Frequently Asked Questions - Venue
Is it true that if you arrive late for a show you might not get in straight away?
It can be, it depends on the show. If it is a rock concert, chances are you will get in without too much delay. If it is a play, opera, ballet or concert, you will almost always be asked to wait until a suitable moment before being admitted? For certain performances you may be required to wait until the first interval before there is an opportunity to take your seats.
Because events of this sort require concentration by both the audience and the artistes and this would be spoilt by others wanting to get past them, etc.
Is it OK to take food and drink into the theatre or hall?
This depends very much on the venue, the type of event and the food and drink. Generally, it is OK to take cold soft drinks and confectionary into the halls, but alcoholic drink, glass, crockery, hot food or hot drinks are not permitted. The rules tend to be based on consideration for other people (the smell of alcohol or hot food) or for safety reasons. For some events at the BIC an alcoholic drink may be taken in at the start, but cannot be replenished during the event. For certain pop concerts the tops must be removed from plastic drinks bottles before admission. Much depends on the type of show and the promoter’s safety requirements. Look out for local notices and do ask the staff for advice.
What about cameras, videos and mobile phones?
Most shows and concerts are subject to copyright, which means that any material connected with the show is the property of the artiste or promoter and may not be photographed or videoed. This applies to the stage set, photographs or images of the show or artiste and any sound recording. Mobile phones should be switched off and under no circumstances should calls be made or received during events.
I have a special requirement:
a. I need to use a hearing induction loop, is the facility available and how do I access it?
All the halls, the theatre, the ballroom and most meeting rooms and function rooms have Infra Red induction loops. (This supersedes older wire loop systems which were notoriously difficult to patch into sound systems due to frequency interference.) In order to access the service you need to obtain additional equipment from the venue, available free of charge from the reception desk at the Pavilion or the security office at the BIC. Hearing aids need to be switched to the T Position to receive the signal.
b. Do I need to tell anyone that I need to remain in my wheelchair during the event?
Yes, it is important that this is made clear when buying a ticket. Every venue has accommodation for wheelchairs, but they are in specific areas so that they are accessible and safe. Other than in these specific areas, we cannot remove seats to provide ad hoc wheelchair space. Venue staff are very willing to discuss wheelchair facilities, alternatively a site visit can be arranged in advance of an event in order to familiarise yourself with the facilities.
c. What if I wish to transfer to a seat from my wheelchair?
I have a walking difficulty ?
It is essential to let the ticketing staff know of your situation when booking so that they can ensure that the seat you book is accessible. For instance, at the Pavilion if you have walking difficulties you will need a seat in the stalls because there is no lift to the circle. At the BIC there is a lift to the balcony, but areas of the terrace might not be easily accessible. Most importantly, you need to be able to get out in the event of an emergency, especially bearing in mind that fire regulations require wheelchairs and walkers to be removed from the aisle and put in an appropriate place once you are seated.
d. I have poor eyesight, what facilities have the venues got that could assist me?
Large print Forthcoming Attraction leaflets and cassettes are available from reception desks. For many events, seats are set aside near the front for patrons with impaired eyesight. Please let the ticketing staff know of your situation when booking – staff reserve the right to refuse this facility where a valid requirement cannot be established.
e. One of our group has an attention deficit disorder, but can attend if they have a direct view of the stage – can you help?
In most of our venues a very limited number of seats with a direct eye line to the stage are set aside for this purpose. Because of the obvious attraction of these seats they are only offered to those who need them so please mention your needs when booking. These seats are only held for a short period so please book as early as possible.
What about parking facilities?
The BIC has a multi storey car park and the Pavilion has an adjacent car park. Both become very busy, so please allow plenty of time to find parking space. Charges apply up to 10pm daily. Both venues have the recommended compliment of parking facilities for disabled customers, charges apply unless the vehicle is exempt road tax.
Why are the car parks not restricted to the sole use of BIC or Pavilion customers?
Because it is not feasible to keep other vehicles out of the car parks. Even with a car park attendant, customers would be unable to prove they were genuine BIC/Pavilion customers until they had collected their tickets, yet they would need to park in order to collect their tickets. It has been tried in the past at the Pavilion and was unworkable.
Why do you not do more to sort out sound difficulties such as too loud, music overpowering the singers etc?
It is not widely known that venue management and technicians have little, if any, part in the running of visiting shows. It is the promoter who hires the venue and then operates the event to their specifications. This means that the sound for the vast majority of events is entirely in the hands of the artiste and/or promoter of the visiting show. They tour with their own sound and lighting systems and their engineers control them throughout the event.
We do monitor both sound quality and decibel output and we will step in and advise where we think it necessary. However, the visiting show staff have the experience of touring and are familiar with the equipment and what they hope to achieve with it, consequently they are not always keen to take advice from the venue management or technicians.
What if I want to complain to someone?
Unless it is a very serious matter, please speak to the staff in the area concerned, whether that be catering/bars or the operational ushers & door staff. The staff are encouraged to try and resolve matters and will be able to, at least, speed up the process of dealing with your complaint. If it is particularly serious, or if you are dissatisfied with the outcome, please ask to speak to the duty manager but be aware that he or she may not be able to get to you straight away.