March is MS Awareness month. Where are our cocktails, or gold stickers if you’re under 21?
I’m sharing the following insider knowledge on the off chance that you’re new to the MS Club or any other Club that requires Disabled Access.
I took my daughter to her first show. It was incredible!
We went to Anaheim House of Blues to see her saxophone teacher while she was on tour with Andy Grammar.
I have always enjoyed Andy Grammar’s music and was a fan of his before the show. (Fun Fact: During the early days of Covid he held a private virtual concert for people living with MS and I danced around my kitchen to his songs and for about an hour during that really dark time, my heart felt lighter.) His songs are upbeat, have great chorus’s and have positive stories in the lyrics.
As much as we were going for a good concert, I wanted my daughter to see a woman who she is already inspired by and see that you can achieve your dreams with enough hard work, determination and talent. Even if my daughter doesn’t become a professional saxophone player, I am hoping the experience resonates within her soul while she figures out who she wants to be.
I bought our tickets about 4 weeks before the show. I called the box office and got their voicemail. When it happened again the next day, I left a message. Finally, 3ish days later, I had a missed call and a voicemail from them, “Hi, this is So & So. Sorry our ADA section is filled but ask the night of the show and we’ll see what we can do.” It wasn’t the answer I had hoped for.
Going out as a person who occasionally rocks a walker or a cane, takes a lot of pre-planning as it is. How’s the curb situation? Will the doors be easy to accommodate my walker fitting through. How far away will we have to park? You have to plan ahead and navigate as much as possible but the problem is, it’s NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE to plan ahead!
We left crazy early to get to the venue. Once there, every person I spoke with that was an employee was extremely helpful. (I filled out an After Visit survey and share all of this, that I am now also sharing with you MSfits, Spoonies and Assorted Cool People.)
We were directed to the ADA line and I politely told the man with the clipboard, Dennis, our story. He said the list was full but he’d see what he could do to help us out. He allowed us and another 2 people to join the group of about 20 people that were on the list. Every time he turned someone away, he was apologetic to them. Many people had our same experience, they had called to be put on the ADA list, but it just seems like it filled up really quickly for this show.
So, here is the Insider Knowledge you might not know about: You can buy tickets to an event and then you can call the place and get ADA accommodations to enjoy the show, the game, or the not getting trampled to get seated in the Soak Section. (Pro Tip: You can usually catch more bee’s with honey so be sweet and not a jerk.)
You don’t have to disclose if you use walking aids, or if it’s because your kid has ___________. They can’t ask those questions and you don’t have to supply them with answers. (As I am typing this, I hope there are not people that fake needing the accommodations since you don’t have to give an explanation or “proof”!)
Dennis split the group up and directed my daughter and I to join the group that was heading upstairs. Since we were not on the list, they were trying to find a place to seat us. We politely hung out while they helped everyone first that was on the list. During this 15 minutes we talked to about 3 more staff people and they were all just lovely. There was no room for us upstairs so we got sent back downstairs to Dennis. Dennis asked if I could fold up my walker and if I was able to get on a high chair, I said that I could and he sat us in a different section than everyone else.
We saw a fantastic show. Andy Grammar’s horn section is all female and they all rocked their horns!! I wish I could add a video of my daughters teacher absolutely killing her saxophone solo with a saxophone that is about the same size as her! His whole band added energy to the show. You could also tell he was so excited to be back in So Cal too.
I LOVED how unapologetically in LOVE Andy Grammar is with his wife. It was adorable to see and I found myself smiling during certain songs because the lyrics reminded me of my sweet Hubs. He also shared some really powerful messages about loving yourself, seeking help if you need it, staying true to you, etc. We sang along to new and older songs. (I was very relaxed in a group of like, 3000 people, because everyone had to show Vax status or a negative test)
We got home after midnight and 5 am came very early the next morning but I am so thankful we got to experience this.
In the words of Andy Grammar, “Here’s to nights you can’t take back. We live hard but we love to laugh…”
If you have questions about ADA accommodations, leave them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them or point you in the right direction.