Nice venue but no accessible seating
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Walking Aid
On first contact and appearances, it seems to be an accessible venue, however in practice I found it wasn't the case. It was one of my worst experiences in recent years.
Transport & Parking
Parking in Hove is pretty difficult, and there are very few disabled parking spaces. I parked about 200m away and walked (I use a stick) - the venue is on quite a steep hill. Blue badge holders can park free and for unlimited time on street in pay and display bays, but not in permit holders bays.
Very poor. If asked for seating as I'm unable to stand for long periods, and had been told that either there'd be a platform or chairs, depending on numbers of people needing it. When I arrived and asked where to go, they knew who I was but said 'ah there's a problem, there's no chair yet'. The support act was already mid-way through so either I had to miss it or stand. I opted to stand. Eventually one chair arrived at the back of the venue, behind the standing audience. Obviously I couldn't see a thing so I asked if it could be put at the front. I was told "No, because you might get tripped over". I went to have a look at the front - it wasn't crowded, and in fact there was a wheelchair user there who I could easily have sat beside or behind. There was another disabled person stuck at the back with me who was equally unhappy, plus both our companions. It wouldn't have been hard to put our chairs at the front. I asked a second time of our chairs could be moved and was told that someone would be sent - no-one showed up. It was a shame as the staff were friendly, the venue was open and flat, and it seemed that there was a willingness at box office level to make an effort.
It was in the basement, accessed by a small lift, and fairly difficult to see the signage. Very spacious though. Not terribly clean, but it was an hour into a sold out gig.
Venue staff were friendly but not very clued up. Box office phone staff very helpful. There's a bit of a disconnect though.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
I wouldn't visit again for a standing gig, which unfortunately rules out all of the music events. There was plenty of space for the venue to build an accessible platform, and I'd suggest that they need to incorporate this into every gig as a matter of course.