The hardest part is choosing a show
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Wheelchair, Powerchair
Visiting the fringe booking office and shop on the High Street has become so much easier. The hardest part is choosing what shows you want to go and see!
Transport & Parking
Getting up on to the High Street as a wheelchair user does come with some challenges but with a little planning we managed it. If you have a car then you can drive and park in the accessible parking bay behind St Giles Cathedral if the road is open. There is another handy accessible parking space at the top of Cockburn Street. Many of the roads close during the festivals so check first. We took a bus up on to George IV Bridge because from there it is a downhill run to the fringe shop. We also knew that you could leave the shop and meander downhill to the "Bridges" where we could get another bus. The road itself is cobbles but the paving on either side is slabs and a fairly smooth run to wheel along. It does get very busy with people during the festival.
Access into the fringe shop and the accessible booking service was a breeze! Here's why - we used the "Welcome" app by NeateBox to let them know we were coming and would need a hand with the door. When we arrived the door was open and a small ramp made it easy to get in to the shop. The door does have a push pad to trigger the door opening if it happens to be closed. Once inside there was plenty of space to move around. It was easy to wheel up to the accessible ticket collection point where we were expected. Whilst we were there we checked out the sensory backpacks Roland got to hear more about the "Magic carpets" which were bright blue carpets strategically positioned at street performances to make it easier for wheelchair users to get a great view of the entertainment. The programme for the fringe is online and you can pick up a print copy the in the shop. It's got loads of information about the accessibility of the fringe and its loads of shows. Relaxed performances, sensory performances and so much more. I didn't know what to choose to see as so many performances now have wheelchair access.
The fringe shop does not have any toilets but we give it four stars because for the duration of the fringe there will be a mobile changing places toilets available. The programme was also good at highlighting what venues have accessible toilets as well as the locations of changing places toilets.
The staff were great and happy to help in explaining the accessibility arrangements for shows and venues. It was good to hear that you can book accessible tickets in so many ways.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
If you remember the fringe of old and the challenges that it presented for wheelchair users you wouldn't recognise the fringe of 2019 with so many accessible venues and inclusive performances. I look forward to seeing so many shows and being able to soak up the atmosphere, the excitement and the buzz just like everyone else!