By now you will probably know my love of Kings of Leon. They are without a doubt, my favourite band. EVER! We have lost count how many times we have seen them perform live. On 22nd August we got to see them again and it was amazing. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to go to Glasgow Summer Sessions in a wheelchair then I have you covered with this accessibility review.
Booking accessible tickets was surprisingly easy and hassle-free for a change. We had a look on the Glasgow Summer Sessions website about accessibility and the process of booking accessible tickets before the tickets went on sale. It was great to read that tickets could be booked online and we didn’t have to phone an accessible ticket line. We bought one ticket on Ticketmaster and then completed an access form and emailed it to the organisers. The access form allowed me to request a free PA/carer ticket.
We received the Accessibility Information Guide prior to the event so I made sure to read through it and find out about parking. There was accessible parking on Mosspark Boulevard for blue badge holders so we typed in the postcode into the satnav and off we went.
Unfortunately, that didn’t go to plan. We arrived at the street for accessible parking and spoke to a steward who told us the road was closed and wouldn’t let us through. He told us to drive 10 mins to the other side, which we thought was strange. We followed his instructions but when we arrived at the entrance we were told we couldn’t get in there either and that accessible parking was at Ibrox Stadium, which would have meant a 25 min walk to the event.
This sounded absurd that accessible parking would be so far away from the event, but the steward seemed certain that’s where it was. We decided to drive 10 mins back to the original entrance as that is what the accessibility information guide and website stated. On the way we stopped and spoke to another steward who informed us that we were right, he went and spoke to his boss who radioed the people manning the accessible parking and told them to let us through. The original steward wasn’t too happy to see us again, but he let us through anyway. We never got an explanation for not being allowed through originally.
When we got to the accessible parking we were surprised to see lots of empty parking spaces. Why did he refuse us entry and turn us away? He wasted 40 minutes of our night driving around, waiting in traffic and speaking to four different stewards. Not acceptable.
We were eager to get inside the event after spending so much time getting messed around with the parking. We showed our tickets and got given waistbands for the viewing platform by two lovely women from Sense Scotland. Allan was given a lanyard to show that he was a carer and allowed access to the platform.
There was a tarmac pathway from the accessible parking entrance to the grass. A hard mat was placed across the grass and led the way to the viewing platform. This was the only pathway we saw as the rest was just grass. This wasn’t a problem though as once we got to the viewing platform we didn’t move until the gig ended.
Viewing Platform Main Stage
There was a nice gradual ramp up to the viewing platform which made it easy to drive up and down. We were really happy to see how close the platform was to the stage. This made me even more excited to see Kings of Leon. Like TRNSMT festival, the viewing platform was manned by volunteers from Sense Scotland.
One of the volunteers showed us to our spot on the platform and asked if we wanted any drinks. If you read my review of TRNSMT festival then you will know we had a bit of an issue with the food/drink service, or should I say lack of. It was great to see that the advertised drinks service was actually available this time. I must say the Sense Scotland volunteers were amazing and really helpful the entire night. You can read my TRNSMT review here.
The viewing platform was positioned to the side of the stage, but we had a really good view. Not going to lie, it would have been amazing to be a little closer to the band, but it was a pretty decent view and any chance to be at a Kings of Leon gig is amazing.
Accessible toilets were at the bottom of the viewing platform and there were a few dotted around the site too. Again, from my previous event reviews like TRNSMT I have mentioned my dislike of Portakabin toilets as they aren’t very spacious for a wheelchair user and companion to fit inside safely. For this reason, I didn’t use the toilet and instead choose to restrict how much I drank so I didn’t have to use the Portakabin toilets. I spoke to the Access Coordinator about this issue and explained the importance of Changing Places toilets and Mobiloo. I’m happy to share that the organisers have already begun looking into Mobiloo or a larger toilet block that contain a changing area to be available at their future events and festivals. Brilliant.
Kings of Leon
It had been 5 years since the mighty Kings of Leon played Glasgow Summer Sessions at Bellahouston Park, but on this rather chilly overcast night in August they were ready to rock ahead of their headline slots at Reading & Leeds Festivals that coming weekend.
Being the opening act for Glasgow Summer Sessions series of gigs this time around, they opened with ‘Slow Night So Long’ and honestly when I hear Caleb’s voice again it is the absolute best. He is such a talent and it flows out of him so effortlessly. They went on to play a ton of well-known hits including Use Somebody, Mollys Chambers and Pick Up Truck. They also played some older stuff and seemed to be really enjoying themselves up there and that’s always nice to see. Kings of Leon are known for loving the Glasgow crowds and I can’t blame them.
Caleb, not really one for speaking too much to the crowd said: “It’s so good to be here tonight. We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time! It feels like a long time since we’ve been here… we think we’re going to stick around a couple of days.”
And stick around they did as they were spotted in Ashton Lane in Glasgow’s west end. They were also known to be staying at a rather grand hotel around the Loch Lomond area. If only we had bumped into them. Maybe next time (I wish).
They played for around 1 hour 40 mins and as always when we see them, time flies and before we know it, Caleb is doing his cute little goodbye waves to the crowd as he exits the stage after ending with Sex On Fire.
This was my second time at Glasgow Summer Sessions and both times were for Kings of Leon. I think the overall wheelchair accessibility was really good, but I’m excited to see what the improvements will be next year especially in regards to the Changing Places toilets and Mobiloo. I reckon more disabled people will want to attend if these facilities are provided. Kings of Leon were fantastic, but I really didn’t expect anything less. Fingers crossed it won’t be too long until they are back. I’m already looking forward to finding out the Glasgow Summer Sessions lineup for 2019.
Have you been to Glasgow Summer Sessions in a wheelchair? What did you think of the wheelchair accessibility?
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:
TRNSMT Festival In A Wheelchair | Accessibility Review
Rocking and a ‘Rolling’ good time at BST Hyde Park 2017
My Top 5 Best And Most Memorable Gigs Of 2017