fbpx The UK's Most Accessible Music Venues
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[Data] The UK’s Most Accessible Music Venues

Photo by Seth Reese on Unsplash

In a world where music is readily available at our fingertips through streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, it is easy to overlook the wonder and joy evoked by experiencing live music. Amidst the backdrop of many ageing music venues, which UK music spots truly excel in accessibility?

With half of disabled consumers encountering accessibility barriers at live events, experts at Bonusfinder.co.uk have conducted a thorough analysis of key factors. These include the ratio of wheelchair seats to total capacity, availability of accessible entrances, and provision of wheelchair viewing areas, with the aim of identifying the music stadium offering the best accessibility.

You can find the full research here: https://www.bonusfinder.co.uk/news/entertainment/most-accessible-music-venues-in-uk

Key findings

  • London’s Royal Albert Hall (89.4/100) is the UK’s most accessible music venue, ticking every box apart from wheelchair capacity at 4 per every 1,000 seats.

  • Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow is the least accessible music venue in the research with an accessibility score of 30.6/100.

  • The Music Hall in Aberdeen and the Darlington Arts Centre tie for 12th place with the highest number of wheelchair seats, each offering 20 wheelchair seats per 1000 people.

The UK’s least accessible music venues


The most accessible music venues in the UK

BonusFinder.co.uk’s analysis reveals that London’s Royal Albert Hall tops the charts as the most accessible music venue, boasting an impressive score of 89.4 /100. Since its opening in 1871, this iconic venue has welcomed audiences to a myriad of world-class performances, spanning from rock concerts to classical recitals, all within its vast seating capacity exceeding 5,000. While renowned for its stunning architecture, the Royal Albert Hall doesn’t compromise on accessibility, offering essential features like accessible toilets, lifts, ramps, and induction hearing loops, among others. However, it’s worth noting that it provides only 4 wheelchair seats per 1,000 capacity.

In second position is the Southbank Centre with an accessibility score of 85.3/100. The Southbank Centre is located in London and offers an array of music genres for varying tastes, including jazz and electronic music, alongside being used as a venue for festivals and experimental music showcases. The venue offers accessible seats, ramps, lifts, accessible toilets, accessible entrances, wheelchair viewing areas, hearing loops, audio descriptive commentary, assistive animals and companion tickets. However, it falls short in providing accessible parking alongside sensory suites that offer immersive environments designed to stimulate one or more senses, offering therapeutic, entertainment, or experiential benefits. Notably, the Southbank Centre provides 8 wheelchair seats per 1,000 capacity.

In third place is Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall with an accessibility score of 84.6/100. Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall, home to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, offers a rich musical experience with its historic charm, state-of-the-art facilities, and diverse range of performances spanning classical, jazz, pop, and more. The hall is home to accessible seats, ramps, lifts, accessible toilets, accessible entrances, wheelchair viewing areas, hearing loops, audio descriptive commentary, assistive animals as well as companion tickets and accessible parking. Likewise, The Philharmonic Hall has 4 wheelchair seats per 1,000 capacity.

The least accessible music venues in the UK

The least accessible music venue is the Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow with a score of 30.6/100. Despite its reputation for hosting iconic performances across rock, indie, pop, and electronic genres, the venue’s accessibility falls short, with limited features like ramps, wheelchair viewing seats, and carer tickets advertised. Additionally, it offers just 3 wheelchair seats per 1,000 capacity.

Scala, a beloved live music venue in London, unfortunately ranks second to last for accessibility, scoring 36.3/100. This is primarily due to its age, dating back to 1920, resulting in significant accessibility features missing, such as lifts, ramps, accessible toilets, ticket counters, induction hearing loops, and parking facilities.

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