Sheffield O2 Academy
Rosie Mayes had a great time watching American indie band The War on Drugs at Sheffield’s O2 Academy, saying that the venue has “very good disabled access” and praising its “progressive” policies for disabled people.
She found the Academy’s website straightforward and user-friendly, with an online box office and a dedicated section offering information on booking tickets, personal assistant tickets, travel, arrival and general accessibility. One thing Rosie found odd about the O2 website’s section on accessibility was that it doesn’t mention trams – there’s a tram stop very close to the venue, making this an “excellent accessible option for wheelchair users.”
Once Rosie had bought her ticket online she then contacted the venue to register for its disability access facilities.
The parking situation near the O2 Academy was mixed – there is a conveniently located underground car park next to the venue, but disappointingly it doesn’t have any discount for Blue Badge holders. The pavement is uneven between the car park and the O2 entrance, but this isn’t too much of a problem because the distance is so short.
After arriving at the O2 Academy, Rosie found that it was easily accessible by a long, shallow ramp. There was level access throughout the ground floor, with accessible toilets. The O2 also has a viewing platform, which is accessible via a “steep but manageable” ramp.
Although Rosie didn’t buy any merchandise at the gig, she’s bought hoodies and posters on previous occasions without any trouble. She was also able to reach the bar and order drinks at the venue.
Rosie was happy with the staff at the O2 Academy, saying they were “available and were very helpful, especially if I needed help when moving through crowds of people.”
Despite its “very good disabled access”, there are a couple of areas that the O2 can look at. “It could be improved by the provision of discounted parking for Blue Badge holders, as well as a larger viewing platform as it was very crowded,” Rosie says.
She’s glad to have the Academy in Sheffield, “as it is of medium size, and therefore more intimate than arenas. This is as well as the fact that O2 Academies have very progressive policies with regards to disabled customers.”