in a wheelchair.)
Accessibility Rating: D
TLDR; The staff is accommodating but the venue itself is not set up in a way that can be enjoyed by people with mobility devices. I was stepped on an insane amount in such a short period of time and almost elbowed in the face several times. ADA seating isn’t that expensive and should be the norm.