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Glasgow Summer Sessions Disabled Access Review

Glasgow Summer Sessions is an outdoor music festival held every year in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park. The event takes place over an entire weekend in August with headline acts from the biggest acts in the world. This year The Cure, Foo Fighters and The 1975 graced the stage. We have been to Glasgow Summer Sessions a few times and last year we saw Kings of Leon (you can read the review HERE). I was happy to see Glasgow Summer Sessions had listened to feedback and made improvements to their accessibility and disabled facilities for the 2019 event. Here is my Glasgow Summer Sessions disabled access review from this year’s event.

Booking Tickets

Booking accessible tickets for Glasgow Summer Sessions is easy and straightforward. We purchased one general ticket from Ticketmaster as soon as they went online. Once that was confirmed I completed and emailed an access form to the Glasgow Summer Sessions accessibility team. By completing the access form I was able to inform them I would need access to the viewing platform and a free PA/carer ticket. We would then collect our wristbands when we arrived at the gate.

A close up shot of Emma and Allans hands (holding hands) showing their accessible platform wristbands.

Accessible Parking

Accessible parking didn’t go smoothly last year. We had a bit of a runaround, or should I say drive-around for 40 minutes because event stewards kept giving us wrong information. We also thought the accessible parking was quite far from the viewing platform last year. This year it was much better. The accessible parking was easy to find and close to the accessible entrance. It was a lot more streamlined and organised.

Accessible Entrance

The accessible entrance was fairly empty when we arrived. It was mainly staff standing there and two lovely women from Sense Scotland ticked us off the access list and gave us our wristbands for the viewing platform. It was really nice because we recognised them last year and they recognised us. (Hopefully, see you again next year ladies).

Glasgow Summer Sessions accessible entrance.
Glasgow Summer Sessions accessible entrance.

Once inside we were immediately able to walk/roll on the hard mats laid across the grass. This took us directly to the viewing platform. It was great to not have to drive on the wet grass. The event organisers also covered the entire festival grounds with hay to cover the wet/muddy grass. This worked out perfectly.

Emma driving across the wheelchair accessible mats laid across the grass.
Wheelchair accessible entrance and paths.

Viewing Platform Main Stage

The viewing platform area was sectioned off with barriers and stewards were on hand to ensure that only people with access wristbands were allowed access to the viewing platform. Immediately we could tell the platform was spacious and would give us a great view of the stage.

The viewing platform at Glasgow Summer Sessions.
Viewing platform at Glasgow Summer Sessions.

You don’t realise how spacious the viewing platform is until you are actually on it. It’s a stark contrast to the awful viewing platform we uncomfortably endured a week later at Fusion Festival (you can read all about that shambles HERE). Glasgow Summer Sessions know how to provide excellent facilities for its disabled customers.

The view from the viewing platform at Glasgow Summer Sessions.
View from the viewing platform at Glasgow Summer Sessions.

We reckon the platform could hold around 20 rows of people and we didn’t feel squashed in. Instead, we felt comfortable with plenty of space to move in and out easily without having to disturb anyone else. It was bliss! We were in row five and had a good view of the stage which was amazing when The 1975 took to the stage.

Despite it being August and sunny when we arrived, it got very cold as the sunset. It is Scotland after all so I’d recommend you bring warm clothes that you can put on when it gets a little colder. I’m not sure if it’s colder being higher up on the viewing platform and being more exposed, but come prepared and wrap up folks.

The view from the viewing platform at Glasgow Summer Sessions.

There was a food and drink service on the viewing platform which was great. A volunteer would regularly come around and asked if we wanted anything to eat or drink. We ordered some drinks knowing that we didn’t have to worry about there being a lack of suitable toilets. AMAZING!

Accessible Toilets

Yes, that’s right, there was no shortage of accessible toilets at Glasgow Summer Sessions this year. My only concern last year was the lack of a Changing Places facility. This year they had the wonderful Pamiloo onsite for anyone who required a Changing Places toilet. It was parked alongside the accessible path and the lovely attendant was very friendly. I like that it was parked behind fencing, which was discreet for anyone wishing to use the facilities.

The Changing Places mobile toilet from Pamiloo Pamis.

There were also accessible portaloos at the viewing platform, as well as a much larger accessible toilet. It was fantastic that Glasgow Summer Sessions catered for everyone this year and ensured they provided various types of toilets rather than only the portaloos, which are very small and difficult to fit inside with a wheelchair and a carer. We loved the Changing Places and the large accessible toilet positioned at the viewing platform. There was so much space inside.

Emma sitting in her wheelchair smiling at the camera while in the large accessible toilet.
Large accessible toilet at Glasgow Summer Sessions.

The 1975

I know, I say it every time I see them live, but honestly, it’s true. The 1975 are unbelievable. They never fail to put on an incredible show bursting with energy, charisma, heart and emotion. We have been lucky to have gotten to see them three times this year already and they never get boring. We even have another three shows lined up to see them in February and March 2020. Very much looking forward to all three shows. With their new album coming out in February, it will be great to hear some new songs live. You can read my previous The 1975 venue reviews HERE and HERE. The photos below are some of my favourites of the night.

The 1975 onstage at Glasgow Summer Sessions.
The 1975 onstage at Glasgow Summer Sessions.
The 1975 onstage at Glasgow Summer Sessions.
The 1975 onstage at Glasgow Summer Sessions.
The 1975 onstage at Glasgow Summer Sessions.
The 1975 onstage at Glasgow Summer Sessions.
The 1975 onstage at Glasgow Summer Sessions.

Final Thoughts

Wheelchair accessibility at Glasgow Summer Sessions was excellent this year. I was thrilled to see so many improvements made from last year. In particular and most importantly, the provision of a Changing Places toilet as well as a larger self-contained accessible toilet. It was incredible that both facilities were available at the festival to ensure everyone was catered for and their needs met. There were also improvements to disabled access such as accessible parking, paths, viewing platform and food/drinks service. Well done to Glasgow Summer Sessions for making it an enjoyable night for everyone. If only they had control over the temperamental Scottish weather. Overall, it was an excellent experience and festival. I’m looking forward to seeing who will be headlining Glasgow Summer Sessions 2020.

Have you been to Glasgow Summer Sessions? What did you think of their accessibility?

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Meet Emma

Meet Emma

Hello I’m Emma. My mission is to show you the possibilities of accessible travel through my travel guides, tips and reviews. I also share personal stories, live event reviews and more.

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