This series of open-air concerts is becoming a familar part of the London season. I bought a ticket this year out of love for Tom Petty’s back catalogue and respect for his longevity — this event was part of the band’s 40th anniversary tour and their only European date. My daughter took the free companion slot with me to see the running order in reverse; she had barely heard of Tom.
As a disabled punter I could have brought the car to a Blue Badge area within the venue and if we do it again I just might. The tube run to Green Park may look straightforward but it ain’t:
- From the newer Jubilee Line platforms such as Waterloo, to avoid a big step at the older GP station, use the raised rear of the platform. Follow the wall-markings
- While otherwise step-free at GP, you must negotiate several lifts and sloped connecting tunnels in order to regain, panting, the fresh air
- From GP it’s a 20 minute trek to the venue and even further to the accessible entrance. Do your research. We asked a copper and followed C’s phone but detail was lacking.
The accessible section consisted of a ramped platform and a ground-level area. I assumed we would be on the former but our wristbands (and our tickets, we discovered) were for the latter. However indignation born of ignorance got us onto the platform, where we snuck into line and I resolved not to leave for the duration. With a companion’s swing-tag C could come and go at will, so it was clear who would be getting the beer in.
The show was great although, for an area billed as close to the VIP enclosure, we depended on the video screens to see what was going on, just as much as the rest of the audience. Leaving the venue was straightforward but why-BBC-why would I, a seasoned live music veteran, stop by the merch and spend 35 quid on quite the crappiest tour T-shirt I have ever seen.