If you’re planning a visit to the OVO Hydro in Glasgow as a wheelchair user, you’ll want to have all the necessary information on disabled access. This wheelchair accessible guide offers details on booking accessible tickets, seating plans, accessible parking options, and other important details to help you make the most of your visit to the OVO Hydro Glasgow.
Whether it’s your first time or not, I really hope this guide will help make your visit much more enjoyable for you.
What is the OVO Hydro
The OVO Hydro Arena in Glasgow is one of the most popular entertainment venues in Scotland, hosting a wide range of events from concerts to sporting events.
The unique sloping design was inspired by ancient amphitheatres to provide an optimal viewing experience for entertainment and boasts a maximum capacity of more than 14,000 people.
Disabled Access & Wheelchair Accessibility at OVO Hydro
I’ve been to The OVO Hydro so many times and always have a great experience. It’s become one of my favourite venues for its great wheelchair accessibility.
The OVO Hydro works with ‘Attitude is Everything’ which is a charity dedicated to improving disabled people’s access to live events.
Attitude is Everything has a Charter of Best Practice in the UK which is an award system and involves following a framework that aims to promote disability equality in all aspects of live events and venues. By following these industry standards, venues can ensure that their venue and events are accessible and inclusive for all attendees.
The OVO Hydro currently hold a Gold Award and are committed to continually working to improve the accessibility for all visitors in order to maintain the Gold Level.
Booking Accessible Tickets
Booking accessible tickets for the OVO Hydro can be done online via Ticketmaster. This also applies to presale accessible tickets. I’ve found this process super easy. Gone are the days of being on hold for hours or pressing redial.
However, you can still call the dedicated accessible booking line to make your booking if you prefer. The number is 0141 576 3230 (replaces 0800 952 0110 temporarily).
When booking an accessible ticket you can receive one free carer/companion ticket. But, if you need more than one carer/companion or have additional access requests, it is best to call the venue on 0141 576 3230.
Tickets for all three venues can also be purchased in person at the box office, but only on event days when it opens at 3pm.
How to Get to OVO Hydro Glasgow & Accessible Parking
Public Transport / Taxi drop-off/pick-up zone
The OVO Hydro is easily accessible by public transportation, with several bus and train routes stopping nearby.
Additionally, there is a drop-off/pick-up zone as well as a Glasgow Taxis pick-up and drop-off point.
Courtesy shuttle bus
A courtesy shuttle bus is available to disabled people who need assistance getting to and from the drop-off point to all three Scottish Event Campus (SEC) venues (OVO Hydro, SEC Armadillo and SEC Centre).
The shuttle bus is fondly named ‘Gus the Bus’ and I was thrilled to try it out while visiting the SEC recently.
Gus can seat 12-14 people plus one wheelchair user and is on for all live events, so there is no need to book in advance. He is also available during conferences and exhibitions, but it is up to the organiser if they require him.
If you prefer to drive, there are several parking options available, including the multi-storey car park operated by Glasgow City Council.
Disabled blue badge parking spaces are available in the multi-storey car park at the OVO Hydro. There is an accessible walkway that connects the car park with the campus and each level of the car park has a lift for access.
Personally, when attending a show at OVO Hydro, we park a little further out and walk through the tunnel ‘smartie tube’ that links Finnieston and Exhibition Centre station to the Campus.
It takes about 5 minutes to walk through the tunnel, but it can take a little longer on the way back so to avoid the crowds we leave a few minutes before the show ends.
As you make your way to and from the event, you may come across some buskers performing in the tunnel. It can be a fun opportunity to join in on a sing-along if you fancy it.
Arrival at OVO Hydro
All entrance/exit doors at OVO Hydro are wheelchair accessible and step-free. The door stewards are usually very good and will quickly check tickets and do a bag search if required before pointing you in the right direction of where to go next.
If you have accessible seats in Block A section 052, they are conveniently located near Door A, so you won’t have to walk/roll far from the entrance.
I would recommend entering via Door D if you have accessible tickets for Block D section 056 as the concourse can get really crowded with people hanging out or queuing for food/drinks etc.
Accessible seating is also available on Level 2 and is accessed via lifts.
Here is a short video from my point of view of arriving at OVO Hydro, getting our tickets checked and making our way to the accessible seats in Block A. You’ll see how quick and straightforward it is for us to get to our seats. Please excuse my knee creeping in on the action!
Wheelchair Access & Accessible Viewing Areas
As a power wheelchair user, I find it easy to get around the OVO Hydro due to the smooth concourse floors and spacious areas. The lifts are also great and thankfully we’ve never experienced any problems with queues or overcrowding.
As I mentioned earlier, there is accessible seating on the ground level and Level 2. Both provide excellent accessibility and views of the stage.
The ground floor’s accessible seating is located on a raised platform, so you don’t have to worry about obstructed views due to the crowds.
I’ve also been on Level 2 many times and enjoyed the open space around the accessible seating area and you get an amazing view of the stage.
Accessible Toilets and Changing Places at OVO Hydro
There are a number of accessible toilets at the OVO Hydro and a RADAR key is required to access them. Radar keys are available from stewards or they can be purchased from the Information Desk if you don’t have your own.
A Changing Places toilet (see photos below) is located on Level 2, which also requires a RADAR key.
Food/Drink & Merch Stands
The OVO Hydro offers a variety of food and drink options for visitors. There are several concession stands located throughout the arena, offering snacks, drinks, and hot food options.
All of the food/drink outlets and merchandise stands have low-level counters to make it easier when buying.
Additional Accessibility Available at OVO Hydro
Additional visitor information on accessibility is available on the OVO Hydro website, which includes some of the following:
- Sunflower lanyards are available to customers who may need extra help when attending events.
- Sensory Backpack Service containing a fidget toy, sensory distraction, earplugs/ear defenders and a feelings card.
- Interpreter services can be provided on request when booking tickets.
- A hearing assistance system and an infra-red loop system are available.
- Assistance dogs are welcome at the venue.
- PEEP (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan) registration system is available upon request.
Final Thoughts on OVO Hydro
The OVO Hydro is my favourite wheelchair accessible venue in Scotland. Booking accessible tickets is simple and the venue is easy to navigate both inside and out. It also has a range of accessible seating options and great views of the stage from various levels in the arena. The OVO Hydro also offers free PA/companion tickets and a Changing Places toilet as well as a whole host of accessibility facilities, making it an inclusive experience. Plus, the friendly staff are always happy to assist. It’s no wonder why they say “People Make Glasgow!”
I hope this wheelchair accessible guide to OVO Hydro, Glasgow helps you to plan your visit to Scotland’s most popular entertainment venue.
Have you been to OVO Hydro Glasgow? How did you find the disabled access and wheelchair accessibility?