Going to a show to see a band or a play or a big event may be your idea of having fun, and MS-related challenges — especially mobility — don’t have to be game-changers and keep you from the spectacle of it all, especially with a little planning.
Bars, bands and you
Find bands on their way up or regional acts that play small, intimate venues, bars and smaller halls that host general admission live events. All can be really fun, but waiting in line with MS-related issues can be hard — and standing for an entire event may be harder still.
Call the venue before you buy your tickets. Let them know you have MS and what your needs are. Try to call before the venue gets busy for the day (think: mid-afternoon before the after-work crowd) and as far ahead of the event as possible. Chances are, you are not the first person to call with these issues and through personal experience, I have found most venues to be extraordinarily helpful and accommodating.
Write down who it is you spoke with when you called and then call the venue — and ideally, speak with that person — the day of the event to make sure you know where to go, who to ask for and what to expect.
The big show
Going to see a show or concert in performance halls or sporting and music events at stadiums may present their own challenges in parking and getting to your seats, but all of those events are at venues that are both ADA compliant and prepared to accommodate people with special needs (like you!).
When in doubt, “Call ahead” should be your mantra!
Charlie Henry of Victory Field, a baseball stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana that seats just over 14,000 people, says there’s a process designed specifically for fans with disabilities, beginning with buying tickets in the disability section. “Fans purchase as many tickets as they need like any other section of the stadium based on how many people are coming with them,” according to Henry. “The row is empty to make way for wheelchairs and other devices, and we fill in with free-standing chairs based on however many seats are needed.”
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