7 – 8 November 2015
RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Metropolis is Ireland’s first indoor winter music festival and it had a delicious line-up including The Roots, Vince Staples, Kaytranada, Flight Facilities and Todd Terje. Tiga was the absolute highlight and he destroyed each and every one of us. For its first year, there were a couple of issues, like a lack of ladies toilets and overcrowding at the different stages, that made the first day difficult but by day two, the organisers had obviously taken the complaints on board. The RDS was completely transformed, which was good news for anyone who suffered the terrible sound there when The Point was being refurbished. I’m hoping it will make a return next year because we all need a festival to get us through the year.
What has it got?
Size: The space was quite large, using all of the rooms and the outdoor areas in the Main Complex. The two biggest stages, the Main Hall and the Shelbourne Hall, were close to each other and always rammed but the Serpentine Hall was tucked away and had more space.
Ground/Layout: The floor got very wet with the mixture of rain and knocked over pints but it was all flat. However, it wasn’t very clearly signed so it took a while to figure out which room was which and how to get out to different areas.
Viewing Platform: The viewing platforms were not placed in a good spot. They were placed on the very edge, away from the crowd and atmosphere, and they didn’t have a clear view of the stage.
Toilets: The wheelchair bathrooms were very difficult to find. There was no clear signage and on the first day, members of staff didn’t even know where they were. There was a huge problem with the ladies toilets so that meant that there were huge queues for the wheelchair bathrooms, with huge groups of women going in at once. Luckily, they let me skip but it meant that there was at least a 20 minute wait.
Parking: There was wheelchair parking available if you had a blue badge displayed.
Staff and crew: The staff seemed very overwhelmed on the first day. Very few members of staff could direct me to the wheelchair bathroom or seemed to know the layout on the first day. However, on day two, the crowd management was much better and it didn’t feel so rammed, perhaps because it was a Sunday and less people attended, and the staff were far more attentive.
Why did it lose points? The RDS has all the perfect access facilities but due to poor planning, a lack of clear signage and crowd management, it was difficult to use them, which was incredibly frustrating. If more toilets were provided in the RDS – even portaloos outside – the queues for the wheelchair bathrooms wouldn’t have been so outrageous. The viewing platforms could also have been placed in better locations. Like I said, by day two, a lot of the problems were sorted out but day one was definitely a struggle. The venue is totally accessible and flat and it’s great to see music festivals using places that have the correct facilities but it’s important that they know how to use the space properly. Hopefully by 2016, this will all be improved upon and maybe, just maybe, they’ll get me to sort out the access. Yeah? Yeah.