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Is Glasgow facing a shortage of wheelchair-accessible music venues?

Out of the hundreds of music venues we found, only 25 were listed with wheelchair access.

O2 Academy: Venue to host accessible concert in January. <strong>STV</strong>
O2 Academy: Venue to host accessible concert in January. STV

Glasgow’s world-famous music venues are among the most attractive elements of the city’s tourism trade – providing you can get in.

Of the hundreds of venues supporting music and the arts in Glasgow, a small proportion are listed as wheelchair accessible.

Venues without appropriate ramps or lifts often offer to carry wheelchair users to gigs, an option that has left individuals less than enamoured with the whole experience.

Others have also felt “segregated from the crowd” when using separate wheelchair accessible areas.

Using Euan’s Guide, an accessible listing site founded in Scotland, as well as disabledgo.com, STV News found 25 venues in Glasgow that were listed as wheelchair-friendly, and came recommended by wheelchair users.

The venues mapped out were selected where their primary function was for music or theatre – restaurants and bars were not included.

Accessibility for all is an issue close to the heart of Howard Thorpe, an entrepreneur and music lover living with cerebral palsy.

On Thursday Mr Thorpe aims to transform Glasgow’s O2 Academy, hosting a concert that maximises the experience for individuals with access and disability issues.

Big names including Hozier and Kodaline will headline the event, coinciding with Hozier’s sell-out UK tour.

The venue’s wheelchair capacity will be increased from five spots to 39 for the event, with seating areas for those with mobility issues. An assisted hearing system will be installed in the balcony area with priority positioning and additional screens for the visually-impaired.

Mr Thorpe said: “This will be an incredible gig with some outstanding acts. At concerts disabled people can sometimes feel segregated from the crowd, at this event that wont be the case.

“This is an inclusive show but there will be an emphasis on increased wheelchair capacity and disabled facilities.

“I am so proud of the team working behind this event and I hope this will be the first of many ABLE2UK concerts in Scotland.

“I want to send a message to everyone, disabled or non-disabled – If you put your mind to something you are able to do anything.”


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