If anything positive came from the global pandemic, it made us think more than ever before about access – or barriers to access – in our daily lives: beginning a new school year, continuing a project at work, shopping at the grocery store or even just staying in touch with loved ones.
People with disabilities have always spent significant time and energy thinking about access and planning out activities in advance, regardless of a pandemic. While virtual events and experiences have increased opportunities for everyone to access them, the return to in-person events is certainly a welcome one.
That return is made easier when venues like the ones listed below have put serious thought into making their facilities accessible to everyone, especially people with mobility-related disabilities. Whether its ramps, accessible and available parking or just thoughtful customer service, these live music venues are all-access for everyone.
Music Box Supper Club stands out as an accessible option for visitors and locals with mobility-related disabilities. They are one of very few seated venues with valet parking and accessible parking spots, a flat entryway, wait staff to bring food and drinks, and two accessible spaces for concerts and other events. However, if you use mobility aids or have any difficulty with narrow spaces, it’s best to arrive a bit early and/or request an aisle seat at a table near the restroom or exit for easier access to those areas.
Like Music Box, Beachland Ballroom & Tavern has two accessible concert spaces in its building. Some events are seated, some are standing room only, but accommodations can be made to allow those who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices to experience everything from a seated position (chairs from the venue are typically available if desired).
This venue, originally built in the early 1900s, is full of positive surprises. Neither the separate accessible entrance nor the lift to bypass the stairs – instead of a ramp or flat surfaces – is ideal, but staff lead guests with accessibility needs to the floor VIP area featuring an unobstructed view of the performance, and if desired, will also bring chairs and/or food and drinks from their concessions or bar.
For those looking for an option farther south, The Auricle in Canton, OH, provides nights of live music, karaoke, stand-up comedy, games, drag, burlesque, dancing, musicals and other live entertainment. Though some events are standing room only, table seating is also available.