The thought alone made me smile. I shook it off instantly or at least I tried to. But my mind was already leaps and bounds ahead of me. Vivid was the possibility of fun ahead of me – I could already imagine a night I’d remember fondly on nights I hope I could forget, and the path to take was clearer than ever. I lifted my head from the screen and locked eyes with my sister who seemed to be thinking the same thing I was. There was only one question left to be answered. “How wheelchair accessible is Troxy in London?”
Well, if you’re here with the same question I had, wonder no more, because I’m about to tell you about my full experience with accessibility in the venue!
Containing my excitement was hard to do, but before I got overly excited about seeing my favourite K-pop female soloist live, I had to be sure I’d be able to get into the venue for starters.
BEFORE THE LIGHTS CAME ON.
I, first of all, searched frantically to be sure there were still tickets in sale available. Before the idea could geminate into excitement and expectations, it’s best to kill it on arrival if there’s absolutely zero chance of things working out.
Lucky for me, tickets were still in stock for purchase, but I hit the brakes on that too, nonetheless.
The next step was to get answers to the first question I had initially. It only took a quick google search and a second and a half to find the venue’s information page. In an instant, I drafted a simple email addressed to the venue to enquire in detail about accessibility. The response I received from the ticket manager was almost immediate. Through their email, I was advised Troxy has a dedicated access area on the same level as the entrance as well as an accessible toilet too.
I was also informed carers may be eligible for a free ticket which wasn’t something I expected at all. For a carer ticket to be issued they do require some form of evidence such as a disability benefit award letter, a certificate of visual impairment, a recognised assistance dog ID card and more.
ON THE WAY TO THE SHOW.
I live in Manchester so getting to London would only be a train ride away. Under normal circumstances, it’s a pretty straightforward route I’d have to take, but the one I took was anything but straightforward.
Up to a day before the concert, I was still sending Postcards from a summer holiday in Italy. Replacing the train ride was a 7 am flight to Gatwick airport. From there my sister and I passed through London Bridge to get to Greenwich where my brother lives. We stayed at his place for the night and woke up energised for the show.
Getting to the venue itself was easy and wheelchair accessible from where I was We found taking the DLR train to be the most convenient and cost-efficient route to Troxy. We got on board from platform 3 in Greenwich station heading towards Limehouse Station. From the station, it only took 5 minutes to walk to the venue – a little less when speeding through on an electric wheelchair though.
When we arrived, we arrived we were told we didn’t have to queue and only needed to come closer to the doors at opening time. We killed time by talking to some cheerful fans in line and still had some more to eat at MacDonald’s.
Upon arrival at the doors, our bags were searched before entry. No food or drink was allowed in the venue. Chewing gum was included in the items that were banned so my sister’s was thrown away before entry. Right at the doors, we were introduced to a member of staff who led us past the merch store and into the concert hall. The member of staff who was very courteous and polite showed us to the designated wheelchair area.
The chairs in the area were moved around so that I could have enough space for my wheelchair. We were situated on the right side of the room and thanks to the fact that I got there early, I could choose a more centred position for a better view.
The designated area was step-free however it was still separated from the very front of the stage which was already getting crowded pretty fast. There were a few steps separating the ground floor where I was from an even lower area that was closest to the stage.
In terms of the view and how much of the show I could actually see, I was able to get the full picture of what was happening on the stage. In my opinion, the viewing experience was decent, and the LED screen helped add some detail to the performance too. I think it is important to note, however, that I am able to stand using my wheelchair for support for periods at a time, and I did do that many times during the show. I was able to see when I was sat down too, but I did get a better view whenever I was on my feet.
There is an upper area too where concert goes who prefer to seat can go but getting up there would require doing some stairs. 43, to be exact, according to Troxy.
THE ACCESSIBLE TOILET.
Right next to the merch store there is an accessible toilet. To enter, a key is required. Getting it was easy, all I had to do was ask a member of staff for it. They retrieved it in about four minutes and gave it to me. The bathroom key was attached to an odd keychain that not only resembled a stone but was also of similar size too. “Return to security desk after use” was written on the front of the keychain in a lazy-laidback handwritten, but the three exclamation marks indicated a certain level of seriousness.
Although the toilet isn’t big at all, I think it serves its purpose. There is just enough space for a wheelchair, handles and rails to help with the transfer and a mirror that was too high up for me to see myself in. It was clean too, so I’d give it a pass!
MY OVERALL THOUGHTS.
I’m sure can tell from my review that my experience was a generally pleasant one. The staff seemed really organised and were ready to help. One of them even went out of their way to help us find a bag to put our merch in after the concert was over!
There are always improvements that can be made of course. I’m of the opinion people with disabilities should have more than one option when it comes to how we can experience a concert. But with that, the hindrances start at the very initial stages of the design layout.
So, is Troxy wheelchair accessible? Yes, but it also presents its own limitations too. On this very occasion, I’d say it met my expectations.
Your restless romantic roamer