Started From The Bottom, Can't See From The Top (my experience at the Air Canada Center)

Anybody who knows me, knows that there is nothing I enjoy more than a Drake concert, and on October 24th I was fortunate enough to see my idol live for the 5th time, on his birthday nonetheless.

After a long three hour drive to the Air Canada Center due to Toronto traffic (we all know how that is) we finally arrived, found parking and made it inside. The wheelchair section tickets I had bought were relatively close to the main entrance, so it was a breeze finding our spot.

When inquiring about tickets for this concert, I found out that there are six wheelchair sections in the entire building (116, 105A, 319A, 601A, 613A, 309A), so I asked for the best seats possible which was section 116 right beside the stage as it was placed in the west end of the arena. Looking at the online seating chart I thought to myself, hmmm I wonder if the stage will be blocked out of view being that far to the side, I was really hoping that wouldn’t be the case seeing as the cost for two tickets was over $260.00.

Future was the first opening act, and he was relatively visible for most of his set. Miguel then took the stage with his band, and for most of the set you could only see glimpses of him through the drums as the drummer played his heart out. About three quarters of the stage was curtained off hiding Drake’s set up until he came out to perform. I definitely respect that being an artist myself, a big reveal is always an important part of catching and keeping the audiences attention, and at this point I was just like everyone else in that section trying to see the best we could.

I guess the part that really got me, as well as my Dad who went with me, is that as soon as Drake took the stage, and everybody stood up to get their cellphones out and take video and pictures, my $130.00 ticket to see Drake become a $130.00 ticket to see the backs of some strangers. My Dad asked two girls in front of us to sit down so that I could see, and told them to tell the two in front of them to sit down so that then they could see as well. Well, they sat until the next song started and stood right back up. At this point we didn’t really know what we were going to do. Fortunately for us and the people beside us, a few ushers in our section came over and moved us way over almost behind the stage, but at least most of the stage was visible, and most importantly Drake was in view. Being this far behind the stage the acoustics weren’t the best but I wasn’t complaining.

I just wish that there were more options for individuals confined to a wheelchair, I wish that these arenas being built for sports AND concerts would maybe consult some people with disabilities and ask what problems they encounter when going to live events. All of the rows are on an incline so that the row behind can see over the row in front, except when you get to the wheelchair section, they are at the same level as the row in front of them.

I also wish that people would have a little less tunnel vision. In this instance people SHOULD look back, not just forward, and see that there are individuals that paid just as much as them to be there. Maybe that’s just too much to ask in this day-and-age.

In the end I guess it really is just lack of education and awareness. All I know is that if I’m ever fortunate to perform in some sort of "arena" anybody with special needs will get front row seating, hands down.

The concert was great as always, Drake killed it, and I’m looking forward to OVO Fest in August, God willing.

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