fbpx The least accessible music venues

[Data] The least accessible music venues

Photo by daniel dinu

While streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify dominate, the allure of live music remains unparalleled. However, many UK music venues fall short in accessibility. Amidst aging structures, few are hidden accessible gems. The question looms: which music spots disappoint in welcoming those with disability challenges?

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 worst accessibility.

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

Key findings:

  • Barrowlands Ballroom, Glasgow offers the least accessible music venue with an accessibility score of 30.6.
  • Despite a low accessibility score of 36.3, Scala, London has 8 wheelchair seats per 1,000 people.
  • HMV Hammersmith Apollo has 0 wheelchair seats per 1,000 people 
  • The least common disability facility is sensory suites, which is a specially designed space equipped to provide a calming and inclusive environment, catering to individuals with sensory sensitivities or special needs.

The UK’s least accessible music venues

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.

Ranking in third place is HMV Hammersmith Apollo with an accessibility score of 39.9/100. The HMV Hammersmith Apollo in West London, formerly the Hammersmith Odeon, is a legendary entertainment venue renowned for hosting iconic performances across music, comedy, and theater since 1932. Unfortunately, the venue fall shorts in offering facilities, such as, lifts, accessible ticket counters, wheelchair viewing areas, and audio descriptive commentary.

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 84.6/100Liverpool’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. 

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