TRNSMT feels like a lifetime ago, when in fact it was only 2 months ago. There has been so much going on recently and my creative juices just haven’t been flowing, so apologies for the delay in this post.
After feeling unwell for what felt like forever I was so excited for TRNSMT’s music festival, especially when I looked at my weather app and it said sunshine. I mean a music festival is great regardless, but when the sun is out it is even better. TRNSMT was first hosted in Glasgow Green last year and continued this year. I attended on Friday 29th June with my best friend Rachel, my helper/friend Linzi and her partner Jade who has also become a friend.
Booking the tickets
The process of booking my tickets was simple and stress free, which is very rare for booking accessible tickets. Even for the music festival that I attended last year, Carnival 56, I had to provide details of the carer that I would have with me 3 months in advance. I never know 100% who I have tomorrow due to sickness sometimes, never mind in 3 months. For booking my TRNSMT tickets though I had no worries like this, I was able to buy my tickets online like everyone else and only had to provide information for myself.
The information that I had to provide was:
- do I needed access to the viewing platform?
- do I use a wheelchair?
- do I need access to the accessible toilets?
- do I need to store medication in a fridge?
- do I need access to Blue Badge Parking?
- do I require a free PA/carer ticket?
- and why I need one?
- Along with documentation to prove my disability.
I know this may sound like a lot of information, but it only required me to tick a YES or NO box and briefly explain why I need a carer with me. My answer: because I require support 24/7 due to my disability. Simple.
I got confirmation straight away saying my details were recorded, to just pick up my carer ticket on the day (would get an email closer to the time of where) and that I was able to store my details on record for 3 years. Which is great because I definitely want to go back next year, and I won’t have to run around looking for my documentation, I’ll just have to tick the boxes and answer the questions.
Getting there & parking
The day to head off to Glasgow had finally arrived and after booking the tickets a few months previously, I decided it was probably best to stay overnight so my helper wasn’t too tired. Anyone guess where we stayed? The Crowne Plaza, my home away from home. I didn’t have time to check in before TRNSMT but, Linzi didn’t mind unpacking all my machinery after the festival. So, with the tunes blasting in the car, we headed to Glasgow Green.
Like every festival I’ve been to, a couple of weeks prior to TRNSMT starting I got sent a PDF stating all the accessible information I needed to know before going. Information including where the accessible parking was. Which was helpful because it told us what streets to go down near Glasgow Green and we had SatNav to guide us. However, what wasn’t helpful was that the stewards that were blocking off the roads surrounding Glasgow Green had no idea about where the accessible parking was or would let us down the streets that the documentations said to go down. We circled around Glasgow Green for about 15-minutes, getting lost and annoyed by stewards. Eventually we ended up just parking in a free car park space down one of the side streets which luckily was beside an entrance to Glasgow Green. My friend and fellow Euan’s Guide ambassador Emma also attended TRNSMT the same day as me and found the accessible parking area, so head over to her blog Simply Emma to find out what she thought about it.
Collecting my carers lanyard & wristband
Since we didn’t enter through the accessible entrance at the car park, we had to find our way to the box office to collect my carers free ticket. We asked one of the stewards to point us in the right direction and after that found it quite easily. At the box office though we kept getting sent to different windows which started to really frustrate us because we were just really wanting to get inside now. It ended up that the box office wasn’t even where we were meant to pick up the tickets.
After going through security, where there were no problems, we finally got to where were meant to be. This is when I got really disappointed at how unorganised the entry into TRNSMT was. The paper work to pick up the carers lanyard and wristband was just all lying on the ground and there was no queuing system. Everyone just huddled around one steward who looked like he didn’t have a clue and people kept pushing past me. With the paper work being scattered everywhere (see photo below) I felt it took longer because nothing was in order and my details were visable for everyone to see. I mean I think it was only my name that they had, but it’s still personal information that anyone could see. It also took a while to explain that even though Linzi was getting the free ticket, it was probably best Rachel wore the wristband as she would be the person coming on the viewing platform with me.
Before attending a festival, the viewing platform is always the thing I get most annoyed about. The reason is because I’m never allowed more than one person on with me. Now I’m not saying that I want lots of people to be with me, but it would be nice if 2 people could. I need a helper with me most of the time, especially at big events like this out with Dundee, but I like to spend time with my friends and make memories with them. However, I’m always just told, “it’s the rules”. Anyway, so that no one was on their own, Rachel came on the viewing platform with me and Jade came with us so Linzi wasn’t on her own. They had their phones on and stayed close by incase I needed help.
The viewing platform for the main stage was HUGE. I’ve actually never seen a platform that big and I would say over 30 people would be able to sit comfortably. We ended up sitting nearer the back of the platform because we didn’t end up going on until later in the afternoon, but we still got a good view. It was quite far back from the main stage, but with not being one for crowds I’m kind of use to seeing performers the size of ants. The staff on the viewing platform were very welcoming and always asked people to move to the side to allowing people sitting a clear view of the stage. I would say the only problem was that the viewing platform was quite high up and as it got later at night it got windier and colder being on it, so we decided to just stay on the ground level.
The viewing platform at the King Tuts stage was significantly smaller than the one at the main stage, but it was closer. We went there to see Tom Walker and loved it, with being closer I felt more in the crowd but still safe.
A great service that TRNSMT had on the platform for the main stage was that staff came around to take drinks and food orders for people who couldn’t get to the bar. I didn’t know they offered this service, because I obviously didn’t read the information that well, but have a read about Emma’s experience on her blog.
Accessibility of main TRNSMT festival area
I cannot really comment on this service though because I can’t sit still and between every act I wanted to wander, Rachel did get a bottle of water though. We headed to the bar later on in the afternoon and I loved that they had a separate entrance for people with disabilities. I get really anxious when I have to drive behind people standing at the bar incase they fall over me, or a drink gets spilt on me. Plus, bar queues are really winedy, which I usually struggle to drive around. Also, another great service that TRNSMT had was water fountains to allow you to fill up your water bottle, especially with me not feeling 100% and still recovering from a chest infection.
I can’t really comment on the toilets at TRNSMT because I know I’m not able to use them due to being a hoist transfer. However, they looked just like the accessible portacabins I’ve seen at other events, which in my opinion is too small. What would be good is a Changing Places toilet, you can hire portable changing places vans from charities like PAMIS and Mobiloo.
Overall the grounds of the TRNSMT festival were very accessible, of course it is being hosted in a park and nature means the ground is a little uneven, but I found it surprisingly smooth. I would say the only area that I found very uneven was where the DJs were performing however, I was still able to enjoy the music and still be part of the atmosphere higher up on the smoother part. There also weren’t many, what I call “speed bump” wire protectors, which really surprised me. I was so glad about this though, because it meant that I didn’t need to get my chest supported all the time and I could freely drive about wherever I wanted to go.
I left about half an hour before TRNSMT ended because I was getting cold so I can’t really comment on how crowded it was leaving. However, during the day I did not find it crowded at all. In fact I only went on the view platform a couple of time because I felt safe in the crowd and due to the main stage being on a slight hill I was able to see over the crowd, even being further back. The only problem I would say being in the crowd and wandering around the festival, was the rubbish on the ground. Staff were however continuously clearing it up, but people were just throwing things on the ground and it was getting caught in my wheels.
I would definitely recommend TRNSMT as one of the best festivals Scotland has had in regards to accessibility and look forward to hopefully going back next year. You can find my YouTube video of TRNSMT here.